Grumbles from the shop #13: Woodworkers spark the end of western civilization

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Blog entry by dennis mitchell posted 06-19-2011 09:38 PM 5525 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Politics Religion and Woodworking Part 13 of Grumbles from the shop series no next part

Not many grumbles from the shop these days. It seems that when a contractor orders a kitchen he expects a completion date. Go figure. Health issues have limited my work day to an hour or two a day. So projects are few and far between. Unfortunately so are paychecks. The woodworking withdrawals set in bad so I started a project just for me. I raised bees in my younger days and wanted to get a hive again, but they cost some bucks, so when I found out about top-bar hives I knew I could get a hive for nothing. Right in my price range. So I’m out in the shop feeding the wood bug, the addiction, the passion, the beast, first I have to organize the place. A year of opening the shop just to shove crap in sure makes for a disorganized mess. You know I just might have a touch of depression. Sure as shit didn’t feel like my spirit gave a damn about woodwork. Ya know! Days later I fine the table saw. I torn down a small shed so I have some wood. (note that thing about paychecks, being broke sucks) Parts are cut and ready for assembly. My last year working I bought one of those cool little 9 volt ion drill things from home despot with the matching flash light. The batteries are dead. Well they will work in the flash light, but forget turning a screw. Man. I use to really like that drill and it died within two years.
All is not lost I dragged out my dewalt. You know “key less” chucks mark the end of civilization. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched a key less chuck spin around a stuck drill bit. So I tighten it, it spins again. Nothing would work. My dad rants about how worthless key less chucks are, but I know people who swear they have never had a problem. Really! They must live in a different universe. We change a design to save “how” many seconds changing a bit. Three maybe four, or if you are like me three or four hours, because I’m guaranteed to lose the key. My brain kinks in and I see it clear as day. New Improved a key less chuck. The root of all evil. Think about it. My father has some old metal case craftsman tools from the 70’s that still work. If you think that fancy portacable belt sander will be running in 2050 you have been breathing too many lacquer fumes. Those tools use to be made here at home. That’s right American made quality tools. But no, we needed key less chucks. Lose you life savings in the tech bust…yep key less chucks. Have your daughter in a meth rehab? Lose your house to the housing bubble? Climate change, antibiotic resistant microorganisms, government deficits, terrorism, Charlie Sheen…yep all caused by key less chucks. You might thing I’m just channeling the spirit of chicken little, but let me tell you about the height of western culture. It just happens to be the solution to my assembly issue. The 9 volt makita drill. I still have the original. It still works. Put the drill bit in and “walawww” top bar hive assembled! I don’t know if that was the chicken or the egg of our down fall, but that drill made every corded drill obsolete. I now own 6 of them. But even their days are numbered. The dark cloud on the horizon was the batteries. When I grabbed my trusted makita the last of the fancy new batteries bit the dust. Those new grey things where suppose to be the cats meow. I have six drills cause It was cheaper to buy a drill with two batteries than just two batteries. That alone is a harbinger of the end times. Wouldn’t it make more sense to sell two batteries cheaper than two batteries, a drill and a charger? So today I have six drills and three batteries. The batteries are the old black ones that outlasted makitas “new improved” grey slugs. Well, hell in a hand basket, I’ll take my tongue out of my cheek, just enough to say “You know we really are screwed. It’s not just my life that has gone to the dogs, but my whole country’s.” Yep I’ll go post my new top bar hive before the Lumberjock police get me for doing politics. Maybe next time I’ll drag God out of the cellar!

10 comments so far

View sras's profile


4944 posts in 3335 days

#1 posted 06-19-2011 10:11 PM

Good grumble Dennis – you had me reading all the way to the end. I still have my old “obsolete” Craftsman corded drill. It won’t die.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3189 days

#2 posted 06-19-2011 10:53 PM

I still have my old corded Rockwell 1/2” drill/hammer drill that has outlasted my others. I think I’m done with cordless tools in the shop as well as keyless chucks that my carpel tunnel hands have a hard time dealing with.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Karson's profile


35149 posts in 4606 days

#3 posted 06-20-2011 12:46 AM

Dennisd; very profound writing. It’s always great to hear some one speaking the truth.

(Not with a forked tongue )

My prayers are with you. I’ll bring out God out of the cellar.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Mickey Cassiba's profile

Mickey Cassiba

312 posts in 3237 days

#4 posted 06-20-2011 01:33 AM

Dennis, the only cure I’ve found for them dadgummed keyless chucks, are those infernal hex shank”no spin’ bits A match made in Heaven…or elsewhere

-- One of these hammers oughta fix that...

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 3042 days

#5 posted 06-20-2011 02:27 AM

Reminds me of trying to figure out why hot dogs come in different numbers than hot dog buns.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3129 days

#6 posted 06-20-2011 02:49 AM

Dennis, the more I read the more I understand and sympathize. You are so right about the batteries/charger/drill
being cheaper than buying two batteries. I’ve quit buying DeWalt drills for that very reason.
Now here’s a thought…ever think about trying to market your hive boxes on the net? The only thing I know about bees is that’s where honey comes from and they sting so it’s just a thought.
Good luck.

-- Life is good.

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 2887 days

#7 posted 06-20-2011 02:50 AM

Things are tough. I can sympathize with you . Had to sell the power tools to cover some medical bills . Still have my 25 yr old craftsman corded drill and it works great . Last winter I was living in my car and sleeping in the wal-mart parking lot. Sometimes we just have to adapt to circumstances and do the best we can . I hope things turn around for you real soon. There is no god of explanations , but there is always Hope…..always….Hang in there…....things are never as bad as as you think they are going to be . I Like your attitude about the Bee hive …. We do what we can, while we can , with what we have at hand , and hope for brighter days….peace. ....moment

View therightside's profile


16 posts in 2740 days

#8 posted 06-20-2011 03:20 AM

Well said, Moment.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4452 days

#9 posted 06-20-2011 04:32 PM

I can’t believe you’ve given up your beautiful rustic artwork. You must have a serious condition to limit you to a couple hours of work a day. You have my sympathy, or empathy, as you will. I still try like hell to get out there and do something with whatever I can find. Sometimes it’s wood out of the burn pile. I’m with Karson, I’ll drag God out of the cellar, he gave you too much talent to let it go to waste. If you are depressed, I can understand. Sometimes it takes all my effort to just leave the house, or get out 0f the house. Keep your chin up and express your talent, even if you just paint,

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2899 days

#10 posted 06-20-2011 04:46 PM

Very powerful stuff. I feel impotent to help. Do you have a doctor that you trust? One that understands how your limitations are affecting your enjoyment of life? I hope you do, if not, PM me and I’ll see if I can help.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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