Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bits learned

I was browsing the Lee Valley catalog when I noticed a tip in the pruning section: when choosing a handsaw for a task, make sure the blade length is more than double the length of the cut you will be making. Otherwise the middle saw teeth will never clear the cut, and they will be clogged with sawdust that they can't drop.

Well. Why couldn't I have thought of that myself, when I was sawing away at something and wondering why I was so slow? (Don't answer that!)

It reminds me of last fall, when Garth's brother was helping me improvise an enclosure for the dog in the back yard. I was driving fence staples with a hammer, and I mentioned to him that I seem to lose all strength in my grip after maybe two or three staples. He said his father taught him to relax his grip on the hammer just at the instant that it strikes. That was the secret to being able to drive nails all day.

These are the sorts of things that you might figure out yourself, if it occurred to you to try; and you might find somewhere on the Internet, if it occurred to you to look; but on the other hand, you might just struggle and then decide to let a stronger, faster person do it for you.

Courage. Testosterone doesn't always win.


Madcap said...

Me, I'd like to talk to one of those expert shovellers, one of those people who manages to clean down to the cement with just one stroke. How come it always looks piebald and struggling, even after I go after it with both a shovel and a shop-broom?

This is foremost in my mind, because I cleared a foot of snow off about a mile of driveway and sidewalk yesterday. Well, maybe not quite a mile. Half a mile at least, though. ;-).

arcolaura said...

Me, I've decided to leave some of the snow on the concrete on purpose. If the last few years are any indication, bare concrete is just an invitation for a good slick of frozen rain. An inch of snow soaks it up a bit.

The disadvantage is that the grader operator sometimes overlooks my white driveway. Then I have some serious shovelling to do.