• tami@southerngritandgrain

You Can't Do That! :)

Once upon a long time ago back in the day, I was first beginning to use my one and only tool; a jigsaw. I lived in an old trailer house, yes, I said trailer house and not the PC "manufactured home". Aren't all homes manufactured? Anyway, this place had aluminum windows that were pretty much flush with the walls; no window sill what-so-ever. So, I drove my car the 6 miles into town to the lumber yard. This was the first of many trips and the guys at the lumber yard would eventually come to just laugh and ask, "what ya makin' now?". And don't let anyone tell you, you cannot carry 1x12's 10' long in a car! I have been known to carry as many boards sticking out of my car window than you could carry in a pick up. Well almost. You just have to make sure no one is standing beside your car before you make a left turn... Once I had toted the boards home and measured them out, I proceeded to rip those suckers to the width I needed. Did I mention, I only had one tool? I didn't have a pair of saw horses or even a table. I used the concrete steps in front of the door. Not a porch, just steps only about 24" wide. Without clamps you really have to get creative while stepping on or even sitting on the board while running that jigsaw the length of the boards. I think there were around 12 windows in total. I can't attest to how straight the cuts were but the cut side went on the inside anyway. They were stained a pretty oak tone, back when oak was all the rage. I thought they looked pretty good! I proudly showed off my handy work to my machinist/wood worker/make anything dad. He also thought they looked pretty good or so he said. He then asked, "wha'd ya use to rip them boards?". "My jigsaw", I said. Although funny, the words that then came out of his mouth were a mystery. "You can't do that", he said. Ummm, I just did. I guess his incredulity interfered with what his eyes were seeing which ended up coming out of his mouth but we both had a good laugh. That was a good 30 years ago and I have learned a lot since then. I have carried many a board in, on, through and in the back of many vehicles. Went through several jigsaws. Measured more than twice and still cut more than once. There are so many great tools out there and I could spend as much time in a hardware store checking out the new stuff as I could in a clothing store! But the moral of this story is; if you really want to make something you probably can. It doesn't take the best or the greatest or the most. If fact, starting out with few tools helped me to learn to modify and adapt in ways I might not have if I had had all the latest and greatest tools. I found this to be true in most areas in life as well. So don't be limited in your creativity. You can do it!