Thursday, October 21, 2010

69 inches

So it came down to this.  69 inches.  It was me and some young dude in Lowe's.  After a lot of brew-ha-ha that doesn't need to repeated here, I told this kid, "Just give me 69 nine inches and I want your saw blade on the OUTSIDE of your pencil mark, OK?"

So, being the Loyal and Faithful Lowe's Young Guy, he dutifully repeated my request to me:  "You want 69 inches?"  I replied forcefully, "If it's not precisely 69 inches, I won't pay for it and I will double check your final cut before we leave this saw.  Do you understand that?"

It was easy to see the young man was intimidated.  Together we both pulled a lot of tape.  He even went and found a brand new $30 tape. We swapped jokes about "measure twice, cut once."

But the bottom line was this.  I stood staring him down and I verbalized this: "Don't blow it."

Well, that got the Kid's attention.  Man, he measured and he measured and he tweaked the saw blade and he tweaked again,.  He knew I was standing by with a tape in hand.

When the plywood rolled out of the saw, I stretched a tape across its face.  "Congratulations," I said, You nailed 69 inches precisely, let's see if you can do it again!"

And then the pressure was on this kid.  Once a genius, maybe not twice.  But to his credit, he nailed 69 inches perfectly the second time around.  Man, it was an awesome sight to behold.  You could tell how proud he was.  He body language lit up like a pinball lizard.  He had some swagger I hadn't seen in a long time.  Needless to say, I was pleased as well..

I walked out of Lowe's with some Serious Plywood.  We're not talking OSB.  We're talking plywood.  There's a world of difference between the two.  So, I was carrying two pieces of 48 x 69 pieces of plywood home to put up on top of the porch project.

It is a Classic Moment Of Truth.  You can't bluff.  You can't fake it.  You can't use words when raw dimensional facts will do.  If your custom cut 69 inch plywood won't fit--you've lost your game and you don't deserve to play this course.  It's that basic.

Tee it UP!

Trust me, when Lovely Susun consents to help hoist a heavy half sheet of plywood up on top of a sketchy porch project, you've really laid it all out on the line.  You're either going to look like a  Snake Charmer or you're going to look like the World's Biggest Dork.  It don't get no mo better dan dat!

You have to realize that putting a 48x69 inch piece of plywood on top of a tall sloped space is no easy trick.  Nope, even Wyoming Goat Ropers would have a tough time with this Tall Duty.  But we managed to pull it off.  Susun did Yeoman Duty on her part.  I was so proud of her!  She didn't complain even once!

Somehow we got both big pieces of plywood on top of the porch project.  And, GET THIS:

They fit so perfectly it was spooky and scary.  It was like a Frighty Nighty Spooky Night!  No, they were not out of square.  No, they didn't hang over the edges.  YES, they fit like the proverbial hand in glove.  Two 48 by 69 inch pieces of plywood laid down perfectly together, even on the middle 48-inch rafter with a mere 3/32nds of an inch between them in perfect parallel! 

Who knew we were capable of such precision carpentry work?  Certainly NOT us!  If you would have asked me how close I would have come to "Square & Plumb" in this gig, I would have ventured an answer like, "Maybe a half inch"  That would have been a good goal.  To see it shake out in the 32nds and 16ths of an inch is really gratifying and totally cool.  Neither of us knew we had it in ourselves to be that gnat's anatomy precise!

We gotta say this about that:  "IT FEELS GOOD!"

Cheers!  J&S

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