Al Campbell, Field Editor

December 3rd, 2001

The Handiman
By Al Campbell

Somehow my life got sidetracked. That honey-do list I have been avoiding for more than ten years came crashing down on my head last year and it still lingers in my life. My life went from simply writing, taking pictures and fly-fishing to the life of a handyman.

In the last year I have acquired a table saw, two cordless drills, several more hammers, a power hand saw, a router and table, and loads of hand tools designed to conquer that list of jobs that need to be done. Do you know how many fly rods and reels that money could have purchased? It boggles the mind to think of it!

What started out as a need for a garage has turned into a major building project for me. Don't get me wrong; I wanted and needed a garage where I could turn cork handles without infesting the basement with cork dust. It is also handy for fixing the car on cold winter days, but that's secondary to the need for a place to turn cork handles; isn't it? My wife has a different opinion. She thinks I built the garage for her car. Where do wives get these ideas?

My year 2000 projects expanded from a garage to adding a large deck, new front steps and central air conditioning. I had the pleasure of installing the ductwork for the central air too, including the broken rib I got from a fall off a ladder.

You know; I could have been fishing. Since you don't need ladders to fish for trout, I probably would have been spared the pain this handyman stuff has caused me.

Right now, I'm remodeling my basement. Seems the duct work isn't something nice to look at, and the walls weren't pretty either, so I loaded up my new garage with more than three dozen sheets of paneling and the new projects began. When I get the walls finished, I will be allowed to put in a drop ceiling too.

Did you know a router can be used to make some nice trim for paneled walls? All you need is lumber, lots and lots of lumber. The lumberyard loves me. I'm not too sure the wife isn't trying to collect on my life insurance policy, but the lumberyard has my best interests at heart. They all know me by name now, and they even wave when they see me on the street, especially if my vehicle is heading in the direction of their place of business.

One nice thing about all these projects is the glue. Not only have I discovered that latex caulk can be used in the place of epoxy on many flies, I've discovered that it comes in many colors. Another wonderful glue is the type I'm using for paneling the walls. I'm a happy camper now! I even smile a lot, until the fumes dissipate a little.

Maybe someday that list will be reduced to the point that I get to fish a little. I can think of other things to do with that list, but this is a family magazine. If she didn't keep the list hidden in a locked box, a lighter might do the trick, but I suspect she has it memorized anyway.

You don't suppose she thinks I can build furniture do you? I'll haunt the first person who suggests it to her. I say "haunt" because I'm sure this will be the death of me. Well, maybe just the temporary death of my casting stroke, but some kind of death for sure. Speaking of death, you better not give her any more ideas.

Oh oh, my hammer is getting lonely, and I hear footsteps coming down the hall.

Until next time, "Keepeth thine hammer hidden." If you don't, your fly rod will get lonely. ~ AC

Previous Al Campell Columns
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