We enjoyed Ian’s self-deprecation about DIY so much that we thought his comment deserved some time in the spotlight. So without further ado, we’ll hand over to Ian.
The D in DYI
My DIY skills are very much on a par with Herod’s child-minding capabilities.
I have an impressive number of tools, including something called an ‘angle grinder’ (although how one grinds angles I have no idea, but it was useful for a few shelf supports); a ‘router’, which I used to render a perfectly cut and hitherto beautiful piece of timber into something that resembled a plank used by Blackbeard in a matter of seconds; a ‘Jig Saw’, which is utterly useless at making Jigsaws (I have tried); a chainsaw – now that’s a fun device; a power saw (less fun, far noisier, but it does have a laser on board!); and an assortment of spannery things, innumerable screwdrivers (why can’t they make all screws with the same head????).
I also have several magnificent (and still pristine) box sets of things called ‘bits’, which seem to be for drills, but the name of which I’ve appropriated for most of my tools. I even have tools for my tools, with some very odd-looking things that seem to be for fitting ‘bits’ into drill-things.
A life of their own
Despite the equivalent (over the years) of enough money to buy a small third-world country being invested in tools, the hammer remains the most useful, with – I swear – other things rapidly acquiring lives of their own as they spy me approaching.
Every power tool has a lead which conspires to wrap itself around itself and other things with more dexterity than a set of Borromean rings, and equally as implausible, drill bits delight in mocking my inability to drill a hole exactly where I want it, saws seize every opportunity to wander from the carefully drawn pencil line I’ve painstakingly measured out (power saws do that so much faster…).
Then, despite taking what I think is every precaution, hidden electrical pipes sneak furtively into places where they shouldn’t be, empty pipes fill with water and perfectly unassuming water pipes contrive to connect themselves to gas outlets. This means that when I buy a handy ‘self-tapping’ washing machine connector nothing but a stream of highly combustible propane emits when it’s turned on which, given the other topic on warranties, might possibly void the Electrolux’s guarantee.
Finally, even when taking every imaginable precaution to trace a lead pipe, ensuring I could locate both ends and that neither was connected, the amount of water that gushed out all over me as I tried to cut this useless and ‘empty’ piece of pipe down to take it to the scrap yard because of something called a ‘T’ piece, was enough to convince me that in DIY the first letter stands for ‘Demolish’.