Handy advice for amateurs jumping into spring DIY mode – Virginia News

Handy advice for amateurs jumping into spring DIY mode –  Virginia News

Bruce Dorries, Special to The News Leader

8:50 p.m. ET April 20, 2017

Ah, spring! When homeowners’ fancies turn lightly to painting, projects and repairs.

When song birds begin to nest, hand me a pitchfork and pull up a truck bed full of mulch. I can ably captain a tiller to build landscape beds.  Power-washing a deck falls within my purview.

My relationship with construction hand tools, however, is … complicated: “Love-like-tolerate-hate.” Power tools prove to be especially troubled affairs. To employ them with ease takes patient training as a teen (didn’t get it), and taking pleasure in them as an adult (don’t get it).

A case in point of mixed feelings, and results:

A dark and dreary winter afternoon, I passed half an hour “assembling” a standing lamp. For three months thereafter, we made due with a leaning light source. This week, a professionally handier guy came by for a half day. He took a look at the lamp, and, to my comfort, declared the model poorly designed. To my discomfort, it took him two minutes to set the lamp straight.

In my defense, I’ve a handy handicap. I took French, not shop, in high school. In a perfect world, I’d have taken both, though my grade point average (nothing to brag about) would have suffered, not to mention the shop teacher’s nerves.

Handy people for hire get paid by the hour, so they’re willing to have me “help along” when they pay a visit. My questions slow down the fix-it process. The price of ignorance is offset by seeing what projects I might try on…

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