A Miter Saw and A Clothesline

I had two big items on my to-do list this weekend. One was to clean out the shed and the other was to put up a clothesline. Cleaning out the shed with a recently broken toe seemed like a guaranteed way to inspire cursing and tears so I gave that one a pass. So clothesline it was.

Putting up a clothesline has been on my to-do list for a couple of months now. I’ve even had all the supplies for it for that long. There was only one thing holding me back – that stupid circular saw. Seriously, I try not to let much intimidate me, but no matter how many times I use that thing I never get comfortable with it. For one, I’m a lefty and a circular saw is a very right-handed tool. Two, there is always kick-back when I use it. Always.

You know what makes a tool that could potentially cut your arm off even scarier? When it kicks back towards your body and there isn’t a damn thing you can do to stop it because you have to use it with your wrong hand.

Because I hate that saw so much, I’ve been lusting after a sliding compound miter saw. Except a good one of those runs around $500. It’s a lot of money. I could go cheaper and just get a miter saw but a decent one of those runs a couple of hundred bucks – still a lot of money in a household that doesn’t have much. Miter SawOut of the spoils of my divorce, I just happen to have a Makita miter saw in my shed. Miter Saw with frayed cordThe problem with this miter saw is the cord was in such bad shape there was absolutely no way I was going to plug that sucker in without replacing the cord first. So I started getting out the screwdrivers and taking it apart – because at this point what do I have to lose?Miter Saw with stripped screw Of course there is always that one screw that screws you and strips. My usual trick of using a Green Robbie wasn’t getting it out. My Dad told me to try using a brand new Phillips bit in my drill. Something about the bit cutting in more because it’s new. Miter Saw wiringMiter Saw wiring twoThank you Dad, because that worked. So then I took pictures of the wiring because I’m way too old to trust my memory – and took the old cord off.

Then I made my first trip this weekend to Home Hardware. Usually by Sunday I’ve been there at least 3 or 4 times already. I love that store – it’s close to my house and they have Fred. Fred knows where everything is, and Fred actually knows how shit works so he can help me figure out what I need to do if I’m a little lost. So I bought 9 feet of new cord, a new plug, a bolt to replace the stripped one and a nut to replace the one that fell under the deck, a marret (Google claims this is the right spelling) and a crimp on connector. And because sometimes I can actually be optimistic, a new saw blade. The saw blade was $34 dollars and the total bill was under $50. So already this is a pretty cheap repair.

I’m not going to show you how I replaced the cord because I’m not very comfortable giving advice when it comes to playing with electricity. If you ever need to know, there are You Tube videos out there. Let’s just say, I got it all back together and it works.

Miter Saw with lots of toolsYou can see by all the tools I made a lot of trips back and forth to the toolbox, which is usually the case for something I’ve never done before. I just don’t usually do it gimping along with a broken toe. Now I suppose I could have called it a day at this point, but since I was having such a blast cutting wood without worrying about performing a self amputation, I made the clothesline posts.

Since it was a full day and Matt was around with his young muscles, I coaxed him into digging the post holes. In a couple of days I’ll string the line – and I will use Fred’s suggestion of cutting the wire with a hack-saw because side cutters do not work on clothesline cable. If you want instructions for building your own clothesline check out this post on DIY Diva.

Having a saw I’m comfortable using is going to make all the difference around here. I have a list of projects that I’ve been avoiding just because I didn’t want to use the circular saw or ask someone to cut lumber for me. So being able to repair the miter saw was a boon. Having a clothesline is going to be an even bigger boon with what the Ontario Liberals have done to our electricity rates. Here in Ontario we have Time of Use billing – which means the rates between 7am and 7pm are jacked sky-high so we all have to wait until after 7 pm, when I would really rather be doing other things or the weekend when I for sure want to be doing other things than laundry.

Author: Vanessa D.

Thirteen years ago, I was newly separated with a leaky faucet. I bought a new cartridge and came home to turn off the water while asking myself "What's the worst that could happen?" and got started. The worst that has ever happened is I've accidentally reversed the hot & cold and had to turn the water back off to fix it. Since then I've taught myself how to do as much as I can, because waiting for Prince Charming is not an option. I'm not so great at relationships, but I can handle this single thing and so can you.

2 thoughts on “A Miter Saw and A Clothesline”

  1. Once again I am impressed. I went up to Lowes last week with my son trying to find materials to put together a switch, battery and circuit. I was clueless. Thankfully we met Bob, who like Fred, helped us. Though when we got home, we still couldn’t figure it out. Glad you got your saw working. I’m terrified of saws.

    1. A miter saw is a lot more comfortable to use than a circular saw, I’m extremely happy to have it working and usable. I’m sure you’ll see it featured in some upcoming posts!

      Fred is the best, although some of the other staff is pretty good too.

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