Monday, April 02, 2007

Look at Me! Doing Something with my Hands!

People who know me, and even people who don't, know that I am not a man with great practical skills or mechanical ability. I am basically a "Hammer Mechanic".
I can check the oil, change it if necessary, have managed to flush a radiator a couple of times, and have not needed roadside assistance to change a flat tyre, but that just about sums up the list of my achievements when working with my hands. (Yes I can do other things, but working with my hands is not on my C.V.)

There's no gentic excuse, my Dad can weld and build sheep yards and fix broken axles and all manner of other blokey tasks.
I've got mates who can whip up a piece of furniture made out of scrap materials and timber scabbed from roadside pick-up piles.

Birchy wields a pair of electric drills the way Jesse James wielded six-shooters. He built the best shed and pergola I've ever seen, as well ast tables, floors, etc.
Letchy dug his own bore and built a firepit in his backyard.

Phil has turned an ordinary old house in Vic Park into a great 2 storey home with landscaped backyard and chook pen, and he's written two books.
My mate Paul has renovated houses in San Diego and Hawaii (and as you can see, is an expert fly fisherman)

But me! I have never built anything.

Until today
that is!!

Yes, today is a proud day at Holt Press because with my own two hands I have completed a "construction job"!
I replaced the lattice on the pergola roof with zincalume. Not a big job I admit. Not a highly tecnical job it's true, but a construction job all the same, and I feel good about it! Yesterday I was feeling less than confident. Things were not going that smoothly. Screws were being mangled, nails were bending, lengths of timber were shrinking somewhere between when I measured them and when I cut them. I got a nasty splinter in the bendy part of my ring finger. Timber was not feeding through the power saw smoothly, etc . But today was a day of triumph.

I got the battens in place and they basically did what they were supposed to do, ie. create a downward slope so that the sheets of corrugated iron I was securing to them would fall away at sufficient angle for water to run off the roof in the right direction.
I managed to drill all the holes in the right places and then in a sweep of veritable roof carpentry panache, I attached it with tek screws that disappeared in a buzz of electrical wizardry beneath the power drill.

It was so easy!
It was so effective.
It was so fun!

I could learn to like using power tools! In the end I ran out of light and time so there is a little bit left to do, a few more screws to p
ut in, the sections of existing roofing I had to loosen in order to get the drill in position have to be reattached, the mess has to be cleaned up, but 90% of the job is done, the roof is firm and secure, it looks good and a much larger section of the patio is now rain proof.

I feel good.
Certainly a lot better than I felt after watching Geelong lose it's opening game of the footy season to the Bulldogs!

But let's not dwell on unhappy things!

Today is a day of celebration, of manly achievement, of successfully wielding power tools, of making things with hands. Maybe some of that low testosterone level will have even have received a natural boost in the process!


Jacqui said...

Bravo, Marcus, the roof looks good, but I must remind you that you constructed an excellent "high chair, low chair" for Zac, that served very well through at least three of the children.
When I see you next I'll also tell you about the first attempt your dad had at building something from timber.
Love mum.

Peter said...

Hi Marcus, congratulations on the construction site triumph, BTW I don't know if I have ever warned you of the danger of listening to your Mothers very unreliable memories??? besides who in their right mind could possibly be friends with wood/timber?? Metal/steel now that's a different thing.

2Peter said...

...and with all those tek screws, it looks particularly cyclone proof!

Phsshht.. who needs testosterone when you can build a patio roof like that.