June 15, 2016

A parable based on a true story

Last summer my son-in-law had a section of his fence fall. We put in new posts and stringers and started to hang he picket boards back on. I was using a square to get the proper spacing between the boards. At some point I slipped and the board was nailed crooked. That means the next was crooked and the next. It was only after nailing a half dozen boards or so we discovered the mistake. I immediately identified the problem. It was my old square. It had to go. I threw it in the trash and vowed I would never allow a square of any type to be in my toolbox again. Not only had that adjustable square failed to do the job, it was metal and sharp and old. I vowed "never again". as we redid our efforts.

That is what reasonable people do; blame the tool when things go wrong. If only I had instituted some common sense rules and proceedures before using the square, I would not have messed up the fence. We could have avoided the tragic waste of wood, time, and effort.

Makes perfect sense.


hey teacher... said...

No need to outlaw squares but does the average handyman need access to a 6 ft. X 4 ft. square that should only be used by trained professionals, perhaps when building a very large wall? Probably wouldn't need to manufacture too many of those and definitely wouldn't need to sell them at Menards, etc...

Joe said...

Yes focus on the tool, not the user of said tool. I didnt need a fancy adjustable square, a plain old square would have worked fine. But the knobs and sliding part made it way more impressive. Clearly only trained carpenters should use such squares.

I could have used a scrap of wood to the same effect.

The point is that whether I used a giant square an adjustable square a plastic square or a chunk of wood. It was the user of he tool that did the deed.

Ed Bonderenka said...

I like the 3,4,5 rule for squaring large objects. The user IS the tool.

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