When a Hammer is Not Enough...
So, this weekend I discovered why men love power tools. I've used some here and there in my day, but it was the work I did this weekend that allowed
me to see them in a new light. It also made me have a ton
more respect for all the men and women who spend their days doing construction.
My brother and I decided to put a metal roof on my fathers pole barn this weekend and this was the first time I've ever done such a thing, which,
being the weirdo I am, was very exciting. I learned a lot about roofing, but also enjoyed spending the time with my brother and dad.
The roofing sheets were (I believe) 14 ft. long and part of the prep work was to drill holes in them every 3 feet. This makes it easier to nail them
into the roof, having it done before hand. Yesterday we worked on half the roof and finished up the other half today. And that was my first power tool
use of the weekend...a drill. My brother marked where to drill and I followed behind him making the holes.
So, I did what I thought was normal (Tim the tool man normal I guess), I cranked up the power to max capacity and pushed hard into the steel. After a
few holes were drilled, the bit broke...got a replacement, same thing, the bit broke. After a third bit broke, my brother decided to give me some
direction. He told me that even though they are power tools, it doesn't mean you have to go full out. Telling me to ramp down the speed and let the
tool do the work for you. "Ok, no worries...I can do that." And it worked, I got the rest of the holes drilled without any issues.
I finished that while my brother put the underlay down and so, by the time I got the holes drilled, we were ready to lay the first metal sheet. He
pointed to the first pile and said to move them closer to the work site. "Ok, no problem, I can move those 14 foot sheets 100 feet closer to the work
area." And so I did, I took two at a time and dragged them across the lawn (This is a good leg/butt workout!). Then I had to lift them up and lean
them on the side of the building. This was another roadblock for me.
My brother let me struggle and fail a few times before he showed me the proper way. He showed me it wasn't really about strength, but more about
balance and finesse. You fold the sheets, lift them over your head, set them down at the proper distance and walk them up in place. I just couldn't
do it no matter how hard I tried and my dad ended up taking over that job. (I did manage one at the very end, because, I hate not being able to do
things and wasn't gonna walk away until I did it at least once.)
We got one side of the roof all tacked in place and then my brother gave me a screwdriver and told me to start at one end and he would start at the
other and we would meet in the middle. I honestly did not know any better and proceeded to screw in the screws by hand. A few minutes later I hear the
sound of a power tool. Zip, zip, zip...I look up and my brother is already on the second row of screws. I look down and I've only done 3...
Glancing down at my dad, he is barely containing his laughter as he hands me up a drill. After a second or two pause, because, I realized I just
got pranked, I continued with my task. My brother hears my drill going, looks up and yells "I wondered how long it would take ya" as he and my dad
start to laugh outright. I did not laugh...
Anyhow, I learned a lot yesterday...and we finished up the roof today. One really valuable lesson that I learned though, was respect for power tools
and the people who know how to use them. At every opportunity my brother made me use a "hammer" when a hammer just wasn't enough. Teaching me to
not only understand what it was to do the work without the proper tools, but also showing me that it wasn't always about "more power" and just to
let the tool do what it was made to do, because trying to force it to do what you want usually yields poor results....