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Sigh! (happy sigh)

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posted on Jan, 17 2020 @ 09:23 PM
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About 14 years ago my Dad called me up and said I needed to come get all the tools.

My wife was like "Cool!...what do we need, a couple of boxes??" I told her no, we probably needed at least one semi, possibly two. She freaked out! It took two. When everything was packed and loaded it was 90,000 lbs. It took months to unpack and find a place for everything, but eventually I got it all organized, set up and stowed neatly. It took an entire three car garage, and half of the basement. I had taken an entire construction company of tools!

For the longest time, my beautiful bride would say..."Okay, you'll never need to buy another tool again, as long as you live, right?

Well, not exactly, and so more tools came over the years. Power tools, mechanics tools; all manner of tools. And every time a new tool would show up my bride would say..."You've got ENOUGH tools!! How could you possibly need more????" Well, I did, and that's all there was to it. Then we bought the ranch, and I needed even bigger tools.

Fast forward to our wholesale kitchen remodel. Pretty soon all of those tools started coming out. I think I used every tool I ever had, and even needed a few I had to buy. About the only tools I didn't use was my 110 lb jackhammer, the oxygen-acetylene torches and some steel drift pins for aligning structural steel members.

In time, she saw the value of every one of those tools. At first they were just in the way of a clean kitchen, but over time she probably used half of them herself. She learned the difference between different kinds of hammers and mallets, different kinds of chisels, different kinds of saws...and even became proficient at using many of them herself. Bottom line, she began to understand why there are so many different variations of tools. And THANKFULLY, she then understood why a pair of pliers are not a hammer, and why different sized screw bits matter (a LOT). In short, she became a great team member in the whole process!

Before this project my bride never understood why I was so anal about putting my tools away all the time, always in the exact same bag or spot. In the mass confusion of lumber everywhere, and multiple activities going on in different places, she finally understood. I showed her an example; I assigned a tape measure to her, and her only...wrote her name on it even. After she lost it for the 17th time, she suddenly realized the value of putting things back where they belong. Always.

I gave her increasingly larger projects to do. And, she did all of them well. Suddenly, she wanted a place to put some of "her" tools. Okay, we made that happen. She was happy.

Tonight, I began to haul all of my tools back down into the basement, or out into the barn, where they belong (long term). It was a lot. I was really proud to see all of the tools were where they belonged, in the right bag or pouch. All the screwdrivers and bits put away, all the saws, and blades in their places, all the hammers organized, the bags of screws and wire nuts where they belonged. Everything organized, just how it should be.

I doubt I will ever do a more comprehensive remodeling project than "we've" done on this kitchen in my lifetime. I'll build a new house around a kitchen before I ever do this again, but we got it done. "WE" did...and that's pretty cool.

I learned that rather than getting mad and frustrated, it was better for me to explain exactly what we were doing, what could go wrong, what to watch out for...and why things were important. Sometimes, in construction, it's the simplest stupid little things which are so critically important, things like a backer-wrench on a pipe joint, or teflon tape on threads, or flux on a solder joint....or why a really straight cut on a board matters so much. Heck even things like the difference between a "neutral" and a "ground' in an electrical circuit. I explained all the wiring diagrams, and why they were important, why some circuits were 2-pole and others single...everything.

She got so good that one time I forgot something, and we had to cut a wall open again. She was like "No problem", and she adjusted the circular saw down to a 15/32" cut on the fence, asked me to lay it out, and started cutting...then took a utility knife and cut the remaining piece of 1/2" drywall out (just like a pro), without scoring the studs! I was beaming!

So, as I put my tools away tonight, all those echos of... "why do you need so many tools???...are long past. Now the biggest question I get is .... how do I change this bit / blade??"

Life is good!!

P.S. I love that girl!! She can drive me crazy sometimes, but I love her more than life itself most of the time!!
edit on 1/17/2020 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 17 2020 @ 09:35 PM
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Wow, he must have had a bigger company, I only got maybe a semi trailer of tools, packed to the roof of course. Not including the tractors, the dump truck, and the equipment trailor of course. I actually got rid of maybe a half semi of tools and supplies when I sold my shop. I gave lots of them away to people I know and family. I had a lot of antique tools in what I gave away, I did keep some though.

Well, maybe a semi and my flat bed trailer full, I do have some bigger stuff like compactors and power trowels that won't fit easily in the semi, plus the huge brake and chainsaw sawmill. I need to divide my tools up to the kids so I got room to park in a garage, darn lift takes so much room. Maybe better make that two semis and a trailor, forgot about the three compressors and three generators and all the different welders and tools for pulling engines and transmissions.

Damn, was I OCD with collecting tools. Even the camper is full of tools.
That is what happens when buying tools is tax deductible.
edit on 17-1-2020 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2020 @ 09:44 PM
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So perhaps some music is in order here...




posted on Jan, 17 2020 @ 10:04 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

We actually had one of the biggest steel building companies in North America from 1974 to 1989. Numerous awards. There was probably (50) semi loads of tools and equipment sold off or auctioned before it got distilled down to what was left. We had like 5 tractor trailers (which I was a driver of), backhoes (580's and 680 Case's), cranes, forklifts, pole trucks, numerous service trucks, flatbeds, probably about (30) pickup trucks, and then there were vans, specialty trucks like welding rigs. We also ran some winch trucks for the oilfields (our biggest customer), heavy haul trailers.

Had (2) airplanes, a Cessna P210, and a Beechcraft King Air F 90-1 (model 200) (which I flew, not certified but collecting hours in the right seat).

All that is gone now. It was a different time, and I really don't miss it all that much. So this post is just about some tools.

I do just wish I had that big Clark forklift now! That bad-boy was awesome! (That was one of the first things to sell too!!)

edit on 1/17/2020 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2020 @ 10:27 PM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
a reply to: rickymouse

We actually had one of the biggest steel building companies in North America from 1979 to 1989. Numerous awards. There was probably (50) semi loads of tools and equipment sold off or auctioned before it got distilled down to what was left. We had like 5 tractor trailers (which I was a driver of), backhoes (580's and 680 Case's), cranes, forklifts, pole trucks, numerous service trucks, flatbeds, probably about (30) pickup trucks, and then there were vans, specialty trucks like welding rigs. We also ran some winch trucks for the oilfields (our biggest customer), heavy haul trailers.

Had (2) airplanes, a Cessna P210, and a Beechcraft King Air F 90-1 (model 200) (which I flew, not certified but collecting hours in the right seat).

All that is gone now. It was a different time, and I really don't miss it all that much. So this post is just about some tools.

I do just wish I had that big Clark forklift now! That bad-boy was awesome! (That was one of the first things to sell too!!)


Yeah, he was a big contractor like some of the guys I know. I only had one or sometimes two crews and the woodshop. I suppose he kept the stuff he figured he would need for the rest of his life and still have them to hand down to the kids. I liked to work on the job with the guys because I liked to do that kind of work. I would spend three hours after working all day with the crew setting up the trucks and doing paperwork. The second crew was usually just one or two guys touching up stuff and finishing up little things after the main crew came threw. All I really sold after I got hurt was the brake for bending the aluminum stock for eves and windows. I still have my builders license but am not going to renew it in March, I will never be able to do that work anymore, I finally accepted that my condition is permanent and it severely limits me being able to work on any kind of schedule at all and limits my ability to safely use power tools most days.



posted on Jan, 17 2020 @ 11:50 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

When times started to get lean, in the early 90's after the great Rocky Mountain west energy boom crashed, it was slim pickin's. We had a good name/reputation, but there just wasn't the investment base to support it anymore. It was a good ride, but it was pretty much over. We worked with Texaco for several years out in Red Desert on gas transmission and drilling, but eventually they capped most of that.

It was time to downsize and sell. I was in college back in the mid 80's, and didn't have a lot of time to spend with the family business. We got into home building for a while, but that was kind of a bust business. Kind of heartbroken about that, but I'm not sure what I could have done better. Dad retired, and I went to work in aviation / space (NASA, Lockheed Martin, etc). When I got out of college, all anyone wanted me to do was work heavy construction, so I worked as a layout engineer for several years. Dad and I always said we'd get back into it, but time waits for no man.

One day I got the call to come get all the tools. Dad was too old, and I had long since embarked on a different career. It was with a heavy heart that I went and picked all that stuff up 1,500 miles away. But it did make me feel good listening to all the mover dudes grumbling about how heavy every single box and article was! It also made me feel good that it really was (2) tractor trailer loads, and not one.

I don't know if I could do it again, like I used to...but it's reassuring to know I won't be wont of tools if I ever had to! I think I might still be able to swing some iron, but I'm not so sure about bolting up at height anymore. Anymore, I get to feeling real puny above about 25-30 feet off the floor, and my balance for walking steel isn't so great anymore. Bottom line; I'm more fragile now. I guess I'm just gettin' old.



posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 12:42 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

all my dad left me was a push bike and a watch the watch is priceless to me



posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 01:34 AM
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a reply to: Steveogold

Well, don't forget; I was the guy who got flogged with those tools for 20 years. I was the guy who couldn't do anything right, no matter what, with those tools. I was the guy who had to scrape, clean and oil every one of those tools when everyone else forgot to do it (or was too lazy to do it). I was the guy who had to track down every single one of those tools when one of them went missing. I was the lackey who had to repair all those tools when they were damaged or broken.

In the end, I knew every single one of those tools better than anyone else in the entire company! Because...everything was my fault, even when it wasn't! That's just how it was. I knew how to get the absolute best performance out of every single one of them...or else it was my fault.

One thing I can say is, no one ever made jokes about me being the owner's son and getting a free ride because that's just not how it was. Everyone else started out on level ground. I started out in a hole about 20 feet deep.

I loved my Dad, and I respected him no matter what, but he had no mercy on me. I got the crappiest, must unrelenting, job every single time. I remember the first time I ever heard the US Navy SEAL mantra..."The only easy day was yesterday"...and I thought to myself...you know, I've been feeling like that for a really long time now.

Honestly, it made me a better man because of it. Now I solve the hardest problems first, and never take the low-hanging fruit, leaving it for others. I worry about the smallest details. If it doesn't feel right, it's not right. I am my biggest critic (and it drives my wife crazy). I wouldn't know all those things if it wasn't for him. The tools weren't as much a gift as they were a mechanism to get things done which needed to be done. His gift was the ethic, the skills and the mentality...not the tools.


edit on 1/18/2020 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 05:25 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
You are really lucky to live on an isolated farm. Well isolated, not in a town
When I was retiring I said to my wife "that's it then, I'm selling all my tools", she went ballistic and made me keep them. Since then my son have bought the house next door (both of them computer guys) and I ripped that apart and modernised it, done numerous jobs for other people. Now years down the line every so often a friend or family member wants something doing. And as I can't say no I get lumbered into the job.
But now my health stops me from doing a lot but my expertise is always being called on.
Question, have you ever been in a position like "come and show me what to do, I'll do the work", then after trying to tell them a number of times, you push them aside and say " move out of the way, it's easier for me to do the job than try and explain to you how to do it"?



posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 06:05 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
I take it that she's not being a grump and bitching at you any more.



posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 10:15 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

That explains why you want to remodel your kitchen and build things around your home. It is in your blood like it is in mine.

Farming is also in my blood, but all I can grow well is potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers here. I also like to go pick wild berries when they are in season. Because I grew up on a farm every summer for the first fifteen years of my life. We grew a lot of veggies, and my dad had cows and chickens when I was young, but it was too hard to get to our farm in the winter to take care of the animals, we got lots of snow in the winter and the power would go out and the chickens died when we couldn't get there for four days because the roads were plugged solid. It is rare now to have the power go out for four days, back forty years ago it was common. Most people had a secondary heat source when they lived out in the country.

I want to build on my property, but With my epilepsy and hypoglycemia, I cannot do most things, low blood sugar from eating a diet to control my epilepsy makes me very tipsy a lot, I cannot do ladders and height work anymore. Bummer, I always loved heights. So now I need something to do so I study food chemistry and pharmacology. Medicine was my original goal in life, I would have been a doctor if I didn't go to that class the teacher called economics of being a doctor, medicine 101. The class was taught by someone approved by the AMA I listened to a couple of the seminars and quit medicine. I was under the impression that doctors did what they did to help people that are in need, evidently they were recruiting people that wanted money.



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