Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I have the POWER!

I am regressing to my elementary years. In the midst of all the frustration I've had with Mayo Group's crappy construction and non-responsiveness I have discovered tremendous joy in the form of - POWER TOOLS!!!

Well, tools in general actually. I've had a cordless drill for 10 years, and it's seen some moderate use, but nothing too impressive. I still have that same cordless drill and it works just great, but not as long as it once did since the rechargable batteries are a bit long in the tooth. Just what does "long in the tooth" really refer to anyway? But I digress. The baseboard in my apartment has been pulling away from the walls due to the forces of changing temperature and humidity that is especially strong here in ocean-side Lynn. It was really bad in spots, 1/2 inch gap running along a 6 foot section. New construction always has problems here and there, but I've never seen baseboard issues like this. At first glance I suspected the baseboards weren't properly coped in the inside corners since all the runs with issues terminated in inside corners at both ends. Since much of the interior was done by unskilled labor there is a good possiblity that the installers used standard miter cuts instead of coping cuts, but in all fairness even with coped ends with runs this long the baseboard will likely warp, a little, not 1/2 gaps! What I discovered is that the baseboard was nailed in place. The studs in the Keith and most of the other condominums is steel not wood. With steel frame construction one uses trim head screws not nails to attach the baseboard, unless you put down wood along the bottom for nails to attach to. There is no wood behind the baseboard. It's all steel. I drilled some holes, poked around, yep - it's steel. The baseboard needed to be fixed, but my old drill just wasn't going to be able to drive those long screws through board, drywall, and then steel. That meant new POWER TOOLS!

After much research, checking of funding, and receiving of a handy 10% off "welcome to the neighborhood" coupon from Home Depot - I went shopping. I ended up with the Ryobi 18 volt Super Combo. The latest one with the Torque IV drill - looks like a big ray gun. This wasn't my first tool purchase, but it was the most fun. Man, these 18 volt cordless tools are terrific, but then again even a Pinto seems fast after riding a Vespa. I also happen to have a toolbelt. A very nice accessory I needed to carry my tools while doing electrical work and leak fixing 12 feet up on a ladder. BUZZZZZ, ZAP, ZAP, ZAP - a high powered drill, with clutch, is beauty in motion. Robertson bit, trim-head screws, Yankee screwdriver, dripless caulk gun, ZAP-ZAP-ZAP... problem solved. Looks great, if I do say so myself.

I'm still deciding which is more satisfying - the sense of accomplishment after fixing the trim or the child like joy of John-Wayne-ing around with a heavy drill slung in the belt holster. I'll get back to you - after my milk and cookies.

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