Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Practical

file under: Engineering boasting

My dad was a very practical man. When he ran a boatyard he was often called upon to provide very high quality paint and varnish finishes. His touchstone was that you should be able to read your wristwatch in fresh paintwork. This week I painted a panelled door (repeat after me: "edges, mouldings, panels, short rails, muntins, log rails"). I'm pretty pleased with the finish that I achieved. Rather less proud that there are now painty fingerprints on my laptop because I had to look up the technique half way through the job. I'm really embarrassed that the next day when I looked at my work again I had missed an entire panel. I had gone round it very neatly, painted the mouldings nicely and just forgotten to paint the big flat bit in the middle.

This week I was also deeply emasculated by a Citroen C1, a young woman with a flat tyre, and the mechanic who lives across the road. The woman asked me to help her change a wheel, and I had no difficulty loosening the bolts, jacking the car, or removing the bolts. The wheel was so tight and rusted to the hub that I couldn't pull it off. I even tried putting a pad of wood behind the rim and hitting it with a heavy hammer. I eventually gave up and asked the professional to help us. He used the same hammer, the same piece of wood, and a very similar technique and removed it without difficulty. While this was going on the owner of the car was (good naturedly) taunting me about not being strong enough. She did buy me some beer the next day to say thankyou.

Richard "The watch I wear when I paint is 4 inches across and has 1000 candlepower markers" B

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