Where you least expect it

Oh woe the rarely used tool, the one you need once every year or two (or three). Now, where did I put that?

My woodworking buddy Lee in Connecticut just related a rare experience. He needed to unstick a stuck ventilation grill, but just couldn’t get it loose. Then he remembered he had just the thing for that, one of those window-unsticking tools that looks like the unholy offspring of a tiny garden trowel and a buzz saw. Of course, he had no idea where he might have squirreled it away. Turned out it was in almost the first place he looked. “I actually found the tool I was looking for,” he boasted. “You don’t see that every day.”

Indeed, you don’t. In my case, I’ve often found that it far takes less time and frustration if I can’t find something minor like that to just buy me another one.

Meanwhile, at the top of my to-do list is repairing a metal storage cabinet. I’d been putting it off because the repair wasn’t essential, and the part I needed to fix had several stripped screws. Yes, you already know my experience with trying to find numerous sets of screw extractors over the years. Since I knew finding them would be fruitless, that seemed the perfect excuse to put off the repair.

But that cabinet’s annoyed me long enough so last night I made a half-hearted attempt to find those extractors – and found them immediately. Literally, on the first try. While I had no concrete idea where I put them I just went to the logical spot where I might have put them, and there they were in an unmarked bin in my hardware storage rack. Also there were some other rarely used things: dowel points, some needle files, a couple cut-off Allen wrenches I once chucked up in a drill, etc.

As my friend noted, you really don’t see that happen every day and I’m very pleased to have found them – and those other goodies – so easily.

I’m also pleased that since I’ll first have to empty out that cabinet before I can use of those extractors, I have a great procrastination excuse ready to go.

A.J.

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