Some things just aren’t meant to be: kids and a clean house, teenagers and unbroken chairs (or laptops), HWTFM and tools in their proper place. You get the picture.
My teenagers have been rough on the ten wooden chairs around our kitchen table. They don’t fare well being rocked back on two legs, so a couple of my chairs have gotten pretty wobbly — to the point that no one actually sits in them anymore. But, expecting 12 for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, I have to have all the chairs in usable condition.
I figured that a couple of small L-brackets strategically placed under the chair would adequately stabilize them, and searched Downtown Hardware, K-Mart, and Home Depot. Unfortunately, no one carries anything small enough. When I described what I need to the nice fellow at Home Depot (who used to be a custom metal fabricator) and realized that they don’t have any such thing, I asked if it might be possible to make one from a very small piece of angled aluminum, which they do have. He said that would work.
We have the proper drill bits for metalworking, and a hacksaw. So, I bought the piece of metal, and set out building the thing I need. Getting the holes done, sized to fit the wood screws I already had, wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it might be.
(Finding the drill bit was easy, because I keep them in MY toolbox.)
Getting them cut to the right length and filed down so that they aren’t dangerous didn’t take long either. (I keep the file, too.)
Actually installing them was where the trouble began. HWTFM had somehow misplaced the phillips bit for my cordless drill — the second one he’s lost. So, after a cursory search in the old Radio Flyer (where he keeps many of his tools, despite having at least three large, quality toolboxes and a couple of others that are older and dirtier), I gave up and remembered that I won a set of screwdriver bits by answering a question at the recent Y-12 Safety Fair. Those were in my purse.
Armed with the correct bit, I began. The cordless drill, for which I have two batteries (one had been charging all afternoon), quickly ran out of juice. So I switched batteries, only to find that the alternate was completely dead. After switching them out a time or two, I realized that the charger simply wasn’t charging.
HWTFM suggested that he could troubleshoot it if I could get his multimeter… which he had misplaced somewhere. Sigh. Next, he asked for Delta’s multimeter (yes, our 13-year old daughter has her own multimeter), which was not working. He took it apart, finding that it needs some odd-sized battery that we don’t have one of.
I can’t fix the chair because the drill batteries are dead (and neither of us can turn it hard enough to tighten it by hand). I can’t charge the battery because the charger is broken. He can’t fix the charger because his multimeter is lost, and Delta’s has a dead battery.
So, I asked to use HIS drill — the one that actually plugs into the wall. But he doesn’t know where it is, and it’s not in the Radio Flyer. Or the boat (don’t ask).
The chairs are still broken, and we’re one day closer to Thanksgiving.