Men Are Creators and Builders

I came across an article the other day that put me in a bit of a grim mood about our society’s current situation.  Home Depot is apparently starting to teach classes on how to use basic construction items such as a measuring tape, hammer and nails, and even mops. (full article here).  Apparently, the millennial generation is so inept at even basic construction projects that Home Depot is afraid they’ll face massive financial losses as the next generation will opt for hiring contractors for even basic projects instead of taking the DIY approach.

Men, I don’t need to tell you this is downright pathetic.  I don’t expect every man to be expert plumbers and electricians, but if you don’t know how to use a measuring tape by the age of 13, we need to sit down and have a talk.

Men, throughout history have been creators and builders.  Building is hardwired into our very DNA.  Give a boy a box of Lego’s or an Erector set and they will instinctively begin tinkering with it and soon be creating incredibly imaginative structures from them.

Where has is drive to build gone?

Has it been bred out of modern men or is it a product of poor parenting?

In the end, the answers to the questions matter less than the fact that we must reverse this trend.  More so, you must instill the love to build and create in your own son.

But where to begin?

Make it Fun

Instead of approaching it like a school lesson, think of something your son has been wanting, a tree house for example, and bring them into the project.  Show them what each tool you’re using is and what it does.  Instruct them on how to safely use each tool and let them take a crack at using it under your close supervision.  Start off with the basic hand tools:

  • Hammer and nails
  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Wrench
  • Hand saw
  • Pliers
  • Level

As they get more comfortable with using the tools, let them start their own project.  Help them plan it out, show them some of the problems they might encounter, and create a list of the items they’ll need to finish them project.  After that, hand them the reins and offer guidance when needed.

Naturally, proper safety protocol should be your first concern, but allow your kid to experiment and tinker.  Trust me from personal experience, a young boy with a stack of 2×4’s, some plywood, and plenty of nails can keep himself entertained for days.

Show Them the Benefits

As they get older and more capable, introduce your son to power tools.  The risk of an injury is higher with these types of tools than with basic hand tools, so be careful and teach them all the safety guidelines.  If you catch them not handling the tools with the proper respect, don’t hesitate on taking them away until they can demonstrate that they can use them in safely.  Teach them to use power tools like you would teach them to operate a firearm; no goofing off when they’re involved.

If your son has grown up working with hand tools, then they’ll quickly pick up on how to use power tools as they serve the same function, just at a faster rate of speed.  As before, encourage them to help you with projects around the house as well as projects of their own.

Working on basic construction projects around the house will show them how to save thousands of dollars doing things for themselves instead of hiring someone else to do it for them.  By their mid to late teens your son should know some of the following skills:

  • How to frame a wall.
  • How to lay down carpet/tile/hardwood.
  • How to cut and install drywall.
  • How to install a light/ceiling fixture.
  • How to build/fix basic pieces of furniture.

Just knowing this small list will allow them to accomplish many, many construction projects around the house as a lot of the skills involved are easily transferable to other, similar projects.

For example, I’ve never cut or laid tile before this weekend, but due to the many construction skills I’ve already learned in the past, the transition to working with tile was relatively seamless.

Conclusion

Learning some basic DIY construction skills takes time, patience, and some trail and error.  Teach your son it’s okay to make mistakes as long as they learn what they did wrong and how to not repeat the same mistake next time.

Your son will come beaming with pride with his creations in hand.  Encourage him.  Foster that desire to build and create.  If the trend continues, our society will need more men like them.

Author: Jak

Jak, married and father of three, seeks to help the Red-Pill Community take its next step past the petty cynicism and ineffectual anger. While he recognizes that men are significantly handicapped by the modern legal system and culture, he doesn’t accept that traditional marriage is untenable in today’s social climate.

Rather, men must be willing to adapt to this new world by implementing new tactics and approaches to maintaining a balance of power. Jak is here to provide you with these lessons.

  • NemesisEnforcer

    Yet another argument to tell your children to pursue a trade. There is a fortune to be made off of people who literally just can’t even.

    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

      getting upset about the real world is just time spent not monetizing it.

      • Jim Johnson

        Still, I have a hard time figuring out a use for the soyfags. I suppose they do us a service by removing themselves from the gene pool.

        • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          soyfags have disposable income and spend it on stupid shit. They don’t need to be useful. Just sell them something they don’t need and take their money.

          • Jim Johnson

            video game consuls?

            • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

              Sure. or, like the narrator in fight club says:

              blown green glass dishes with the tiny bubbles and imperfections, little bits of sand, proof they were crafted by the honest, simple, hard-working indigenous aboriginal people of wherever

              30 dollar coffee mugs made by a Mormon? Shit, its all in the marketing.

            • cheeseburgercheeseburger

              i would love to work at the video game consulate- work with ambassadors Mario and Luigi

              • Jim Johnson

                spell checker foiled me again

          • dckhead_con_artist

            what if they became Kratom Fags? or is that self-destructive for a soyfag?

        • cheeseburgercheeseburger

          “soylent green is….SOY FAGS?!?!?!”

          • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

            Soylent Queen.

            • bem

              bravo

              • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

                I’m actually rather surprised it sat there that long and nobody snatched it up first.

      • Iattacku
        • dckhead_con_artist

          that’s a rare Andy Warhol abstract neither oil or water based. Auction price set @ $1,500,000.

          • Iattacku

            say that this piece represents the empty canvas of life that starts at infanthood. you can get it to sell for a high price.

          • bem

            I thought it was a Beatles album

  • dckhead_con_artist

    June 1990, all students at state colleges were required to take 1 credit hour of “university studies” where they taught how to properly roll a condom onto a banana.

    • cheeseburgercheeseburger

      easy “A”!!!!

      • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

        Easy “D” too

    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

      I had to take a 1 credit hour class where I learned the Dewey decimal system, how to stick to a budget and a few other things…we went over STDs no actual props

      • Jim Johnson
      • dckhead_con_artist

        back then you could catch AIDS by sticking your tongue into a girl’s ear.

        • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          look at the person to your left and look at the person to your right….statistically both of them already have aids and so do you. Welcome to the 90’s

    • bem

      fuk! even the fruit was getting more action that me!

      • dckhead_con_artist

        I was so envious of that banana…he was about to get a handjob and a blowjob.

  • cheeseburgercheeseburger

    how does one not know how to use a mop?

    the future:

    https://johnkennethmuir.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/idiocracy3.jpg

  • Monsieur de Charette

    I’ll let building furniture to furniture builders. I’m so clumsy I would end up crucifying myself.

    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)
      • Monsieur de Charette

        You blasphemous twat.

        • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          it’s ok because jesus wasn’t actually a carpenter nor was he the son of one. The greek work used in the gospels is Tekton…which kind of means a builder but is more general….think day laborer. The lowest form of manual labor.

          • dckhead_con_artist

            Jesus’ donkey vs FORD F-150 Crew Cab. It’s always about status isn’t it ?

            • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

              turns water into diesel

          • Monsieur de Charette

            Interesting. There seems to be a debate going on.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tekt%C5%8Dn

            • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

              It is an interesting debate. I side with the day laborer side as I think the word is a better translation of the ancient greek and also fits better with the context of Jesus having come from the lowest classes. A carpenter would have been a skilled craftsman and commanded respect and decent money. The tekton would be the guy the carpenter hires to lug wood around and clean his tools.

              • Too bad he wasn’t the son of a preacher man.

                • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                  A sweet talkin’ son of a preacher man?

              • Monsieur de Charette

                I won’t side on this as I do not speak ancient Greek nor Hebrew, and I would ask you to be gentle with my brain for the days to come please, for I’m currently recovering from a tour in probably one of the world’s most unhygienic and idiotic country of the world. Truly my I.Q must have been multiplied by 0.5
                God bless French civilization is all I have to say.

                • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                  ugh. terrible. Someone I know is in paris now and staying in the 18th and said it is like being in Senegal. wtf

                  • Monsieur de Charette

                    It is true.
                    I have observed in its natural habitat the kind of people we’re importing en masse. They’re openly pooping in the streets in their own Vaterland. I can’t imagine what they can do in someone else’s country.

                    • cheeseburgercheeseburger

                      I hear great things about Marseilles though!

                    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                      The French need a king like Henri IV again. He was such a bad ass that the national anthem went

                      Vive Henri quatre
                      Vive ce Roi vaillant
                      Ce diable à quatre
                      A le triple talent
                      De boire et de battre
                      Et d’être un vert galant
                      De boire et de battre
                      Et d’être un vert galant

                      This translates roughly to
                      Long Live Henry The Fourth
                      Long Live this valiant King
                      This four fold devil
                      with three talents
                      of drinking, fighting
                      and womanizing

                    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                      So wild. Back in 98 when I stayed on Boulevard Raspail, in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of the 6th for a while it was perfect. Like an old black and white movie. Everyone was beautiful and sophisticated, the city was amazing. I simply can’t imagine.

                • bem

                  You went to Detroit?

          • bem

            The important thing to take away from this is that it proves beyond a doubt that Jesus was Jewish. After all, he went into his father’s business.

            • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

              ha. yup. It would prove he was a greek or a wop if he didn’t go into any business and lived in a basement apartment of an investment property that his hard working father bought years before calling himself the super and having no living expenses so any money he did make can go directly into toys and strippers. It would prove he was a mick if he joined a union, worked 11 hours a week but got paid for 200 hours a week and actually claimed to be exhausted from his 20 hour days

              • bem

                A more obscure theory which is gaining support is that Jesus was Mexican, because, well, he’s Jesus.

              • bem

                I ever tell you about that guy I knew who was a typesetter at the Post and owned an airplane at 39?

                • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                  Nope but yeah I can see it. I’ve known loads of guys who really posh lifestyles. Funny how much more affordable life is when you don’t have any living expenses and can convince your parents to allow you to draw an under the books salary and you have an uncle who has a construction business who also pays you off the books for part time work where you really don’t do much of anything anyway

                  • bem

                    Right. Don’t know how much of a parental leach my guy was, but damn he knew how to game the system. I tell ya – unions have their excesses and this joker exploited every single one of them to his advantage!

                    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                      It really is funny. I knew a guy who was a welder in local 1 (plumbers union) who had xray certs and worked on gas lines at the airport. Between over time, hazard pay, time in, the additional certs he made more money than most lawyers — especially if prorated for the amount of time he actually spent at work (and especially especially if you prorate for how much time he spent at work sober). I remember one election day the guy put in like 4 hours but got paid for 20 at something like 125 an hour. The funniest part is that he would always complain how tired he was from working. I invented a name long ago but have since forgot for the mental illness specific to union employees where they feel tired in relation to hour paid rather than hours worked.

                    • bem

                      Well shit at least your guy theoretically performed ‘work’ while working. My example was a vestigial typesetter: You see, the typesetter’s union’s contract dated back to when they used lineotype machines, which needed a given number of bodies per press. 15 years later the same job was done by one person, so they’d take turns to see who actually stayed while the other two punched in and then left to other jobs or recreations.

                    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                      hilarious

    • At 17, I built a small kitchen table that I took to my apartment when I went to college. Wood base and support column with a tile top. Looked pretty good for a kid who just had an idea of what he wanted and mocked up the plans on his own. Don’t sell yourself short, Monsieur or I’ll have to bring out your favorite buddy. Heh.

      • Monsieur de Charette

        Impossible. It is dead. I left It to die in the desert.

        Where is Goj, by the way ? I have some firearms related questions to ask him.

        • Oh he’s around somewhere.

        • Boothe

          Ask away. I may be able to help you. I have a rudimentary understanding of the ballistic arts. 😉

          • Monsieur de Charette

            Why thank you. Here’s my first question :
            how can I train for long range precision shooting, without having access to long range shooting facilities ?

            • That’s actually a question I’m interested in knowing the answer for as well.

            • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

              Hmmm, that’s actually a really good question. Not having to hide my shooting (because ‘Murica) I’ve only ever done it outside on the live range. There was a machine that they had in the military, and goodness knows I can’t recall it’s name right now, that helped hone shooting skills inside, but this was the mid 1980’s and for all I know it no longer exists. Some other military type here might recall the name of it, maybe? It was rather large though, not something I think you’re going to sneak into an apartment successfully given as it would require a moving truck to transport it.

              • Monsieur de Charette

                I must precise that the farest I can shoot in a civilian facility near where I live is at 82 ft.
                I guess I could practice on very small targets.
                If you have any idea of training routines to suggest. They are welcome.
                I’m preparing for my marksman’s course beginning in one month.

                • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

                  Yeah, small targets, like pistol qualifying 15ft targets (or anything around that range) set out at 75 feet or the end of your range. This will probably help with shot placement, etc. but it’s not going to account for real life range variables like wind, parallax etc. that you’ll get on a real life range, nor any kind of movement of the target (we used to practice on targets with blown up balloons pinned with a very short string lead to the top of the black circles that would bobble in the wind).

                • Sir Lee

                  Perhaps, use a .22?
                  Not a fan – but I have read, IIRC, pro instructors are doing it.
                  Can simulate drop etc…

                • UWOTM8

                  There are apps that you can use to familiarize yourself with the physics and then practice depending on the cartridge. Try that out to get the basics at least.

            • Boothe

              There will be no real substitute for actual long range shooting because calculating bullet drop and wind drift and learning to compensate for them (and even more obscure things like heat waves interfering with your sight picture) can’t be simulated at short range with a scaled down targett. That being said, you can practice at short range with a small target like the Army still does. There is a special short range target for the 5.56 NATO cartridge designed specifically for that purpose which closely approximates bullet drop, but that’s about all.
              I’m in the same boat as you. The longest range I have access to is 100 yards, which is fine for sighting in a deer rifle. But if by long range precision you mean 600, 800 or 1000 yards, you will have to actually practice at those ranges to become proficient. I’m sorry, I wish there was another way but to the best of my knowledge there isn’t.

            • NemesisEnforcer

              Define “not having access”? Also, define “long range.” IN the Marines, we trained to shoot up to 500 yards with the M-16, but most civilian ranges I am aware of in my neck of the woods only go out to about 200, which is only the first stage of fire, but still probably longer than most are likely to shoot in most scenarios.

              Do you mean no access to long range shooting within a 15 minute drive? Understandable. But if you’re willing to make a day of it, I would find it hard to believe that you cannot get out to somewhere that you can shoot long range. Even in my libtardtopia, I can get out to places where I can go to 200 within an hour or so, and military ranges may let you go out further.

              Many don’t know it, but there are often civilian shooting clubs that are allowed to take advantage of military ranges. For example: http://www.quanticoshootingclub.com/
              You may have to jump through some hoops to join, but that may be an option. Also, don’t forget to ping manosphere folks who live within driving range and have some land. Some of these guys may be able to let you train in their backyard.

            • Murdoc34

              I’m so clumsy I would end up crucifying myself.

              how can I train for long range precision shooting

              I can’t see anything wrong with this plan at all.

              • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                HA!

        • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Bonjour. Hope you’re doing well!

          What can I help you with?

  • Jim Johnson

    This is a reason to buy some cool car older than I am

    • dckhead_con_artist

      I learned how to change timing belts, accessory belts, oil changes, water pump and rad leaks, hoses, re-building a transmission (not a tranny), diagnosing electrical shorts, troubleshooting sensors, and learning OBD codes and what they mean, by buying a 1999 Jaguar with only 50,000 miles on it.

      • First car was a 78 Volare affectionately coined “the ghetto tank” by my friends. I learned how to replace the tires, brake pads, all the fluids, fix the carburetor, bondo holes, prime & paint, replace the alternator, and taught myself some of the finer aspects like adding lights, subwoofers, and painting the interior vinyl trim.

        • dckhead_con_artist

          Big Pimpin !

        • cheeseburgercheeseburger

          Volare was a Tony Benett tune, not a car

          • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

            hey there paley Deano….not Benett…some old greaseball from the other side actually wrote it though.

            • cheeseburgercheeseburger

              either way, it was a song, not a car

              • bem

                Best arrangement of that song EVER:

                • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                  no matter how good it is the guy is def gonna wind up on….skid row

                  • bem

                    ….

                • cheeseburgercheeseburger

                  dont remember The Nanny’s name, but she might be the sexiest jewish broad of all time

                  • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

                    Fran Drescher? Of screw that noise, she was ok, but that voice was enough to lower any woman’s HB value by a solid 5 points. It was the military was using her to experiment with vocal torture devices or something.

                  • bem

                    Fran Drescher.
                    Yes as long as she doesn’t speak.

                  • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

                    Rachel Wiesz (sp) of the original The Mummy, I think, takes the hottest Jew chick award, imho.

                    • bem

                      gimme Padme-vintage Natalie Portman for that category.

                    • cheeseburgercheeseburger

                      built like a boy. thanks for reminding of those horrid flicks…”Oh Anni…” cringeworthy stuff

                    • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

                      Yeah, something about a girl that is built like a girl is so appealing. The pre-pubescent boy thing….not really my style.

                    • bem

                      y’think? I thought she had some boobs an shit. OK – you want Joo Boobs? how ’bout Natasha Lyone?

                    • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

                      I just did a search because I may be thinking of the wrong girl. The “very young” pics are ok-ish. She seems to be turning into Skeletor though as time passes. I don’t get a lot from her to be honest. I guess technically she isn’t *devoid* of breasts, but she really….eh…..nah, I’m good, somebody else can have her.

                      https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/4d/84/6a/4d846a3125700b823669f17912e2c83c.jpg

                    • cheeseburgercheeseburger

                      dont know her.

                    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                      Very hot. I am not 100% sure if she is jewish but if she is I give the nod to Audrey Tautou (in her prime)

                    • bem

                      Yes! a lot of Audrey Tautou!

                      Ms. Portman is from Isreal AND SYOSSET!

                    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                      ha. everyone from long island is from long island AND someowhere else. 7th generation in Mineola “I’m Sicilian”

                    • bem

                      Like so many other quirks, it took a little distance for me to notice that they/we DO tend to dwell on race and ethnicity, which is of course hilarious because the ‘Islandia’ is in fact the dominant trait….

                    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                      It’s so funny. Island folk also will force a race/ethnicity out of you

                      Long Island Person: Where are you from

                      Me: New York

                      LIP: Yeah but where are you from

                      Me: Brooklyn

                      LIP: yeah but where are you from

                      Me: Bushwick

                      LIP: Where are you parents from

                      ME: New York

                      LIP: where are your grand parents from

                      ME: New York

                      They will go on forever until they get something of ethnicity out of you and then they will lump you directly into a sterotype. While I am in no way a fan of Jon Stewart and really freaking hate Samantha bee this segment really hit the nail on the head

                      http://www.cc.com/video-clips/kctbhb/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-long-island-wants-to-secede

                    • cheeseburgercheeseburger

                      colin quinn has a new special on netflix i think; he slams every ethnic group. hes good like that, nice brooklyn kid

                    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                      Oh ill check that out. Always found him funny

                    • bem

                      “10 miles, 3 1/2 hours by car”…..
                      Oh and its true…..no answer is specific enough, especially when it comes to City Folk. It took me a while to analyze it, but we’re all somehow ashamed of not being from the city! I mean think about it – two guys are in Iowa, getting out of a car with NY plates on it – who’s getting more respect, the guy from The Bronx or the guy from Melville?

                    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                      That is likely it! And the specific is great. Italian isn’t even enough. Are you a Calabrese? Ffs! My grandfather was born 6 miles from here

                    • Dominus Antonius

                      She looked flawless in Episode II but rather busted in Episode III. Mr. Weinstein must’ve paid her a visit between films.

                    • cheeseburgercheeseburger

                      eh. is eva green from the bond movie jewish? I’d bump her to #1

                    • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

                      I have no idea and am too lazy to look it up. Heh.

                    • cheeseburgercheeseburger

                      enjoy

                    • bem

                      These creatures are NOT of Ashkenazi stock…

                    • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

                      There is like only 0.01% actual Semitic blood in any of those Aryan girls, lol, I think it’s weird how so many “Jews” are basically Europeans who had a Grandmother 10^n generations ago who traveled to Egypt on the Pyramid Cruise. But no doubt Jewish yeah, by modern definition.

                      I hold the similar opinion of blonde, blue eyed, tall, fair skinned, hairy muscular “Native Americans”.

                      It would be like me calling myself a Pict. Heh.

                    • I wouldn’t know the difference, but 1 and 3 were actually born and raised in Israel.

                    • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

                      And Thor would be born in New Mexico and call himself AmerInd. It just amuses me. The actual real Semitic type Jews must look at these Aryan types and think “Get the fuq oudda here” sometimes. Heh.

                    • Iattacku

                      what about natalie portman

        • John Galt

          A 1968 Ford galaxy 500 was my first. The $300 was worth the memories alone.

          • I spent $500 dollars on mine and about another $1000 to get it drive worthy. All in all, a good learning experience.

        • Dominus Antonius

          I fully restored my 1956 Chevy Bel Air with a new 350 c.i. engine and powerglide transmission. It got roughly 10 mpg and had to sell it around 2007 when gas prices in L.A. almost reached $5 per gallon. That being said, I have never needed to visit a mechanic since now that I know what I’m doing.

    • bem

      I highly recommend doing just that!

  • Boothe

    This is a subject near and dear to my heart. My father and both my grandfathers were fine craftsman. I have supported my own family primarily through the trades. This has been instilled in me from an early age. And not just how fix and build things but how to do so properly and how to use tools correctly. For that, I am forever grateful to the men that have mentored me along the way.

    And therein lies the problem with modern society; single mother households. Even growing up with strong masculine personalities around, I spent a lot of time with my mother and grandmother. They attempted to be a civilizing influence or in other words, a feminizing influence. Had it been left solely to them to raise me, it is highly unlikely that I would have learned even the rudimentary use of tools. Instead, I was provided with tools, building materials and metal stock, shown how to use them and told to “go play.”
    Once I reached a certain level of proficiency my grandfather taught me how to fire up the forge and work metal. My father taught me how to make my own knife. My uncle taught me how to wind an electrical transformer. And so much more! I can’t imagine I would have learned any of this had my mother been single and there had been no positive male influence in my life.

    I cannot stress the importance of teaching your sons the basic skills of craftsmanship enough! If you can fix things and build things you will always find work. As the Home Depot training series proves, there are plenty of people now who cannot or will not do the work. When they need it done they will be more than willing to pay those of us who can.

    • Indeed. I’m counting the days until I make my own forge and anvil at the house. Really want to make some knives and try my hand at a machete.

      • Boothe

        I have my grandfather’s forge, anvil and hand crank blower. I just have to find the time to set them up. I will probably pursue a career in custom metal work once I “retire”.

        • The plans I found online require a metal folding chair, cast iron skillet, and a hair dryer. Boom!

          • Boothe

            I have seen plans using an old truck rim for the bowl and a vacuum cleaner for the blower. I have a very nice electric centrifugal blower that would be ideal. But I will probably use the handcrank blower for sentimental reasons. I grew up with it. It sounds like a low pitched siren when you crank it up. Of course if I start doing serious production work, I will probably opt for a gas forge.

          • bem

            MacGyver could whip one up with any two of the three things you list.

      • MCGOO

        The best metal for a machete is an old lawnmower blade. This guy makes a fantastic bushwhacker from a mulching blade:

        http://youtu.be/0iyB7Lw7-p4

        He has to use a forge to get the twists out of the ends and flatten it. I don’t have a forge but I’ve got piles of mowers and parts. A few times I put a quick edge on a straight blade with a grinding wheel and then got it razor sharp with a file and wrapped a quick duck tape handle on it. It was a quick 10 munite job when I needed a whacker but it looked pretty hillbilly. Worked good for the job. Again mower blades are the best hi carbon spring steel and hold an edge excellent. A great project for a kid would be to do one with a flat blade. Boys have to get their hands on a good piece of metal and get a feel of what it takes to put a good edge on it by hand. I started messing with a grinding wheel when I was 13 or so, doing all kinds of stuff.

    • StraitlacedMissouri

      That is beautiful!

  • Joseph Curwen

    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
    Specialization is for insects.”

    Robert Heinlein

    • Specialization is good for making money but poor for just about everything else.

      • Joseph Curwen

        I think that professional specialization is a kind of illiteracy. I know individuals in my field who possess an ocean of technical knowledge, but they can’t talk of anything besides that.

        • I prefer a merger of the two. Be specialized in a field to make you money but also learn skills outside that field at home.

        • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          I’d agree but amend it slightly to “Professional specialization at the expense of acquiring a broader base of knowledge about other topics”.

        • jammyjaybird

          I’m a generalist. I realized years ago that as society moves towards becoming a collection of specialized single-task worker bees, a generalist would ironically see an increase in his own value.

          It’s paying off pretty well. No boss for the last seventeen years, totally self-employed, multiple different tasks for multiple different companies in three different fields. I’m not getting wealthy, but I love my life, so there’s that.

          • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

            Generality Specialist

      • Boothe

        What I find interesting as well as ironic about my field, Instrumentation & Controls, is it is a specialty that requires me to be well versed in several different crafts. I have to know elements of pipe fitting and computer programming, tube bending and electrical work, ladder logic and the theory behind measuring temperature, pressure, level and flow. In the past I worked in Nuclear Power, so I had to learn the intricacies of monitoring ambient radiation levels as well as neutron flux density in the reactor core. I may be cutting Uni-Strut and mounting it to an I-beam one day and programming a variable frequency drive the next. So my specialty has forced me into being a Jack of all trades.

      • Specialists would disagree. 😀

    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

      diaries of Lazarus long….so much great stuff in there

    • Jim Johnson

      Reminds me of that poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling

      • Joseph Curwen

        In my personal opinion, “If” is one of the best, if not the best, of Kipling’s poems.

        • Agreed. I actually posted it on my old site because I loved it so much. A good poem for every man and boy to read and meditate on.

        • NemesisEnforcer

          “Tommy” is another, particularly when I see all the facebook patriotism on Veterans day and Memorial day.

          • Jim Johnson

            The Highwayman – Alfred Noyes
            The Road not Taken – Robert Frost
            The Cremation of Sam McGee – Robert Service

          • bem

            The Who’s take on it was indeed a baffling interpretation though…

            • NemesisEnforcer

              Pretty consistent with Kipling, actually:

              I know I’ll never know war
              And if I ever do
              The glimpse will be short
              Fireball in the sky
              No front line battle cries
              Can be heard and the button is pushed
              By a soul that’s been bought
              I’ll know no war

              In an out of reach loft
              The medals are lost
              They belong to a lone broken sailor
              His provinces now
              Are the bars of the town
              His songs and his poems of failure
              For his grandchildren can’t see the glory
              And his own kids are bored with the story
              But for him they’d have burned behind netting
              From the brink they were grabbed
              And I’m sure
              I’ll never know war

    • dckhead_con_artist

      “cooperate” – that sounds so millennial. “You’re fired “

      • Joseph Curwen

        lol

        I don’t think Heinlein was thinking on the kind of cooperation you are thinking.

  • Honey Badger

    We had a woodshop class in middle school that I took and I can say that being able to complete a project was such an awesome feeling. After awhile, it became competitive in nature to see who could build the coolest project. Kids were building electric guitars, skateboard ramps, tables, chairs, bookshelves, trebuchets/catapults, bongs, ornate jewelry boxes, and someone even built a semi-working replica of a revolver.

    • MCGOO

      Kids in your school made bongs in middle school woodworking class?? Parents must have been proud. Of course it was only for historic purposes/viewing in a display case and looking at, marvelling at the intracacy. It’s cool I unlerstand.

  • dckhead_con_artist
    • cheeseburgercheeseburger

      God, i hope not…Id rather get nuked than try to live in a world with little to no power

      • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

        why not both?

        • A nuke detonated a few miles over the east coast would create an emp blast powerful enough to send the entire eastern side of the USA back to the Stone Age. There’s your both.

          • cheeseburgercheeseburger

            yep, really dont wanna think about that…all the spent fuel rods in those nuke plants…gaah, it would be awful…

            • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

              Aye. Without properly maintained temperature with the coolant for storage those things will melt down in fairly short order, then the real fun begins. There was some show that was on a while back that showed what would happen if all human beings just disappeared from the planet in a split second. After the initial vehicle crashes, etc. the actual timeline was really fascinating to me. They covered nuke plants rods going critical in some level of detail, it was pretty scary.

              • cheeseburgercheeseburger

                yeah, so i guess war is coming…cant let that happen…meh

                • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

                  I wouldn’t worry too much about this, honestly, Yahoo has a huge vested interest in the Establishment types and never fails to beat the war drums like good little neoconservatives when need be (neoconservative being basically a leftist that gets a woody for war, assuming he personally isn’t going onto the battlefield).

            • Boothe

              Awww! C’mon! What’s a little “Departure From Nucleate Boiling” amongst friends? We can’t let the fine folks around Fukushima Daiichi have all the fun! Okay kids! Everybody ready to play “Mad Max: Beyond Thunder Dome”? Think it was intense on Blu-ray? Wait’til it’s live in a neighborhood near you! 😉

              • cheeseburgercheeseburger

                what I dont get: all these plants went online, and no one agreed on how and where to dispose of the spent fuel, so…it sits INSIDE these plants???

                • Boothe

                  Actually not all of it. Look up “dry cask storage”. A lot of spent fuel is sitting in 100 ton+ metal casks decaying off. The spent fuel rods sitting in spent fuel pools relying on a functional residual heat removal system could be a problem…

                • UWOTM8

                  Or look up all the shit in the Yuca mountains….

        • Boothe

          Buy that bike. You will need it to escape to the family farm. NYC will be a HIGHLY undesirable place to be within 24 hours of a permanent “lights out” scenario.

          • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

            I don’t escape. If the city goes down I will go down with it.

            • Oh captain, my captain.

              • cheeseburgercheeseburger

                doin barbell curls in the squat rack just before the zombies tear him limb from limb

                • Had a dream the other night where I opened my front door one night and a zombie was about 10 yards away. I quickly closed the door and a few seconds later hear the zombie’s death rattle on the other side of the door. The sound was very vivid in my dream and so frightening I woke up with my heart racing. Guess I been listening to too many zombie audiobooks. Heh.

                  • Have you listened to “We’re Alive”? It’s a dramatized podcast. Very good

                  • UWOTM8

                    World war Z by Max Brooks will fuck your shit up, m8

                    • I read that book. Really good. I still liked the Surviving the Dead series best. Really well written and good characters you actually cared about.

                • Iattacku

                  that would be hilarious. I can see hipponax going ” I need to get these last reps in before the horde gets me” then zombies bust through his door “come get me you bastards i just benched 350”

              • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)
            • Boothe

              Shit! That means I’ll have to come get you. That will be fun… 😈

              • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                It’s funny, a few years ago when there was a huge blackout for a few weeks and people were scrambling to get out of dodge I didn’t move. It wasn’t even a question.

                • Boothe

                  That doesn’t surprise me one bit. I’m confident that you will be able to supply yourself with high quality protein. Potable water may be a bit more of a trick, but you can always burn the furniture of your victims to boil water, lol.

                  • Iattacku

                    He probably has some secret bunker in the basement of his apartment building with a built in generator, a life time supply of wine, and 24 brunette models in cryostasis waiting to be thawed out for his pleasure. Oh cant forget a years worth of suits and a built in dry cleaner supplied with an old asian lady.

                    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                      Just the wine. In case of nuclear holocaust I don’t want any women or light.

                    • Boothe

                      Being under a pile of hot brunettes would provide some pretty decent shielding though… Just sayin. 😉

                    • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

                      Not worth the vapid conversation.

  • UnreconstructedConfederate

    To say I’m a poor carpenter would be an understatement however, I know how to use all that stuff and will if I have to.
    Since my son was about twelve I’ve been showing him how to turn wrenches though( now he’s 26). None of his vehicles have ever spent a day in someone else’s shop though aside from front end alignments. We started out with him watching and handing me wrenches, now I spend a lot of time handing him wrenches but , I still come in on the hard stuff. We’ve done about everything on a vehicle that can be done except pulling an engine( haven’t had to). Water pumps, diesel injection pumps, wheel bearings, ball joints, control arm bushings, axle seals, intake manifold gaskets, master cylinders, wheel cylinders, brake shoes/pads, lifters/rocker arms and push rods and all sorts of electrical things. Right now we are in the process of installing a 6 inch lift kit in a 99 two door Tahoe as a project.

  • Lou Skunt

    Nauseating and Pathetic. I can’t even imagine living a life not being exposed to these things…

    My first car was a ’65 Mustang. I spotted it in the back yard of an old house, covered in junk, while I was out on my paper route. I had that paper route for 3 years (6th-8th grade) and I was always on the lookout for a cool car. This was 1985, I was only 14 at the time, but I convinced my Dad to go with me to make an offer. An elderly man answered the door, we talked to him for a while, and $450 later, I had my first car. We towed it out of the yard later that day, and brought it home.

    I spent the next 2 years restoring that car with the money I saved from my paper route. The week I got my license, I drove it over to show the man that I purchased it from. He was pretty sick at the time, but he still managed to come out and see the car. He got a big smile on his face, shook his head and said “just beautiful.”

    It’s very gratifying to breathe new life into something that was otherwise discarded or neglected.

    • cheeseburgercheeseburger

      thats a nice story! I livein nyc, the only people who deliver the paper now are middle aged people with cars…driving around the ‘hood at 5:30am…its really weird

      • Jim Johnson

        the bubble wrap generation can’t do much

      • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

        The paper “boys” in cars are pretty funny. Mine is a 40 year old black dude in a van. I guess it makes sense though, no one under 80 actually reads the newspaper so the paperboy being 30-50 makes perfect sense.

        • cheeseburgercheeseburger

          so chris elliott was just ahead of the curve?

          • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

            amazing show (and this is my fav REM song). There was one episode where he finds a 5 dollar bill in the street and it fades into his imagination and sharp dressed man is playing and you see him buying a suit and a convertible and shit. God this was a good one.

            • cheeseburgercheeseburger

              LMAO- i remember the ep when he finds out his house was built on a nuke waste dump, but it gave him the power of super spelling…started kicking ass against 9 yr olds

        • bem

          hahahahah I never thought of it that way!

      • Lou Skunt

        I hear ya. It was a pretty sweet deal at that age. I had a good route with with over 100 customers. I made good money in tips because I “porched” all the papers. The only thing I had to worry about were a couple of dogs that would chase me for a few houses!

        • StraitlacedMissouri

          I had a paper route at 12. I was concerned about my teens finding jobs since all teens are treated like retards now but my oldest started working for a sub contractor that built gas stations at 16 after a short stint at six flags. My 14 year old is a farm hand. My 16 year old daughter isn’t working yet although she volunteers 4 hours a week. I won’t allow her to work in restaurants etc. maybe a women’s or children’s clothing shop.

          • bem

            good stuff. All is not lost.

          • George Clark

            I started out on a farm in Missouri, We built everything ourselves. I loved being outside it was a healthy life . The Jimmy Carter disaster caused us to get into a position where we chose to sell. That farm had been bought by my father an Orphan while he was in the navy. That was a long time ago, but I have a good memory. Bad political decisions and bank inflation and high interest caused the problems. Now all we see is monopolies and consolidation. I have always been independent and versatile. Later on I learned that my fathers line was the Royal line of kings that extend through the Vikings and and William the conqueror. How ironic. To begin at the top and end up with little or nothing. But we are what our DNA and breeding as well as personal choices make us. At this point to me it is about the quality of life and those that surround me. Time is also a scarce commodity. Making the right decisions, doing the right thing helps but there are so many ignorant destroyers. Young people have no hands on skill with metal wood etc. The things that I have now realized are important that in the beginning were looked down on are the most valuable. I like you and what you say straight laced. Your words are straight and true. My father always encouraged that. I like to hear what is in a persons mind. Not a hidden and misleading conversation. I see the conversation behind the words spoken, I see the person.Thank You.

            • StraitlacedMissouri

              Thank you brother!

            • StraitlacedMissouri

              If you get a chance please add me so we can chat again sometime. You are private or I would add you!

    • bem

      90% parallel experience (68 Fire-chicken though)!

      • Lou Skunt

        Fire-Chicken!… One of my friends had a ’68 in Alpine Blue – if I remember the color correctly. I would love to hear your experience.

        You know, it really pains me to think that kids these days aren’t experiencing any of this, it was really good stuff, man – it still is!

        Hell, I even built a car for my sister… She’s 6-years younger than me, and I remember my folks being apprehensive about letting her drive at 16. I took her out and starting cruizin’ the hood… We found a ’64 Bug for $300. We did a quick resto over a summer, and the first day of Junior Year in H.S., she had a Bad-Ass, Raspberry Pink Bug with a 1776cc engine – she was stylin’!

        Such great memories!

        • bem

          $100 for a non-running multi-color Firebird with the weirdo OHC 6-banger with a 3 on the floor. Missing one fender and everything forward of the radiator. One quarter panel was half replaced with a fiberglass piece which I spent most of the summer trying to blend in with bondo only to have it snap off when I hit a speed bump with my fat friend in the back….Spray-can black primer and a new poorly installed vinyl top, it was no show-winner but it got me around for the summer/fall of 89 and it was ALL MINE!

          Ah the old beetles….had a friend go through a phase with them but it sounds like you had your act far more together than we did…

          Yes its too bad for the kids today. To find anything even remotely DIY they’re looking at a car 30-40 years old….Not much user-serviceable anymore.

          • Lou Skunt

            Love it! $100 bucks bought you your freedom back then!

            The smell of body filler always brings back memories for me…Bondo!

            My best friend at the time, who was a few months older than me, was given a ‘64 Ford F-150 from his grandfather. This thing was really rough. We started “learning” bodywork on his truck before I found my first car. The passenger door of this truck probably received 3 gallons of filler alone! I remember when he got his license… He came by my house and picked me up for school. We pulled up at school, all cool and shit, primed grey and lowered… We hit the first speed bump in the student parking lot and all that Bondo fell out! It was a huge mass of filler, just rocking back and forth on the asphalt. We were so embarrassed at the time, but I can’t stop laughing, thinking about it now.

            • bem

              hahahahahaaa that’s MARVELOUS!!! Hunk of bondo on the asphalt….

              I think one door on the firechicken had a dent completely filled with bondo rather than hammered out. And yup, that smell always takes me back to those stupid days.

          • StraitlacedMissouri

            I don’t know. My oldest (now 21) and all his buddies have done many diy projects involving late 80’s -early 2000’s Ford and Chevy trucks.

  • I’m not very good with my hands admittedly, but I do basic stuff myself. Like, fixing a malfunctioning drain … not gonna bother anyone with that shit unless it’s really serious lol. Most stuff I do have to buy tho, like desks and shit. I live in a tiny apartment and there’s no real place for a lot of tools and whatnot. I will self-assemble my IKEA stuff tho and I even once designed and built myself a little simplistic cupboard for my record player, lol. Ah, the joy of getting something done and seeing it actually works …

    As for motivating kids … why not offer them money for fixing or building stuff that you need?

    • B1k3_Ch41N

      How have you been Tommo? Did you get your stuff back from the police?

      • Damn, you remember that? Yeah, I got it back a while ago. These idiots didn’t even find anything (although it was actually there). A few thousand EUR taxpayer money down the drain, totally pointless. 😛

        Doing ok I guess, thanks. Currently on welfare, trying to figure out what’s wrong with me etc., not much to write a story about.

  • bem

    I always implore people to work with their hands, to tinker,
    build, repair……

    Too often They’ll scoff and say ‘those skills simply aren’t needed anymore, you have to learn to code network smartphone blah blah blah…’

    Horsepuckey I say! facility with the working of the physical world is indispensable to human
    development. It’s not a matter of becoming an expert on repairing one obsolete item or mastering some tool or
    process you’ll never be able to monetize, it’s about training your brain to approach things in an intelligent, pragmatic manner.

    On a more practical note I’d strongly advise any homeowner to become capable and equipped to do plumbing and electrical work. Even with the outlay on tools and equipment you will save a fortune doing these manageable projects yourself, your way, and most importantly to YOUR level of quality. Not to toot my own horn (too much) I can tell you in the first 10 years of restoring my laughably tiny house I’ve become a fairly decent plumber/electrician/carpenter/plasterer/tinsmith/mason/tiler and have paid ZERO dollars to have any of this work done for me!

    • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      I’ve not seen, nor can I write, an App that, when you enter a construction project plan, makes the desired item materialize in front of you fully assembled. I’ve tried C, Objective C, C++, C#, Java, even Fortran, hell…even ASSEMBLY(! Right? I mean, Assembling is right in the name, right?!?) and not a damned one them have managed to drive a single nail through a single 2×4.

      People using the “it’s the current year” argument about tools and knowing how to use them are so unaware of the world that they really do deserve to be hit by oncoming traffic while they have their noses buried in their iZombies.

      • bem

        Huzzah!

    • Just don’t tell anyone about it. I know that here in Germany it’s illegal to do a lot of stuff (especially electricity) unless you are a “master”. 😛 Legally you’d have to pay someone 70 EUR an hour to install a fucking light switch lol.

      • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

        Are you serious? Light switch? In your own home? Jesus Hallabalooy Christ on a Popsicle stick, that’s just goofy.

        • At least that’s how I understood it. Need all kinds of permits etc. etc. Wasn’t there some funny story about America too where you need to pay 4 different people to do a job because no single one of them is allowed to do everything (even though it’s simple)? Might have had to do with unions or something.

          But yeah, I don’t think anybody will really do much about it unless you do something dumb like tell someone about it who wants to find a good reason to piss on you.

          • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

            Unions, sure, in some of the more “touched” parts of the nation. But if it’s in my home I can fart with the wiring and switches (outside of the panel) at will. Same with everything else. You can mess with it (except natural gas maybe? I dunno on that one) as you wish. Of course, if you burn down your house, that’s on you too.

            • bem

              I’ve witnessed an argument involving the changing of a light bulb in an elevator. Three different unions involved, stepping all over each other like the three stooges.
              Resolution?
              Dark elevator……

      • bem

        Similar here, to a degree. Anything ‘downstream’ of the panel box is fair game for the homeowner (I think), but the high voltage stuff is supposed to be permitted and performed by a licensed electrician. Its a concern. I could very well be asked to cough up permits if I ever sell this house.

        • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Yeah, anything downstream is good as far as I’ve ever known, especially if you’re talking light switches and outlets. 220 I don’t know, never needed more than the standard hookups that the house came built with.

        • Jim Johnson

          If you are selling, you need it inspected, so if you do it up to code, you are fine.

    • cheeseburgercheeseburger

      how did you learn wiring?

      • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

        He’s always been a wiry little fellow, but one day he went haywire when somebody suggests that he had his wires crossed, so he figured he better learn all there was to know about wiring and had somebody wire him money for the lessons.

      • Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

        it’s a shocking tale

      • bem

        I took a three-pronged (zing!) approach: asking questions, zapping myself, and a highly-illustrated better homes and gardens book on ‘wiring’.
        The best thing about wiring is that there are only a couple of absolutely non-negotiable rules, the violation of which are instantly apparent.

    • “These skills aren’t need anymore.”

      People like this are sadly close minded. Do you NEED these skills to survive? No, but you can save an exorbitant amount of money if you take a little time to learn them.

      Case in point, we are renovating our bathrooms. A contractor quoted us $15k to do it all. We decided to just have them replace the shower and tub and do the rest ourselves (laying tile, replacing vanities and light fixtures, fixing the drywall, and painting). Saved us $10k on the project.

      • bem

        EXACTLY. And even if “you’re no good with your hands” or “dont know how to do it” you still have just as a good a chance of getting right as the guy you hire (even if you wind up doing it twice).

        • I bought my house 4 years ago and I’ve replaced the stove, hot water heater, washing machine, laid down wood and tile floor, built a patio. Had very little, if any experience with some of that before, but nothing beats doing the work yourself.

          I’m hanging gutters shortly….

          • Another easy item to work on is the dryer. Most dryers only have two moving parts. A few years ago, the heating element on our dryer went bad. I looked up a YouTube video on how to replace it. After the part arrived, it took 5 minutes to fix and was as good as new. Heating element cost me about $50. New dryer? Wayyy over that amount.

            • YouTube is definitely a homeowners’ friend

              • StraitlacedMissouri

                It is especially good for millennial and gen x men considering few of them have fathers that taught them anything aside from watching sports from the couch.

            • bem

              And the new element is a lot easier to get in and out of the basement! Just be extra careful – that 220 isn’t as forgiving as 110…..

            • manuel hernandez

              Gotta love YouTube. Now that I’m living on my own again, it’s helped me fix my car multiple times.

            • MCGOO

              Dryers eat electric so I make mine not heat during the summer so everyone gets exercise hanging stuff to dry outside. The dryer still spins cool so they can fluff the rock hard, stiff sun dried socks, underwear and clothing and throw in a few snuggle bounce sheets so it all smells boquet lilac blossom like the cheap perfume at a PTA meeting.

          • bem

            Cool. Nothing that cant be learned!

            • Only thing I paid someone else to do is put in a new septic tank

              • bem

                OK now that was probably a good idea…

              • MCGOO

                When a stinky marsh started in my yard, it was because certain people were showering excessively and for long periods, loading and diluting the tank with basically clean water. The codes are lax where I live and only I knew of the problem so I diverted bath and kitchen water separately down to the garden. Thereafter, only poop flush water went into the septic and it dried up quickly. I also dug with a spade shovel extension trenches from the ends of the fingers that led into separate underground 2 foot deep pits, filled with rocks, covered with old shingles and then with topsoil/grass. That system purrs like a kitten now. Total cost about $100 versus 10k.

    • dckhead_con_artist

      ask them if their cellphone will protect them from a blizzard.

    • Lou Skunt

      Can’t agree with you more!

    • Frank Corvin

      Some of us are good at both, mainly because we did not have anything growing up and had to make do with duct tape and bailing wire… In fact sometimes that is still the case when it comes to maintaining equipment LOL…. better be good with a wrench AND writing code on anything modern. Sometimes it’s a bad bearing, sometimes it’s poorly designed code in the ECU that you cannot get updates for…. hex editors to the rescue.

      • bem

        Exactly. Having the fundamental disciple to begin with allows you to approach any problem and develop those skills specific to it.

  • Gundog

    My father is a master builder/engineer, spend his whole career designing and running a machine shop. He can build anything and I grew up holding boards and passing tools. However, his advice growing up was use my brain and work for somebody else. Thus, I got some of the basic skills from him and can figure out how to do most projects, but I just don’t have the same analytical brain or training so the first build is often scrapped.

    I stick mostly to “crafting” – wood, leather, plastic models, etc. It’s not the same but it does teach you how to use different materials and tools. Most importantly, when something does come out right, there is no better feeling.

  • AutomaticSlim

    I’m fine with tools as long as I have good instructions to follow.
    But even so, I will admit, I’ve always been apprehensive with drills, for some reason.

    • bem

      I’m weird about nail guns. Real bullet-guns are fine, but nail guns give me the willies.

      • After the initial uncertainty of a new power tool, I don’t feel weird about any of them. You think I would fee weird about table saws seeing as my father in law lost him thumb in an accident with one.

        • bem

          ouch.
          No its totally irrational in my case – same deal with crossbows and harpoon guns.

        • Frank Corvin

          Way way back when I was in school, the very first project taught to newbie shop class initiates was how to construct your own hand tools out of wood, I forget what they are called, but they are used to push and guide the wood on a table saw. We had a major hard ass for a shop teacher, and I’m thankful for that because I still use everything he taught.

          I cringe when I see folks using a table saw incorrectly… eg standing directly behind the stock, fingers within a quarter inch of the blade when feeding the stock. I was always taught to stand to the side, if the blade catches the stock and flings it you are already out of the way, the little hand made wood feed tools kept your fingers safe. Old school shit, but effective.

    • MCGOO

      I got afraid of utility knives for awhile when I tried to cut a 50 gal plastic drum in half once. I bandaged my hand and then had a brilliant idea. I got a propane torch and attached a butter knife to the end of the torch with a metal hose clamp. It made a nice red hot ‘melter’ knife that cut through the plastic barrels like butter. Luckily my hand wasn’t too fugged up. I get smarter with utility knives every time I use one.

  • AutomaticSlim

    “If you catch them not handling the tools with the proper respect, don’t
    hesitate on taking them away until they can demonstrate that they can
    use them in safely.”

    Reminds me of the time I saw a carpenter (I think, anyway) at my train station using a circular saw to create stakes from 2x4s. Holding the 2×4 with one hand and the saw with the other.

    • MCGOO

      That takes a tight grip to handle a circular saw like that. The cord is a bitch when you’re wielding a circular saw one handed like it was a chainsaw. My favorite saw for remote locations or treehouse building is a chainsaw. For roofing ang cutting and trimming rafters, I swing a cheap homelite chainsaw with a iddy bitty short bar and it has a safety break lever that I leave on. I wear fingerless gloves by habit from mechanic work to save my knuckles. It’s a cheap ass saw but I can rebuild em and I keep it super sharp. The cut on a 2×4 is pretty clean, clean enough and perfect for framing but not cabinetwork. A chainsaw can even handle 4×4, 8×8 or railroad ties for landscaping. I love chainsaws. I carry one in my trunk always. I was the hero a few times when winds blew down trees across the road before me and people were sitting in their cars waiting for their tax dollars to somehow magically remove the trees. I cut the 14″ trunk into 2 foot chunks and men started chucking the pieces to the side so a few professional looking women driving shiny ‘me me me’ cars could pass through at first. I with my chainsaw was in control. If there were only a way I could have converted the situation into pussy. Not right on the spot of course but maybe I should have engaged the females to help out with the branches and get down and dirty like Jane. The helping dudes were leading the drive though to help the princesses through asap though. One was a devilishly hot hottie in a white lexus. Not even a dinner date, nothing but a wave of thanks from her and her expensive looking 1″ long nails. She looked like a cosmetologist or someone that works at the mall.

      • AutomaticSlim

        That carpenter I saw…did not mention one thing.
        He appeared to be in his mid 20s. and he wasn’t, um…white…
        Kind of like the union (and where I live, it is HEAVILY union) was forced to take on a you know what.

        And he was sawing the points from the top.
        So if he had dropped that saw, good chance he would have one less hand. I have to admit, it was fascinating to watch someone so careless.

      • Personally I would jump at the chance of having all the dangerous texting drivers far ahead of me rather than behind or besides me. But maybe that’s just me.

    • bem

      the making of a safety video….

  • Lou Skunt

    Again, all jokes aside, this is a great article Jak! Very timely and relevant, and something that we can easily delve into a little deeper, as time permits…

    • Thanks Lou. Hopefully we’ll have some how-to articles down the road on some basic construction skills. Seems like I’m always doing some project around the house. I just need to take pics of the process.

  • Sir Lee

    I’m a tradesman – 4 year apprenticeship – 1980-1984 – taught by other tradesman. and previously old school skills from my dad and others.
    Was flown around the world for my trade skills
    I’m also a software engineer – graduated way above the top of my class – at 40 years old.
    Again flown around the world – to work in IT
    And a builder of various businesses – bars/restaurants, boats/boating. World circumnavigation in mid 90s.
    Now, mostly moth-balled…

    My opinion on the Home Depot – is they are teaching women — “don’t need no man”.
    Also Home Depot does not have semi-retired tradesmen/handymen — loaded with fat young mostly black women…who know nothing.
    Surely would be better with older former tradesmen???

    Went to a marine store recently — now I have been at trades stores around the word for decades — usually an old timer behind the desk with the manuals, and knowledge – -can research anything and find the right part.
    Now young fat women – -that know nothing…

    I have to balance what I teach my daughter – as she gets older she has less interest in natural things. But, I do “force” her to help me with projects. It is a great idea – they do love it…
    She is the best runner, swimmer, can drive a car, a boat, and tie knots, catch fish, hunt game…and goes to a private school in NYC – where the boys are far softer than the girls where/when I grew up…

  • Petruccio

    It has been my observation that the only young men in American society who can do things with their hands are rednecks and Hispanics. I don’t see it with young black men and I certainly do not see it with the chads and pussy boy hipster types.

  • Frank Corvin

    Good article. Something else to ponder however is if your son is not interested in some of these hands on things. Well we all know that necessity is the mother of all invention right? Use that same concept. Deprive the disinterested little shit until he is motivated to get his hands dirty to fix his dang car, else he has a broken car because I sure as hell ain’t gonna fix it for him, but I’ll be more than happy to show him the ropes if he does it himself. Something like that anyway… I never was very good with words.

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