Ten Fingers, Ten Toes, Part the First

11 Feb

I hate using power tools.  I would rather spend six times longer doing something with a hammer and a chisel than whip out a router.  I don’t mind the endless monotony of a simple screwdriver.  Staple guns scare the bejeezus out of me.  But I draw the line at handsaws.  One of the few handy things I dislike more than power tools in general, is the handsaw.  I can’t use one efficiently or neatly to save my life.  My cuts are ragged and jagged and look much like I’m in training for a role in a slasher flick.  If you remember back a couple of posts, I recently purchased a truckload of cedar boards – not from a meth lab – and now it’s time to make those raised beds.  And those boards will all have to be cut to length.  Yikes.  So, putting on my bravest of faces, out of the barn came the Skilsaw and the saw horses.

Full disclosure here — I haven’t used anything like a Skilsaw or an electric saw of any sort since the jigsaw projects in 6th grade shop class.  Dan was horrified to learn this later.  “Why didn’t you ask me to give you a lesson?  That is SO scary!”  So I told him the truth.  “Well, it didn’t look that hard.  And it wasn’t.  Look, ten fingers, ten toes — it’s all good.”  What wasn’t good was the weather.  I checked with NOAA, as I do obsessively, and it was just supposed to be cold and windy, made even colder by the windiness.  So somewhere into cutting the seventh or eighth board, I was surprised to find myself not surrounded by swirling sawdust, but by swirling flurries.  Oh well, I needed to go the hardware store anyway, and it was time to get Bea up from her nap, and it was lunchtime and I needed to check on Dan, who has the stomach flu and couldn’t have given me a lesson anyway, unless we were cutting lumber in the bathroom.

Several hours, a trip to the hardware store, some leftover turkey tetrazzini, and a short nap of my own later, the temperature had dropped and the wind had picked up, but at least it was sunny, so I thought I’d give it another go.  I will go ahead and claim success, at the risk of jinxing things, because I got the first tier of the deep potato beds done.  And I even pulled out the electric screwdriver, because it was just too damn cold to stand outside any longer than I needed to, and I needed to feel like I had accomplished something.  I think it looks pretty good.  And when it’s twice as deep and bursting with potatoes, I’ll be bursting with pride over my carpentry skills.

Now, I know that there should be pictures, and there will be, but not until I have one complete bed, and my fingers are warm enough to work the camera.


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