My Dad built planes for Lockheed all his life. He spent every free
moment in his wood/metal/whatever shop, building things like boats,
tackle boxes, whatever out of wood, metal, fiberglass, whatever, or
working on cars and outboard engines. Function allows trumped form,
so a lot of his stuff wasn't "fine" but functioned perfectly. I
remember him using the scary sharp technique on the table saw with
sandpaper, c. 1960.
A couple phrases stick in my mind from my eartliest memories in the
1. "Dammit son, you're doing it bass-ackwards."
2. "Go bring me the big hammer, the yellow-handled pliers, and a
I still have the hammer and the yellow-handled pliers.
"Zz Yzx" rhymes with "physics"; or " Isaacs" if you prefer.
Some years ago, my brother was replacing the motor in his old Chevy...
took all day. Throughout the day, he'd ask his son to fetch him a
beer. Late in the evening, getting dark, he asked his son to get him
a flash light. His son came back with a beer. Since then, we often
say flashlight, when we refer to beer. He still has the Chevy.
Actually, my grandfather on my mother's side was the professional
carpenter. He lived a long drive away, so I only saw him two or three
times a year, but I idolized him. He died back in 1975. He saw the
humor in a well mispronounced word. When he was disgusted with
something, he'd say that he was "regusted." If he was having trouble
figuring something out, he'd say, "We'd better read the
destructions." Good man. I miss him.
The first is straight out of "Amos and Andy" -- spoken by Kingfish, if
I'm not mistaken. Second sounds like it could be from the show...
I like 'em both.
My dad passed a couple years ago, and I still get to thank him for the tools
I got, and spare parts he saved. I look up with a simple "thanks Dad" when
it happens that his stuff is the only way out of a jam
Most importantly, he said, "If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing
and, others include, "there is always time to do a job twice." When working
at something in an awkward way, he said, "get you ass behind you"
Then, the popular, "Don't force it, get a bigger hammer"
When we were working together on a job, like we were often in the last 15 or
so years, (we even built his whole retirement house on lake property
together) it was, "not bad work, when one of us is a blockhead, and I'm
not gonna' say who!"
He taught me much of what I know when I was young. For far too many years
we didn't see eye to eye, but I sure am glad we worked that part out.
-- Jim in NC
My father (the accountant) installed a freestanding fireplace in our living
room way back when I was around 10 years old.
He furthered my education in the use of profanity in a huge way that day.
Most of the this he said I just cannot repeat in a PG environment.
He may not have been a master carpenter but he wasn't afraid to try and that
fireplace worked for a long time.
My father was a carpenter. I can clearly recall being a boy and trying
to learn to use that BIG handsaw. While taking short, boyish strokes
on the saw, my father would say things like "You paid for all those
teeth, now use 'um!". Then, when I caught on a little more and was
throwing all my energy into the saw, he would say: "Let the saw do the
If you asked if my father taught me much about woodworking, I would
probably answer too quickly with a "no", however I often find myself
doing something in my shop and I pause and ask myself "where did I
learn to do this"? Then I smile and remember. I wish he was here so
I could show him the risks I took and what finally I have built.
Son, I said son, pay attention now.
There's three things that ain't hardly worth the trouble:
A re-lit cigar, warmed over coffee and woke-up p***.
(Actually a college friend attributed this saying to his "Old Pappy".)
My grandfather was a finish carpenter during the Depression. He died
when I was 3, but I still have the tool box he made and carried to the
job site. My father never build much of anything, but I remember him
building a workbench when I was about 7 or 8. He asked me to hold some
bolts or something, which I managed to drop. "You're about as useful as
a bear cub playing with his balls," he scowled. 50 years later I built
a complete kitchen from scratch and as I was putting away the last of
the tools, I looked up and said, "Not bad for a bear cub, eh?"
On 6/19/2011 2:19 PM, Zz Yzx wrote:
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