Boys and Their Tools

I have a theory, untested but highly probable, that men create projects just to get a new tool.  I am writing from experience in this area.  My garage is a virtual Home Depot East.  Back when I bought my first home, it was simple projects that required reasonable tools.  The occasional screw that needed tightening definitely required a power drill and bits.  The ceiling fan….a volt meter and stripping tool.  You can see where this is going.  Next thing you know, I needed to build a deck.  Two more power drills, just in case I had a helper and a power saw.  My tool collection was building, saw horses, wrenches, wood clamps (not sure when I needed those) and the list grew.  But these were penny ante tools.  I was beginning to lust for the big stuff.

Soon things took a shift.  Up to this point the project had created the tool but if I needed bigger toys, I mean tools…… then I would need to create projects that fit the tool I wanted.  Time to build a cabinet, well actually a play cupboard for my daughter.  This clearly required a miter saw and why just stop there when a Shopsmith provided so much more.  My wife was starting to resist but I wore her down.  The Shopsmith now took up a large portion of our then basement.  But that too would change as new tools required more creative projects.

I think the next step was the need to go cordless.  It was a simple argument to convince my wife how dangerous and inefficient all those cords were.  It started with the drills, worked its way through the power saw and then into the jigsaw and recipricol saw.  Did I mention I found a need for a recipricol saw?  No good toolman should be without that handy gadget.  Eventually my lawn trimmer and my leaf blower (who doesn’t need that when sweeping seems sooooo slow) were soon freed of their cords.

By this time the process was so well oiled, that the minute my wife asked for something fixed or built, she would follow up the request with “and what new tool will this require?”  My daughters, now grown and in their own homes, knew the routine as well.  They would tell me what they needed built and in the same breath tell me they had done the research and I would clearly need this fancy new tool.  This got so bad that at one point, upon going out to pick up yet another unique drill bit, I convinced myself it was time for a REAL tool box.  My twelve drawer chest of wonderment now occupies a proud corner of the garage.  Did I mention that we ran out of room in the basement for my tools?

My latest project involved a bench for my daughter and son-in-law’s new patio.  She knew just how to get me to build it.  She first mentioned how much she loved me (that always works) and then followed up with “Remember that Kreg Jig you wanted?  Well guess what this bench requires, hidden screws.”  I could barely contain my pride and my excitement.  New project and a really cool, new tool.

Patio Bench

So my point.  Boys love their tools.  Given a complicated tool, they will not only figure out what to use it on, they will even try to master its use.  And beware, tools are the primary target of “bigger is better”.  Tim the Toolman Taylor knew that and every week we were reminded of the grace and beauty of power tools.  “Arruuhhhhhhhh”

So I am working of my next tool, I mean project, and I am pretty sure there will be some required transportation of the finished project.  And so, I currently have my eye on a nice one ton, eighteen foot cargo van.  And it doesn’t even need a cord.

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