Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tearing it Down

I've mentioned in the past my habit of collecting useful bits of hardware and sorting them so I have what I need later.  Sometimes you have to dig for useful bits, or rather, you should.  In my case, I had some old kid hauling equipment in bad shape from years of garage storage and reuse as play items.  Sitting there, dirty, housing mice and spiders, a car seat and a stroller went under the knife tonight. And the tin snips, and the cordless screw driver, wrench, and a hand small log cum impromptu mallet.

As a result of an evening of gleeful destructive disassembly, I have added approximately 20 screws of various sizes, several different gauge and size springs, lots of webbing and buckles, some wheels destined for a garden cart, and some bolts.  Left over is everything too big and too specialized to be reusable for much else but target practice.  But, not wanting odd bits of indeterminately sourced plastic all over my back woods, they will bet drawn and quartered as soon as I can find a sawsall on the cheap someplace.

Tearing down hardware is but one mode of thought though when it comes to useful destruction.  This past winter I also tore the trim off of three windows, milled and installed new trim after filling cracks and gaps in the insulation around our replacement windows.  My dad was a bit shocked to see I had torn them down to the casements and crusty drywall edges, but it was the only way the job could be done correctly.  Sometimes you have to do that.

My neighbor, Lance, gets this.  He was retained as a body man to fix a spot of rust on my car.  Lance is a Mormon.  If you know anything about Mormons, you should know that they know how to prepare for the apocalypse.  That's why it was no surprised to me that Lance hunted every trace of rust in the rocker and quarter panel, forcibly extracted it with a saw, rebuilt from stock galvanized sheet metal and welded into place a complex set of replacement parts, filled and ground the welds and repainted half the side of the van to an exact match in color.

If you're going to fix something, it's worth doing it right the first time, being thoroughly destructive of the malignant portions as much as possible.  Leaving behind any scrap of the old, defective and sometimes hazardous bits is only inviting it's return later.  Some people understand this principle, and some people are unfortunately oblivious to the reason and need for it.

So, I hope you'll take this cheery bit of advise from a plugger...  when you run up against something that is just sick with defect and you can do something about it, be thorough in your work, even if a bit more destruction than you anticipated is needed to excise all the badness.  Then, start with good materials and a raw determination to finish the project.  Otherwise, your windows will end up like mine - trimmed but not yet stained! (oops!!)