Figured it out by myself

Sunday, October 25, 2015 22:26 Posted by Leo Saumure
We are installing some tile back splash in the kitchen this weekend, which is going to be one of my few handyman endeavours. Well, while chiselling the old tiles off the wall, I pulled up some of the hardboard. Which is a unique problem in itself as in Canada, virtually all modern housing is constructed with the walls made out of drywall (or as they call it here, gyprock).

Which brings to mind an issue I had in another handyman experience where I was painting our living room and needed some mud for the sanded joins in the drywall; yeah, the living room had drywall, but the kitchen had hardboard! (I don't try to understand it). So while trying to by mud for the joins, I went to the hardware store and asked for two gentlemen behind the counter:

Excuse me, where is the drywall section?

I was met with blank stares.

The what section?  They asked.

The drywall section, I replied.

Again, I was met with blank stares. So after about ten minutes of explaining what drywall was using wild hand gestures to illustrate my point, I explained that:

Drywall is the stuff you put over the frame of your house and put mud over the taped joints and sand the mud, and paint it, and hang pictures on, and fill with more mud when you punch a hole through it.

They finally understood what I was getting at and said that what I was looking for was "gyprock".

Fine, where is the gyprock section? I asked.

Oh, right behind you!


Anyway, it occurred to me much later that these are people employed in a hardware store, and as such you'd think they would know their stuff. They might watch renovation shows and on those renovation shows, they must have heard the term drywall! So I think they were just having a bit of fun with the foreigner. Anyway, back to the original story.

So I went to go buy a few supplies to fix the hole I put in the hardboard while chiselling out the old tile and one of the supplies I purchased was a folding saw horse which I had to assemble myself.

Now, I am not the most naturally adept person when it comes to handyman projects. I have friends, such as my friend Jeff, who have done some serious automotive repairs and have done all manner of home repair as well; things like outdoor maintenance like building decks or indoor projects like completing basement reno ro installing a hardwood floor, etc. I also have family who have literally built their own houses from the ground up. These are all people I both loath and admire. It seems to me that there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who who were born with a set of wrenches in their hand and those who can, with time, figure out that a light switch can function in both the on and off position. Guess which side of the scale I fall into?

Anyway, I seem to have lost the plot again. So I was following the directions to assemble the newly purchased sawhorse and while putting it together, they indicated that I should add washers to both the parts of the bolt before fastening the nuts (*giggle*...nuts). Anyway, it occurred to me while I was following the directions without question what washers actually do.

Because the metal that forms the legs on the sawhorse wasn't incredibly strong, using washers would distribute the force of the tightened nuts (*giggle*) so that the metal wouldn't get damaged. I had never understood what washers were for prior to this point! Sure I had assembled my fair share of Ikea furniture, and yes, I had used plenty of washers, but I only did so because the Allan Key mascot on the instructions told me to. Somewhere along the line, I had figured out something on my own. I had made a deduction!

Anyway, I'm sure there are four year old children who have figured this out long before I had, but hey, I figured out something!

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