Got a new job and moved from Las Vegas to a small town in Idaho last August,
six-hundred miles, and it‘s a whole new culture. Same planet, different
world as an old friend of mine says.
The engineer I replaced had been gone for seven months when I got here, and
I was slammed trying to catch up the backlog for months. I caught up about
a month ago and am starting to have some “free” time to work on fixing up
the thirty-year-old “new“ house.
I bought a used U-haul truck for the move. I didn't have time to house shop
before I moved, and the truck was only two thousand more than they wanted to
rent a truck one way to here. I figured by the time I found a place, and
had time to move in, the difference would be made up in storage fees, and I
didn’t have to unpack everything into a storage unit and then repack it to
move to the new place, once I bought a new place. Plus, I should be able to
sell it for about what I paid for it. As an aside, if you ever buy a used
truck from U-haul, do it on the last working day of the month. The sales
staff has quotas they need to meet, and if they haven't met them, they will
cut good deals.
The majority of my tools ended up buried in the front of the truck,
stationary tool all the way in the front, and I haven't dug that deep yet.
So, I'm: trying to cut plywood straight and true with a battery powered
skill saw, and a straight edge; working on thirty year old plumbing with one
pipe wrench and some pump pliers; tracking down what wiring runs where
without my tracer, or even a meter. It has really been frustrating working
with out my tools, but I don't want to spend the money to buy more tools,
when I own all the tools I need. Kind of a Catch 22: if I had my tools out
things would go lots faster; I can't make much progress towards getting the
tools out and set up, with out the tools.
I was talking to the boss today, about what I did this weekend, and
mentioned that it was driving me nuts trying to fix up things around the
house (closet units, cedar line a closet, fix the pressure regualtor on the
plumbing), and set up my new shop, (new house has a dedicated detached 24X35
shop building), build cabinets, shelves, and equipment bases, etc., with out
all my tools unpacked.
He gave me a funny look, and said, "I guess I never did really give you a
full tour of the shop."
He then took me out and showed me around the parts of the shop I've never
seen: There's a 12-inch Powermatic table saw, with a 24 left 62 right
fence; an older 16-inch Dewalt RAS, with infeed tables about twenty feet
long; a couple of drill presses; an eight inch jointer with a bed longer
than any I’ve ever seen, and a tool room with more hand and portable power
tools (including, five routers, three random orbit sanders, two belt
sanders, and something I looked all over trying to buy, a Makita impact
wrench with a cord on it), than a good store keeps in stock. There is even
a spry booth, and car wash.
He gave me a quick safety check out on the power tools, and turned me loose.
It turns out that the mysterious round key on the key ring they gave me
when I started opens all the shops, and tool rooms, and I have free access
to any of the tools during the craftsmen’s nonwork hours. I can check out
any of the hand or portable power tools and take them home evenings and
weekends. Wish I had known that earlier, I might have gotten a lot more
It will be nice to be able to cut things true and square again. I hope that
I can finish the closet units I’ve been fighting with this weekend.
I still won’t have my own shop set up for another month or so, but
realistically the shops at work, are better than anything I can afford to