Monday, January 08, 2007

The Happy Hacker

My favorite new toy is my hacksaw. I decided I needed one for this bizarre project that involved sawing a towelbar in half and then attaching one of the pieces to another towelbar, in order to change something about my bathroom that I wasn't happy with. This is actually a good example of a situation where DIY kind of works, but kind of doesn't. It's hard to explain, but the builders of my condo did this stupid thing where the full bathroom had a small towelbar, but the small half-bathroom had a large towelbar, where it was totally useless. But in the big bathroom, there was also a hook for hanging a robe, next to the towelbar. And the mounting plate was of the same type, and it was right in line, so I decided I could just remove the hook, put up another towel bar bracket where the hook had been, and then insert a longer pole, thereby avoiding having to drill any new holes in the tile. And since I had already taken down the towel bar in the half bathroom, I could just cut off a piece of that to make a bigger bar, so I could conserve materials and save money and all that. But how would I cut it? I'd need a saw.
I thought about buying one, but then remembered that my uncle has every tool in existence and that it would make sense to borrow a tool rather than buy one. So he lent me his hacksaw, and I laboriously sawed the towel bar into the right length. While doing this I realized that his saw was rather dull, and that the screw that holds the blade in was about to break. But then the problem was how to join the two pieces of towel bar together so they would stay straight. I found a piece of plastic left over from something, which was not quite wide enough, but I wrapped some blue masking tape around it, and then shoved it into the towel bars. It kinda worked-- if I hadn't minded my towel bar looking like a droopy "V," that is. And the inept McGyver-ness of it kind of made me feel like someone's eccentric grandpa. I had originally thought a tight-fitting wood dowel would be the best thing to put inside the towel bar, but the more I thought about it, having to buy a dowel, and possibly shave it down to fit, and the tools I'd have to buy or borrow to do that, and the aluminum tape I'd need to cover the joint... well, it just began to seem silly. I decided to buy another longer towel bar, but of course when I got to Home Depot, they didn't come in quite the right size, so I realized I'd have to do some more hacksawing. I didn't know if my uncle's saw would make it, and I decided a saw would probably be a good thing to have around anyway, so I bought one of my own.
The end story is that I now have a nice, long towel bar. Plus some jagged towel bar remnants that I suppose I could use elsewhere, or sell on eBay, if anyone is into that sort of thing. And my new hacksaw worked so nicely that I decided to saw some wood shims to level my desk also. I kind of want to saw some more things, just for the heck of it. This could be by new hobby. The saw cost me about $8, and the new longer towel bar cost about $14. A small price to pay to be able to... to... um, hang towels, and saw things. Yeah.


DivineMsN said...

I just bought a home too and I have discovered the cordless drill. I dont like towel bars and instead I took them out and added hooks next to my standing shower in my upstairs bath and also next to my downstairs bathtub. It was my first time handling such a tool but now I hooked. I look for ways to use it. I think I am making my fiance a little concerned :)

Anonymous said...

Your post makes me think of the old saying, "When all you have is a hacksaw, everything looks like a towel bar".

Single Ma said...

Not bad, not bad at all...your FIRST "home improvement" project (lol). Yo, post some pics of your handiwork. I promise I won't laugh. :-)

fin_indie said...

Ah, and so thus begins the slow accumulation of tools of every kind... beware, it's addictive.