Monday, May 18, 2009

If You Can't Beat Her, Joiner

I pulled a quad on Saturday.

No, I didn’t injure a quadricep through overexertion, as reaching a state of overexertion requires that one first pass through exertion, which I strenuously avoid. Oh, the irony. I did, however, get to use four of the major power tools, which always makes for a nice day.

I suppose that people define "major," as relating to power tools, differently. As with nearly everything, there are clear-cut cases and those that are a little harder to categorize. Table saw? Major. Cordless drill? Not major. I would say that a decent rule of thumb is that bench-top and stand-alone devices are major; hand-helds are minor. I bring up the issue of tool classification only because I’m counting my biscuit joiner as a major tool – while it is hand-held, it’s generally used in major projects (as was the case on Saturday). If you care to disagree, and can present a cogent argument as to why I’m wrong, please do so in comments. I will then have you banned from the googlewebs.

Anyway, it was a beautiful weekend afternoon, made only more so by the opportunity to use the biscuit joiner, the table saw, the miter saw, and the joiner.

"What’s that, Dead Acorn? Did you say ‘joiner’?"

Why, yes I did!

I’m a regular peruser of craigslist (the personals aren’t available at work, so don’t worry about your tax dollars funding my M4Carnies debauchery), and I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a decent joiner. Used ones are generally $150 or more, so I’ve been a bit hesitant, but when I saw a bench-top one for $35, I was all over that like sturgeon on a fencepost.

It’s often said that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. For some reason, that never really sunk in with me. So when I asked the gentleman selling this thing about obtaining new blades, I didn’t think to question the veracity of his "Oh, you can get them on the internet!" response. In my defense, you can get a LOT of things on the internet. Joiner blades aren’t even illegal in ANY state, so why should I doubt their availability? As it turns out, of course, you can’t get new blades for it – I even called Sears (it’s a Craftsman), and they said that they had been discontinued and weren’t available anywhere. I thought I detected a note of condescension in the guy’s voice, as if I was a second-class citizen for using such an ancient tool. I told him that his mother was an ancient tool and hung up.

It’s too late to make a long story short, but I ended up taking the blades to Boise Carbide, where they were sharpened up for a very reasonable price, and I feel a little less stupid for my impulsive purchase.

The project I’m working on is the counter top for my kitchen arch thingy. I’m making it out of 2x4s, which I’ve cut up into short pieces, and am piecing together sort of like a butcher block. This is in accordance with my "rather than doing it the proper way, try to do it myself and end up with an inferior yet more costly in the long run result" approach toward such endeavors. It’s turning out okay so far, but it definitely introduces a "rustic" component to the house. I guess I’ll start looking for log furniture and stuffed jackelopes on craigslist.

Above: future lawn decoration.


sarah said...

That bear is all wrong! It clearly was NOT carved with a chainsaw.

The Dead Acorn said...

I think you've just insulted chainsaw artists everywhere. If you do a google image search on "chainsaw bear carving," you'll be amazed. The genre has moved far beyond the Pollackesque efforts of Leatherface down in Texas.

skippy said...

nice blog. keep up the good work.

Megan said...

2 Things:

1) That's the third reference to jackelopes I've heard this week. Random.

2) I especially enjoyed the "I told him that his mother was an ancient tool and hung up."