Coping: The Danger of Owning Tools

You ever hear the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for?”

Owning tools – lots of them, enough suitable for every aspect of home building and remodeling, farm equipment and auto maintenance – is that at some point, the intention that causes one to collect tools will also manifest the need to use them.

Take this week, for example…please!

(continues below)


I was almost done Monday putting together my “octopus” for the built-in shop vac.

This gets us into a short sidebar discussion about how shop vac components are not designed to be installed simply.  In other words, the “Y” splitters, along with the on-off gates have no way to mount them in a secure manner.

The Y-valves in particular don’t fit, one-into-the-other like a regular vacuum hose.  I guess you’re supposed to buy couplers but no one mentions that.

No problem for the inventive mind, though:  You just cobble up some thin plywood on a 2-by-4 with some 2-by-2 strips.  Like this:

You will notice the odd hose clamp.  This is one of the old ones from the Harbor Fright (sic) accessory kit which is 9 years old, or so.  The much better clamps are the POWERTEC 70120 4-Inch Key Hose Clamp, 3-1/2-Inch to 4-3/8-Inch, 5PK. If you get lucky, these may be an add-on item.  There’s also something called a left-hand bridge key and a right-hand bridge key clamp.  I wasted half and hour trying to figure out why turning the right-hand clamp over wouldn’t make it a lefty…but greater minds than ours.

If I had spent more catalog time, the connections between my octopus “Y” connections could have been neater using POWERTEC 70149 Dust Control Flex Cuff with Hose Clamps, 4-Inch, but these are almost 9-bucks a pop, for saving $30 and two days in the mail I went with plywood and cut hose which ended up looking like (drum roll?):

Which sure doesn’t look as nice as the vacuum system in a dentists office, but we do work on bigger material.  Those “gaty things” turn air flow on an off (depending which tool you plan to use.  And the wall switch turns on  the dust collector.  The Dust Deputy is under the octopus and the hose going outside is sealed (and then some) by Mr. Ure becoming confused between Great Stuff high expansion foam and high expansion shaving gel.  But all’s well that dries well.

Naturally, after a successful job like this (with only 65 feet of machine hose to connect) I thought “Yes…I’m enjoying all this fun tool stuff.

Then Elaine came over and uttered the words all male homeowners hate to hear:

Honey, would you come look at something…I think we have a problem….”

An hour later, toilet removed from the master bath, the problem had become obvious…

What had happened is a few weeks after our last adventure with this toilet…faulty flapper valve replacement, the gasket on the supply line had started to leak.  I didn’t notice, Elaine didn’t notice, until she noticed the floor sagged a bit…

Taking on this level of repair and remodel is both fun…and not.  The process part is easy:

  • Rip out old flooring.
  • While that’s going on, send Elaine to select new flooring pattern./
  • Then (with bro-in-law) Panama, tear out floor, dry anything damp, reinforce walls.
  • Set up 2X6’s along with there existing so there’s a 1-1/2″ screwing surface and great support.  The 2X6’s will be screwed and waterproof glued…
  • Then redeck what will be a 4′ by 6-foot section of the floor with two layers of 1/2″ no-voids plywood.  An odd selection, but the flo9oring is 1-inch OSB originally and one-inch ply does grow on trees.  So, two sheets of half (lighter for old guys to work on) and then we will join the two sheets with a generous painting of Titebond 1413 III Ultimate Wood Glue, which will be screwed every 12-inches.
  • Once the decking is down, a new toilet flange will be set, and fresh supply line run.
  • Final “get-ready” step will be to fill around all the edges and mud-over the deck screws with Bondo.  This may seem excessive, but it’s not.  We didn’t do that in the master bedroom and sure enough, 10-years later I can see we put used Phillip head screws.  Bondo – the stuff of legend in the automotive world, not only fills the heads, but it also effectively epoxies the heads in.

We ought to have a couple of days of “padding” before the flooring installer arrives next week.

For the longest time, we were wondering why Zeus the Cat had started sleeping on the throw rug in front of the toilet in the other bathroom.  Hadn’t done this before.  Did he sense this was going to happen in advance?  Under penalty of dry food only, all he would says was…

Damned if I could figure out what that meant.

The fun thing about living in a double-wire modular is you can literally take a chainsaw to anything and build what pleases you.

Elaine wasn’t happy with the built-in closet that was in the corner of the bathroom, but it was one of those “Aw, we’ll get to it…SOME DAY…”

Since I’ve been working like a demon in the shop, perhaps sensing I would need to get the old body used to doing some serious construction work, the physical part hasn’t been an issue, save some sore muscles.

But I did want to pass along something to think about:

It is possible that since the mind manifests what it thinks about most that because I have been thinking about the shop a lot lately (and write an encyclopedia of tools for new Makers) that this bathroom disaster/opportunity was of my own creation?

Does this mean if we sold all our tools and moved into a condo that would be the end of all maintenance woes?

It’s something to think about as I’m down on my knees doing the decking part and Panama is doing the under-houses end of things.

Key thing:  Keep spirits up and remember it’s not a disaster.  It’s a chance to create grand space worthy of us.  If the old space had been worthy, it wouldn’t have self-destructed, would it?

Maybe tools manifest work to be done…  Should they come with a new warning label?

Future News Tip?

Since we were working on the house intensely Wednesday, I didn’t have time to closely watch the news.  But since I have sometimes odd/prescient dreams that seem to keep me informed, there is an oddity to report.

the imagery in the dream is of a cargo ship, riding somewhat high in the water on a confined canal or inlet.   The might have been a lock, or seawall at the far west direction, although from previous dreams I have noted 90-degrees off, so it could be a lock to the south…

It involved in a collision back up the canal or inlet a ways  and to the container/cargo ship goes to port while there is a rescue operation going on at the collision scene.

Oddly (as if this isn’t?), there are elements of a ship’s door and recovery area (like on a cruise ship for shore excursions) and there were Japanese or Asian people involved on the recovery ship who didn’t seem all that pleased with their role.

Upon waking, I went looking for “ship collision” on Google’s News search engine with results here. The closest seemed to be the fuel oil tanker and LPG ship off the coast of Singapore, but not close enough.

That was a couple of days back, so why would the dream come in now?  As a result, we will keep our eyes peeled over the next several days looking for a better-fitting ship disaster.  Panama Canal or one of the channels in the Middle East would seem to be more like it.

Maritime trouble off Syria to come?   Odd dream – worth mentioning.  Especially since we are in the same annual calendar as?

Long-term readers will remember my night of April 19, 8 AM posting on April 20 of my “Cornwall, oil tanker, wall of fire, murder” dream in 2010 that I posted 12-hours before the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Just  mentioning it because this is a “hot time of year” for Universe to whisper…for reasons I’ve never quite understood…

Write when you get rich,

30 thoughts on “Coping: The Danger of Owning Tools”

  1. New Game: Define the word “TRUMP”. Make up your own definition of the word, post it, & the winner will be posted.

  2. Be careful what you wish for you might just get it..”the intention that causes one to collect tools will also manifest the need to use them.”

    Isn’t that the truth.. at one point I had collected so many tools you couldn’t park the car in the garage. the other one.. is don’t start to many projects.. I have enough projects going that I can’t ever die LOL LOL.
    I just started to reflect the projects I have lined up already for this summer and am boggled that I have that much planned .. ( for my kids to do of course LOL no wonder they get that look of terror in their eyes when I say hey you know what would be a good thing.. LOL)
    you have never mentioned that zeus is a black cat.. I have always adored black cats and have had many.. they seem to be more fun, smarter and then that who cares attitude. I just had a moment of missing my homer sitting beside me eating popcorn while I read.. that cat pee’d in the toilet LOL damnedest thing you ever seen loved to take a shower every morning had to have aftershave on. we had a dog in a kennel out side. I thought the kids were leaving the door open only to discover homer was running out the front door walking around the back door and letting itself in showing that poor dog that it lived in the house .. smart ass cat LOL..

  3. Zeus probably just digs the free meals, being able to sleep all day, and play with mice all night, and then supervise all of the household goings on. I still can not tell if that was an attention cry or just a hiss !!

  4. How did you stop google news from instaling verizon/yahoo “phone services” app that uses google ad app to intrrupt every thing on your computer/ cell phone, even phone calls with your banks typepad or brokers with commercial and ads that switch pages, so you must retreive the page you were on before disruption…? Even on a t Nd t serviced cell phone..? They even disrupted the writing of this comment..????!!!!

    • block all cookies, block pop ups, block open sites in apps, block device sharinbg…he list of how to set up a browser is intense. Point is, everytime you allow device access you open a YUGE door in firewalling. Never use phone to access bank of trading accounts, look into setting up your own VPN..the list is endless…

  5. (and write an encyclopedia of tools for new Makers)

    When I built my first house.. ” (it literally went up in three days. Everyone I had ever helped or been friends with showed up to lend a hand showed up for coffee and happened to have their hammer with them)
    Anyway I went into the hardware store looking for a ruler, or yardstick, carpenters ruler.
    And asked this kid where they were. He got this odd look of confusion and didn’t have a clue what I was looking for.
    After that I made it a point to walk in look for him and ask for a different tool.. my favorite time was I asked where they kept the bastards.
    His response was shrugging his shoulder and saying. Take your pick.. lol lol

  6. When we bought our first house, I wondered why my father grinned when he said, “You are now a ‘happy homeowner’.” Now 35 years later the whole extended family is familiar with what “happy homeowner stuff” means. It’s universal. Thanks for sharing.

  7. George, the bathroom picture looks as though your floor is particleboard, not OSB. Neither is good in a potentially wet location(nothing sort of marine plywood is), but particleboard is especially bad. It was commonly used as a cheap flooring in house trailers and other economy level construction. 3/4″ OSB is a reasonable material for subfloors, but in your case you have to match thickness. Good luck. I much prefer to work on roofs than floors, and you can’t really finish a floor until everything else is mostly done.

  8. Ever since I clicked on an ad for “Walabot”, I see this every day in one ad or another. Since it’s advertised on this site and others, has anyone actually bought this tool and can comment or review it? It’s interesting, but is it sufficiently useful to justify owning?

Comments are closed.