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How to Make a Board

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Author Topic: How to Make a Board  (Read 979 times)
theWiz
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« on: November 07, 2008, 09:05:37 pm »

My late brother was an alcoholic attorney, a fitting career for him.  He was completely unable to perform even the simplest operation if it required any tools, unless he made at least one trip to the emergency room during the project.  I've even seen him go to the ER while trying to strip STRIPPABLE wallpaper from a small bathroom.  He always maintained that he was just an accident-prone klutz, although he had a successful enough time with school sports such as football, rugby and track...with never an injury. (Our father always maintained he was the Master of the Deliberate **** Up, as a coping strategy to avoid getting assigned his fair share of childhood chores.)  Since the sorry prick always got over on us his brothers, we agreed with the old man at the time.  But alas, the curse followed him into adulthood.

Anyway, this was his favorite Barry piece of all time.


How to Make a Board

by Dave Barry

Most of what I know about carpentry, which is almost nothing, I learned in shop. I took shop during the Eisenhower administration, when boys took shop and girls took home economics--a code name for "cooking". Schools are not allowed to separate boys and girls like that any more.

They're also not allowed to put students' heads in vises and tighten them, which is what our shop teacher, Mr. Schmidt, did to Ronnie Miller in the fifth grade when Ronnie used a chisel when he should have used a screwdriver.
(Mr. Schmidt had strong feelings about how to use tools properly.) I guess he shouldn't have put Ronnie's head in the vise, but it (Ronnie's head) was no great prize to begin with, and you can bet Ronnie never confused chisels and screwdrivers in later life. Assuming he made it to later life.

Under Mr. Schmidt's guidance, we hammered out hundreds of the ugliest and most useless objects the human mind can
conceive of. Our first major project was a little bookshelf that you could also use as a stool. The idea was that someday you'd be looking for a book, when all of a sudden you'd urgently need a stool, so you'd just dump the books
on the floor and there you'd be. At least I assume that was the thinking behind the bookshelf-stool. Mr. Schmidt
designed it, and we students sure know better than to ask any questions.

I regret today that I didn't take more shop in high school, because while I have never once used anything I know about
the cosine and the tangent, I have used my shop skills to make many useful objects for my home. For example, I
recently made a board.

I use my board in many ways. I stand on it when I have to get socks out of the dryer and water has been sitting in
our basement around the dryer for a few days, and has developed a pretty healthy layer of scum on top (plus
heaven-only-knows-what new and predatory forms of life underneath).

I also use my board to squash spiders. (All spiders are deadly killers. Don't believe any of the stuff you read
in "National Geographic".) 

If you'd like to make a board, you'll need:

Materials: A board, paint.
Tools: A chisel, a handgun.

Get your board at a lumberyard, but be prepared. Lumberyards reek of lunacy. They use a system of measurement that dates back to Colonial times, when people had brains the size of M&Ms. When they tell you a board is a "two-by-four", they mean it is NOT two inches by four inches. Likewise, a "one-by-six" is NOT one inch by six inches. So if you know what size board you want, tell the lumberperson you want some other size. If you don't know what size you want, tell him it's for squashing spiders.  He'll know what you need.

You should paint your board so people will know it's a home carpentry project, as opposed to a mere board. I suggest
you use a darkish color, something along the lines of spider guts. Use your chisel to open the paint can. Have
your gun ready in case Mr. Schmidt is lurking around.

Once you've finished your board, you can move on to a more advanced project, such as a harpsichord. But if you're
really going to get into home carpentry, you should have a home workshop. You will find that your workshop is very
useful as a place to store lawn sprinklers and objects you intend to fix sometime before you die. My wife and I have
worked out out a simple eight-step procedure for deciding which objects to store in my home workshop:

My wife tells me an object is broken. For instance, she may say, "The lamp on my bedside table doesn't work."
I wait several months, in case my wife is mistaken.  My wife notifies me she is not mistaken. "Remember the lamp
on my bedside table?" she says. "Yes?" I say. "Still broken," she says.  I conduct a preliminary investigation. In the case of the lamp, I flick the switch and note that the lamp doesn't go on. "You're right," I tell my wife. "That lamp doesn't
work."  I wait 6 to 19 months, hoping that God will fix the lamp, or the Russians will attack us and the entire world will be a glowing heap of radioactive slag and nobody will care about the lamp anymore.  My wife then alerts me that the lamp still doesn't work. "The lamp still doesn't work," she says, sometimes late at night.

I try to repair the lamp on the spot. Usually, I look for a likely trouble spot and whack it with a blunt instrument.
This often works on lamps. It rarely works on microwave ovens.  If the on-the-spot repair doesn't work, I say: "I'll have
to take this lamp down to the home workshop." This is my way of telling my wife that she should get another lamp if
she has any short-term plans, say, to do any reading in bed.

If you follow this procedure, after a few years you will have a great many broken objects in your home workshop. In
the interim, however, it will look barren. This is why you need tools. To give your shop an attractive, nonbarren
appearance, you should get several thousand dollars worth of tools and hang them from pegboards in a graceful display.

Basically, there are four different kinds of tools:

Tools You Can Hit Yourself With (hammers, axes).
Tools You Can Cut Yourself With (saws, knives, hoes, axes).
Tools You Can Stab Yourself With (screwdrivers, chisels).
Tools That, If Dropped Just Right, Can Penetrate Your Foot (awls).

I have a radial arm saw, which is like any other saw except that it has a blade that spins at several billion revolutions per second and therefore can sever your average arm in a trice. When I operate my radial arm saw, I use a safety procedure that was developed by X-ray machine technicians: I leave the room.

I turn off all the power in the house, leave a piece of wood near the saw, scurry to a safe distance, and turn the
power back on. That is how I made my board.

Once you get the hang of using your tools, you'll make all kinds of projects. Here are some other ones I've made:

A length of rope.
Wood with nails in it.
Sawdust.

If you'd like plans for any of these projects, just drop some money in an envelope and send it to me and I'll keep
it.


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wizer
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2008, 01:12:59 am »

Whenever I hear about lumberyards I think back to when I was a kid and my dad would take me to the lumberyard to get wood for whatever construction project he was doing at the time. There was a machine that dispensed those red pistachio nuts...I am always taken back to that memory, so clear that I can smell the sawdust and actually see the tips of my fingers red with the pistachio shell red stuff.
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GoodWitch
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2008, 01:17:31 am »

OMG, you guys, ya know what I thought this was gonna be when I saw the Subject Line "How to make a board"?

" go to www.freesmfhosting.com and follow the instructions"

I need a vacation!  Cheesy Grin Grin



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wizer
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2008, 01:23:41 am »

OMG, you guys, ya know what I thought this was gonna be when I saw the Subject Line "How to make a board"?

I thought he was talking about a message board too, before I read it.
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GoodWitch
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2008, 10:04:30 am »

I can do more damage just putting a thumbtack in the wall than you'd believe. I still have a broken-off piece of a plug in a socket upstairs, since I'm afraid to mess with it. It's easier to just not use that socket anymore! I'm in awe of people who can fix things with relative ease.
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wizer
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2008, 11:55:45 am »

I can do more damage just putting a thumbtack in the wall than you'd believe. I still have a broken-off piece of a plug in a socket upstairs, since I'm afraid to mess with it. It's easier to just not use that socket anymore! I'm in awe of people who can fix things with relative ease.

The fast and cheap way to "fix" that is to get one of those flat extension blocks that cover the whole outlet.

Out of sight, out of mind.


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GoodWitch
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2008, 12:46:44 pm »

Hey, good idea!

 I did manage to successfully remove the faceplates from my outlets that are on outside walls, put in those little foam insulating thingies, and put the faceplate back on. Believe me, that's a HUGE "handy" accomplishment for me!

I actually own a pretty wide variety of screwdrivers, drill bits, and the like. Over the course of my lifetime, I guess they accumulated from various bf's - I don't recall ever buying any tools other than my power screwdriver. (Oh yeah, I'm a serious menace to myself with that thing!)  Grin

Now my home alarm panel is beeping. The backup battery needs to be replaced. It's some bizzarre kind of battery that I have to have the alarm company come and take care of. And of course it costs an arm and a leg!
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wizer
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2008, 01:03:06 pm »


Now my home alarm panel is beeping. The backup battery needs to be replaced. It's some bizzarre kind of battery that I have to have the alarm company come and take care of. And of course it costs an arm and a leg!

The battery is usually attached by two small electrical connectors. Pull off the connectors, by grabbing the metal not the wire itself, either with your fingers or a needlenose pliars. Once you have the battery out it will be a simple matter of finding the model number and doing a search on it. It will cost you less than the alarm company will charge, plus they will probably hit you for a service call..unless its covered by some sort of maintenence agreement.

Regarding the outlet..you already took the covers off once, that's 1/3 of the job. Plug a radio in to the outlet, turn it up high and start cycling the circuit breakers off until the radio goes off. Then you know there's no power. At that point its a simple matter to either try to grab the broken off piece with, again, a pair of pointy pliars or get behind it with a small screwdriver. If you cant reach it, then a new outlet can be swapped out for about a buck. That doesnt require an electrician or any extensive wiring knowledge..just follow the existing layout of the wires.

Learn by doing. It's the best way.
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GoodWitch
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2008, 01:45:04 pm »

The battery is usually attached by two small electrical connectors. Pull off the connectors, by grabbing the metal not the wire itself, either with your fingers or a needlenose pliars. Once you have the battery out it will be a simple matter of finding the model number and doing a search on it. It will cost you less than the alarm company will charge, plus they will probably hit you for a service call..unless its covered by some sort of maintenence agreement.

Regarding the outlet..you already took the covers off once, that's 1/3 of the job. Plug a radio in to the outlet, turn it up high and start cycling the circuit breakers off until the radio goes off. Then you know there's no power. At that point its a simple matter to either try to grab the broken off piece with, again, a pair of pointy pliars or get behind it with a small screwdriver. If you cant reach it, then a new outlet can be swapped out for about a buck. That doesnt require an electrician or any extensive wiring knowledge..just follow the existing layout of the wires.

Learn by doing. It's the best way.

Learn by electrocuting would be more like it! The alarm battery is in a box on the wall in the basement. I believe this also controls the smoke alarms.

Edited to add picture - A bunch of wires feed into this, and the little white box above & to the right is connected also:



The breaker switches are all labeled so I could tell which one goes to that room. But I'm not about to play with electricity. I inherited my un-handiness from Daddy. I once saw all 6'5", 250 lbs. of him go flying across the room because he finagled with a power outlet! LOL
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wizer
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2008, 10:34:30 pm »

Typical alarm box.

The battery is on the lower right. Gently work it out of the panel, you will find it is attached by two wires, red for positive and black for negative. They usually just pull right off. Do a search on the battery and get yourself a replacement.

That's an easy one.
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GoodWitch
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2008, 11:01:30 pm »

Typical alarm box.

The battery is on the lower right. Gently work it out of the panel, you will find it is attached by two wires, red for positive and black for negative. They usually just pull right off. Do a search on the battery and get yourself a replacement.

That's an easy one.

No way am I screwing with that thing. I'll blow up the entire tri-state area. It's gonna have to wait till Christmas morning. (See, Santa is gonna bring me a new bf this year.) Then, he can take care of it.
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wizer
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2008, 12:53:41 pm »

No way am I screwing with that thing. I'll blow up the entire tri-state area. It's gonna have to wait till Christmas morning. (See, Santa is gonna bring me a new bf this year.) Then, he can take care of it.

Not to push the point..but..you're a reasonably intelligent woman. Its a low voltage system, the batter is held on by two simple clips!

Its easier than picking your nose. Seriously.
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GoodWitch
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2008, 01:38:48 pm »

Not to push the point..but..you're a reasonably intelligent woman. Its a low voltage system, the batter is held on by two simple clips!

Its easier than picking your nose. Seriously.

Hand/eye coordination isn't a coefficient of intelligence. Neither is mechanical ability.

And, I just have to draw the line at some things and say, (sorry) "That's mens work." Maybe that's what it all boils down to with me, I dunno. That, and I'm pretty f**kin' tired of doing EVERYTHING by myself after all these years. I'm 100% burned out.
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wizer
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2008, 02:11:46 pm »

Hand/eye coordination isn't a coefficient of intelligence. Neither is mechanical ability.

And, I just have to draw the line at some things and say, (sorry) "That's mens work." Maybe that's what it all boils down to with me, I dunno. That, and I'm pretty f**kin' tired of doing EVERYTHING by myself after all these years. I'm 100% burned out.

I bet if you call your alarm company they will say "We will send you a replacement battery in the mail". And you will STILL have to put it in yourself..lol..


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GoodWitch
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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2008, 02:34:01 pm »

I bet if you call your alarm company they will say "We will send you a replacement battery in the mail". And you will STILL have to put it in yourself..lol..




Nope. They came & replaced it a few years ago. The same company did the home theater installation and I need something checked on that too, so they can do it all in one visit.

(BTW, no sexism intended by saying "mens work" - I know there are women who are good at this stuff, like there are men who can sew, etc. It's just that to ME, it's mens work.)
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