Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Power Tool Lust

When my folks arrived Friday afternoon, my mom presented me with a birthday card. In it was a handwritten message saying, "Let's make a trip to the hardware store, or wherever, & we'll get some supplies for you."

Grateful isn't half the word for it, but I was stumped. I'd gotten the shop vac at Home Depot last Tuesday. Thursday night at Lowe's, I'd picked up few little things I needed for the carpet-lifting job. I didn't have the leisure while they were there to calculate the amount of stripper, sandpaper, etc., I'm going to need to tackle the wood stripping job. So nothing I needed right away would come to mind.

We went out sight-seeing on Saturday, and late that afternoon, I was no closer to a decision. But I had to think of something. There wasn't much time before we had to go home to change to go out to dinner, and my mom and stepdad were leaving right after lunch on Sunday afternoon. What, oh what, could I really use?

"The only thing I can think of," I mused, "is my rubber mallet is falling apart. I could really use a new rubber mallet."

But I got the feeling my mom was thinking of something more than a rubber mallet.

I thought out loud about the new sink I want to get to replace the inconvenient one I have now, but that didn't seem quite the right thing.

And then I got a mental picture of the 2nd floor hallway floor with the carpet newly removed. In my mind's eye I saw the paint drips, the indifferent finish, the irregular surface. I could see the potential in the flooring and its grain. And I remembered that my old sheet sander gave out two years ago. All I have now is a little Black & Decker Mouse.

It was an inspiration.

"Well, I could really use a belt sander . . . "

So we made a slight diversion to the local Lowe's. And after consulting with the clerk, a belt sander it was, an Hitachi SB-75. And when my step-dad presented me with the box, I had the strangest feeling. I've seen something like it described by other housebloggers. I can only describe it as power tool lust.

It's a feeling of intoxication and power that goes beyond knowing you now have the means to do a certain job and do it better. It's heady and non-rational and can hardly be explained. It doesn't come with cute little portable drills, blow-dryer-calibre heat guns, and Mouse sanders. No, power tool lust requires the sort of horsepower that'd pull a large beer wagon and enough amperage to brown out a small Kansas village.

It surged through me at Lowe's on Saturday afternoon. I suppressed it suitably, as befits my age and position, but it was there. I've kept it under control since then thinking of the prep work I'll need to do before any floor sanding can begin. Will the thrill revive when I actually get down to using this ten-pound monster? We shall see.

Whether or not, thank you to my mom and stepfather both for this useful tool. I shall think of you when I am making things beautiful in my boring beige house.

And thank you as well for the rubber mallet. It'll come in handy for bopping myself on the Kopf if power tool lust blinds my senses when I'm trying to get things done.

1 comment:

Old House Gazette said...

Mmmm... power tools........