Daily Archives: July 7, 2009

There will be blood

While I’m on the topic of power tools, let me take a moment to make clear: I am scared to death of them. My table saw, my mitre saw, my drill press… they’re all of them trying to kill me, but are all perfectly willing to settle for a simple serious maiming. No matter what Master Carpenter Norm Abram might say, a pair of safety glasses just aren’t gonna be enough in the face of such determined opposition.

We’re getting chickens in two weeks, and if they’re going to have comparatively better living accommodations than we do, then some person’s gonna have to get to building it. Until Sara puts the knitting down (never…) that person is me. So on Sunday I made an appointment to do the Dance of Death with the table saw. Not already satisfied that it could kill me all kinds of adequate as it is, I started by removing the regular murder blade and replaced it with a quarter inch stacked dado. Before I even got close to it though, I first shut the power switch off, pulled the safety lock out, swallowed it, unplugged it from the wall, cut off the power cord and took an axe to the power cable coming in to the house.

Don’t know what a dado blade is? Let me explain it to you. A regular saw blade cuts wood by chipping away at it, producing a narrow cut. A dado blade is essentially a whole bunch of regular saw blades stacked together, and it doesn’t actually cut wood, it dismantles it at the atomic level. All the sawdust that’s created in the process isn’t actually from the “cut”. It’s the wood crapping itself out of fear.

After I made sure my will and life insurance payments were up to date, I set about making all the framing pieces for the coop. The dado blade was for the twenty or so lap joints I needed to cut, which at the moment represent the pinnacle of my woodworking prowess. Really. I didn’t even know they were called lap joints until I googled them 18 seconds ago.  I got it al done in three sessions (to keep the saw confused and disoriented), broken up by lunch, a snack, and ending with an hour of watching Hulu. That’s right. I work hard and I play hard. (Disclaimer: I work smart. And I don’t really play hard. That’s too much like work.)

Now I need a few days to recover before I try assembling everything. I spent three hours spent with a soulless killing machine that wants me dead and got no satisfaction. Score: Patrick, one chicken coop; table saw, zero dismembering.  But there is little to celebrate. This just means it’s gonna more determined next time, and it knows I have a deck to build.