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This is a question DIY disasters

I just can't do power tools. They always fly out of control and end up embedded somewhere they shouldn't. I've no idea how I've still got all the appendages I was born with.

Add to that the fact that nothing ends up square, able to support weight or free of sticking-out sharp bits and you can see why I try to avoid DIY.

Tell us of your own DIY disasters.

(, Thu 3 Apr 2008, 17:19)
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This question is now closed.

Water Feature

I was making a bamboo water feature for my mother the attempt to keep cats away from the pond something along the lines of: www.drsfostersmith.com/images/Categoryimages/normal/p_13806_27195P_10.jpg
anyway I had to seal up the bottom of the middle bamboo because some git at the garden centre had poked a hole through.

I searched my Dads garage for some sealant but couldn't find any so came up with the bright idea of using wax...

So I got a jam jar and put a load of left over Xmas candles that my mother had lying around in it, now the plan, how to melt them? Hmm... oh yeah, Dads got one of those heat guns that you melt cling film with over doors or something (have you spotted I'm not very clued up on DIY yet?)
So I put the heat gun over the top of the jam jar and it balances perfectly woo hoo!

2/3 mins later the wax has all melted so I positioned the bamboo in the vice with some surgical gauze (Mum's a nurse) over the hole and picked up the jam jar..........

Do a good job those heat guns don't they?!

the jar was stuck to my hand for what seemed an eternity, but it was enough to get me out of the garage and into the pond in about 5 seconds,

(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 16:12, 2 replies)
just go and buy one !!
a few years back a mate of mine and his wife were house hunting, they were a newly married couple in their early 20's both with very very good jobs and they had been looking for the perfect place (they were living with his parents so took their time) and one weekend, they believed they had found it.

a couple of nights after they viewed it they came round and i asked how it went they both looked at each other and cracked up "oh dear.. not good then" says i, and my mate replied "no we like it but it needs some work... something maybe you can help me with" i was greatly confused by this but my mate insisted that he tell me no more because if they get the place it would be easier to just look instead of trying to explain it,

anyway a couple of months of the process pass and they get the place and come to move in, being the ever helpful mate i am im there to help with lifting and sorting, and get my first look in the house.. apparently the guy who lived there before fancied himself as a bit of an inventor (wife left him because of it which is why he sold up) there was examples of his (mostly broken) work... like what i can only imagine to be some kind of automatic sink filler, or the modification to allow the carbon monoxide alarm to shut off the gas to the very black looking boiler (that was changed before they moved in)

But by far the best candidate for the story had to be the home built multi room air conditioning, this consisted of 6 inch orange drainage pipe (the same stuff that takes the waste from your toilet) basically run through the walls in a straight line from one end of the house to the other both upstairs and down stairs, where it needed to pass through a wall, he just drilled it, the pipes then had holes drilled in them roughly every half metre then both these bits of pipe were linked with various t pieces and flexable hose to a large wooden box stood next to the airing cupboard (little cupboard with the hot water tank in for you non brits) this box stood about 4 ft high, and was about 2 ft square and screwed shut... we got it open and found the heart of the system, this consisted of 3 car electric fans arranged one under the other at the bottom, these dragged air from holes in the bottom of the wooden box and blew it through 2 car radiators and up into a cowling that covered the whole lot, to which the pipes were connected, the radiators were fed from the hotwater supply (hence the box being next to the tank cupboard) which was in turn electrically heated but also there were valves in the pipework to allow cold water to run through the radiators to provide cooling in the summer

To be fair to the guy from the point of view of someone with computer/electronics and control systems backround he had done a nice job of setting up the electronics, and the wiring was very neat and tidy... all the valve and temp control was automatic, just like normal central heating systems it had a room thermostat in the hall way with fan speed controllers and all

but it was an eyesore, in some places the pipes had been painted in with the room (but not primed so it was flaking off) and in others like the kitchen it was un painted and just... orange

i did my job which was to sort the electrics and plumbing out, then it took us 3 days to rip all the pipework out and fill up all the holes and mess... this was pre digi cam days otherwise there would deffo have been pics of this..

apologies for length and most probably being completely bored
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 16:10, 1 reply)
Drain Bamaged and K2k6 remind me...
This is my own story of automedication.

Around March last year, I had a wart or something similar on the middle finger of my left hand, just on the inside of the top joint. I also had a can of that CO2 stuff you use on warts. Blasting it once seemed to have had little effect - so, in my impatience, after a couple of days, I gave it another blast, and then attacked my finger with a pair of nail clippers.

There was pain. There was blood. There is - still - a big callous-type thing on my finger, about 30 times bigger than the original wart. And the callous is ugly and painful. The wart wasn't.

I regret mistreating that wart. In a way, I miss it. I almost want it back.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 16:08, 20 replies)
I moved into a really cool flat with my girlfriend last year...
...and as such, there's not a lot of DIY we can do.

I did have to repair a shelf though. It's in the bathroom, and looked fine, but was only resting on its brackets...

...as I discovered when I leant lightly on one end of it and it shot up and spanged me \o/
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 16:05, Reply)
Jackson's bollock
A combination of buying my first home in the mid 90s (i.e. one you're allowed to use something less innocuous than blutack to support pictures of tennis players scratching their bum), and consequently having neither a car nor the money to pay tradesmen, lead to many steep learning curves.

To be fair, some of the problems were inherent, though most were inherited from a couple of hippies who owned the house before us - the major protagonist we called 'sellotape man'.

His howlers were wonderful, deluded and profoundly optimistic. Drawer bottoms (the ones that are meant for tins) , tiles, shelves, heaps of sellotape. A stable door with hardboard where a window should have been.

When they'd artexed (thanks for that) the front room, and painted it pink, they painted round a chest of drawers, so there was a large white rectangle remaining when they moved out.

His proudest DIY moment was fixing a leaking ball-cock valve. These work by floating on the surface of the water, and shut off when they reach a certain height. His wouldn't, so he got a bit of garden twine, and attached an old socket spanner too it, and hung it out of the cold water tank to lift it a bit. Cost of a new one - £2.

Sometimes though...shit just happens. The walls in this place were horsehair and plaster, c1900, knackered, crumbly.
Most corners were obtuse. Most walls bowed.
Not ideal territory for an Ikea project.
Anyway, cupboard duly assembled and mounted, feeling rather smug, compliments paid, condiments displaid, we went out on a munted walk....

.....and returned an hour later to this..

We had a very bad Sunday morning once. Alarmed by a crack in the ceiling (different house) I decided to pull up the floor boards in the ensuite to see if there was a leak.
Carefully edged up the first board.... and was greated with 'old faithful' errupting in my face - but the worst of it - it was the hot water pipe not the cold feed... and I couldn't find the shut off, so it drained the entire central heating loop into the ceiling plaster..
A few weeks later, the night after one of our mates had been sleeping on a sofabed directly underneath it... with an enormous whumpf, this happened.

Turned out the previous bodgeitnscarper occupants had nailed through the pipe, and it had held till I pulled the board up.

Possibly my most embarrassing and comedy bodge up came when replacing a washing machine in a house I'd just bought, which had the electricity on a meter.

Unfamiliar with the house, I decided to unplumb the washing maching but undid the 'mains' side of the water pipe, not the handy tap side by mistake.

Cue full on mains pressure water pissing out all over me, I was soaked in minutes. I kept trying but I just couldn't force it back on again, the flow was too strong and my hands were numb from the cold. Alone in the house, I was caught between two stools - should I hold the hose and keep trying (up to an inch of water now in the kitchen) - or should I try to find the stopcock (didn't know where it was yet).
I made a break for it, scurried round the house, opening cupboards, that kind of thing, desperate to find the stopcock, when 'click' the electricity card ran out of credit. It was dark. Kitchen in 3 inches of water. No back door key. No electricity. No sign of the stopcock. Eventually I fumbled my way back to the hose and managed to reinsert the mains tap, utterly drenched. I'd only gone in for a few mins. I had to drip my way to a 24hr tescos and buy a mop and bucket, looking like a proper sap.
And the kicker? They'd filled the hoses with bleach (must be a mrs beaton tip or something) and it totally destroyed a coat I'd bought at the weekend.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 16:03, 1 reply)
My wife and the lawnmower
Her ladyship jacked in her job with the arrival of Junior Fister.

One summer, when JF was maybe 3 or 4, Mrs Fister suggested that the front lawn needed mowed.

"OK", I said, "I'll do it when I get in from work".

"I'll do it!", she offered with previously unseen enthusiasm.

"No, best not, you've got enough on your plate with JF. I'll do it when I get home."

I came home that afternoon to the following scene:

1. the lawnmower out on the front grass
2. grass only half cut
3. lawnmower cable cut into 2 pieces.
4. no family members present

I concluded that the dozy bint had mowed through the cable and OH SHIT I DIDN'T HAVE A CIRCUIT BREAKER FITTED! PARP!

Quite clearly she was dead, and been carted off in the meat wagon. JF had probably gone to investigate, seen his mum lying on the grass, touched her, and been handed a similar fate.


I charged indoors to find them both doing a jigsaw on the living room floor. Postman Pat or some such shite.

"What in the name of blithering cunty bollocks has happened?"

"Oh I started to cut the grass, but JF picked up the edging shears and decided to cut through the cable. I left it for you to sort out.", she explained calmly.

"Aaaargh. Don't you know how fuckin dangerous that is? You could have both been killed?"

"Could we? How?"


After a basic tutorial on 'Buggering about with electricity 101', she's never touched the lawnmower since. Silly tart.

How they weren't killed is beyond me. Needless to say I now have a circuit breaker fitted at all times.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 15:42, 8 replies)
power tools, anasthetic hahaha I laugh in THEIR FACE!
Well, we all know DIY as being a right royal pain in the arse. We think we can do it 'better than the professionals' and cant be arsed/too poor to pay the gazillions 'the professionals'

Back in the summer of 2007, I had a problem...a little/big problem. A problem that was approx 1/2 an inch too big, somewhere it really shouldnt have been. Thats right, I had an ingrowing (big) toe nail.

If any of you have ever been unlucky enough to have one of these you'll know the familiar burning and throbbing that starts out in your big toe, and radiates out to the far side of your foot as you try and walk with the majority of your weight on the side.

Well, sweating like a nun in a Cucumber field, the celing fan doing its best not to cool down the heat in the room and my feet throbbing I was at my lowest. "Right, thats it, fuck it, i've had enough, if the damn docs wont sort my foot out, i'm going to" and with that I went off to collect: nail clippers, scissors, a nail file, a towel, a roll of loo paper, and a box of plasters.

I soaked my foot in a bowl of ice water, and dried it off. In hindsight I should have stopped here and enjoy the blessed relife this gave me, but no...No I didnt.

I started by clipping the small bit of visable nail, so far so good. Now I needed leverage. Taking the nail file and ignoring the huge amount of pain I was in, I positioned the file under the nail and pushed downwards, forcing the nail up a fraction of a millimeter. clip clip. I should have stopped here, but I didnt, No I didnt,

I kept on with this DIY, and when the pain got to much, I soaked my foot in the iced bowl of water, and continued occassionally stopping to mop up the blood.

By now i'm about a 1/3rd of the way down the foot and cursing for all of Mother England. My choices are clear: cut my losses, and hope ive not made things worse, or continue and remember the blessed relief i'm feeling from the top 3rd of my toe.

There wasn't a decision to be made. Im 100% comitted to my cause now despite the state of my once clean white towel now closely resembling...well, a towel that is seriously bloodied, I continued.

Now, Dear Reader, One cannot quite descibe the pain I was in at this point. Every levering action was causing me to clench my teeth, tense my neck, and my eyes to water. Imagine, if you will cutting yourself and pouring a vingar, salt, and nettle mixture of it. Well, thats kinda how it felt with a dull throb to boot.

3/4's of the way down, and im seriously beginning to get worried about the amount of blood loss. Not because i'm a wimp, but i'm pretty sure that removing something which was stopping your blood from spilling out is pretty damn bad. I watch casualty, and I know that if you're losing blood you replace that with more blood. Not having any to hand, I thought sod it and carried on.

Almost there now, and my towel, bed sheet, and the floor is looking a lovely shade of crimson. drip drip drip drip drip. Its becoming easier to cut and eventually, almost 40 mins after I started, I'd finish. The professionals would have done it for free (after an 8 month waiting list on the NHS!)

Right, well, what to do next?

These lots of blood and a massive hole in my toe. Wrapping my foot in the towel I grabbed some cotton wool. Rubbed a bit of antiseptic on the wound (hey, I was being silly enough as it is!) and plastered it up.

Do you know what? It healed! Its absolutly bloody fine!

Its not the first time I dont this...I've done something similar with verucca's!

Click I like this if you think I should retrain as a doctor...or not.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 15:03, 19 replies)
The sad tale of The Glue
Over the long Easter weekend I was fixing a few bits and pieces around the house, and found that the front of a shelf was coming off.

I decided to use superglue to fix it back on, so I glued it all on, maybe being a little free with the amount that I used.

I noticed that I'd got a lace on my boots untied, so I bent down, rested my head on the front of the cabinet, tied it, then stood up, ripping out a good-sized clump of hair.

I felt both stupid, and hurt. Decided against telling anyone, so I had to get scissors to cut my now-disembodied hair from the front of the shelf. Left me feeling a right fool.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 15:03, 2 replies)
I have a hard act to live up to.
My dad is one of those freakishly-good-at-DIY types; everything he fixes stays fixed and lasts for years, a quality he got from his own father, and he can fix pretty much anything if given the right tools*. He genuinely enjoys it and since retiring when I was still in school, will happily take on other people's DIY jobs as long as they don't try to pay him. I think I know who I'm getting to install all my stuff in the first post-uni flat with Mr Maladicta (I am a total beadlehands and cannot be trusted with power tools).

My grandad, who died in February, however, is another story. Everything he came into contact with was either reattached to its original position with tons of black insulating tape, or it would have several extremely complicated mechanisms holding it together. This is how my nan's iron ended up being attached to a spring, resulting in it catapulting onto the carpet and burning a nice iron-shaped hole.

* This does not extend to computer glitches, where his preferred method is to use the little bit of DOS he still remembers from work sometime in the early 90s and type "format c:\"
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 14:49, 4 replies)
Paint colours
Colours are lovely, aren't they? I've spent a fair bit of time recording colour information. It's amazing, for example, the variation in the colour of soil. There are special charts so you can determine exactly the correct shade of what invariably gets recorded as "mid grey-brown sandy loam".

When it comes to computer science, I'm yer woman if you want to know about colour perception and the spectral profile of different types of illumination. Colours are reduced to precise numbers, and to wavelengths. I have a spectroradiometer and I'm not afraid to use it.

Paint, however, is less of a scientific rigour. In paint factories some womble just chucks a couple of cans together, gives it a stir, and declares it "sunset breeze". Sunset fucking breeze? It's orange, mate, probably a particulary nasty 255 153 0 to be precise.

If Jim could fix it for me, he'd fix it so I worked in a paint factory for a day naming colours. I'd carefully mix my own Brilliant Sludge, Emo Twilight, and Vagina Blush 3. Then I'd properly catalogue the whole selection of stock using numbers. Big numbers. Then I'd go and sort out the people who manufacture stupid flavoured soaps.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 14:49, 43 replies)
Lovely Landlord Roy
I used to have a really nice landlord called Roy - hence the subject of my answer this week.

He was a really handy guy, and friendly, he taught me how to use a drill and electric screwdriver. As landlords go, he was easily the best by far.

As he was teaching me the way of the tool, he told me about the first time he lost his mobile.

He was concreting a floor, and some of the concrete was contained in a bucket levelled underneath by a plank of wood.

He accidentally stood on the wood as he was taking on his mobile and had a "carry on" type fall, with the phone flicking in the air and landing in the bucket.

Knowing it was beyond redemption, he left it there and carried on concreting the floor.

The story doesn't end there, just as well really as no humour is contained within.

Anyway, the following morning, he pops off to buy another mobile on his way to finish the job.

Thinking it would be hilarious, he decides to ring his old phone, from his new one, just to see what happens.

As he's walking across the floor, new mobile to ear, listening to "floor" ring, he begins to chortle. Distracted by this mild amusement he stands on the piece of wood, has ANOTHER "carry on" type fall and flicks his new phone into the concrete.

The only reason he did not do this for a third time, he informed me, was that he could not remember the number to his newest phone.

Bless 'im
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 13:48, 4 replies)
PJM's story reminded me
My uncle was in the RAF and, as it turns out, flew aircraft (Lightnings) designed partly by PJM's dad. However, when my uncle was a wee chap, his interest lay in rather smaller aeroplanes. Balsa models, to be exact.

So after he'd spent weeks building a particularly fine example of a model aircraft - dope, tissue paper, paint, the works - he didn't want it to be damaged. So it was duly placed on top of the piano in the spare room, out of harm's way and away from unruly siblings who may have caused an aviation catastrophe.

My grandad (see earlier in this QOTW), who was not renowned for his subtlety, finesse or skill in the DIY department, was shortly afterwards doing a job in the (unfloored) attic.

You've guessed the next bit already. He appeared through the ceiling, having missed his footing on the joist and, of all the places in the house, landed smack bang on top of the piano.

The piano, and my grandad, survived. The aeroplane however, being made of a less sturdy form of cellulose than polished walnut, did not.

My uncle wasn't best pleased.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 13:45, 1 reply)
Got One
Have many, regrettably, but one springs to mind in particular.

"This one time, at band camp, ..." (no, not that one, thankfully).

I decided when studying to create a model for myself that would predict when I'd next have a girlfriend.

Unsurprisingly, as it relied on a complex - and, many would say, wholly unmodelable variable (the female psyche), it didn't work.

I became, therefore, more and more saddened at being the geek that no-one loved. This lead to my being Depressed In Yearning.

Should I get my coat?
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 13:41, 1 reply)
Women and DIY
I doubt this the right place for me to get on my soapbox (sorry it's not funny) but....

To all the women who whine and complain that their partner never gets stuff done.

Learn how to do it yourself you lazy mare, it's not bloody rocket science. It isn't difficult to put up shelves or paint and if you are really struggling you can even take classes in it at many colleges now so there is no excuse.

I have an assortment of power tools and I know how to use all of them, I have no qualms about doing a bit of plumbing, wiring, painting or a bit of car or motorcycle maintenance. I have taken the time to find out how to do it rather than relying on my partner to do it (would have been a very long wait).

Quick edit after reading a few more posts: Common sense is very useful for DIY whatever sex you are!
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 13:32, 8 replies)
DIY psychiatry disasters
Unable to afford expensive therapy, I often end up being my own psychiatrist. Every so often, I have the habit of psychoanalysing myself and adjusting my personality according to my conclusions. Sometimes, this does not go as well as planned. Here are a couple of times things went somewhat wrong.

1988: Aged 14, and I was being bullied on the school bus. This was mostly being teased, and rarely went physical. After taking a step back and looking at the problem, I realised that the cause was my over-reaction to being teased. I decided to master self-control and ignore any insults flung my way. Metaphorically, I treated my anger as a fire and decided to avoid having fuel added to the fire. This worked and the fire went out of it's own accord. This had the desired effect. Nearly everyone (apart from one twunt, but even he eventually stopped) stopped bullying me. However, such mastery of self-control was unheard of amongst my peers and from the outside, I appeared to have very low self-esteem. Internally, this was because I was letting insults pass right through me, but from the outside, it appeared as if I didn't care. Initially, I did not feel this way and had lots of inner calm, but this perception of low self-esteem eventually got to me, and it became how I viewed myself. Also, people were gradually starting to take advantage of my generosity and ability to not fight back.

1992: It was my last year at school and I would soon be off to university. I decided that it would be a good idea to once and for all get rid of my shyness. Up until then, I had relied on my intelligence and my imagination to supplement the gap in my worldview that resulted from not having participated in enough conversations. My solution would be to try and mentally force myself to bypass my intelligence so I'd be forced to ask questions, which would lead to me, becoming engaged in conversation. This appeared to work. My social-life skyrocketed when I went to uni, but seeing that I was studying for a Computer Science degree, bypassing my intelligence may not have been the best idea. DOH!

Today: While some of my shyness still remains, I consider myself to be an enthusiastic individual, and have 'hacked' my personality in such a way that I rely on my enthusiasm to smash through my shyness. This has varying degrees of success. Sometimes, people become scared by my enthusiasm, although personally, I think this is because they are a bunch of wusses, although these days, after another application of DIY psychiatry, I've toned down my enthusiasm.

I have had many DIY psychiatry successes, but these are just the disasters I can think of right now.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 13:04, Reply)
My DIY usually comes out great.
I've done electrical, plumbing, woodworking, etc. with success. What I'm not so good with is painting. Give me a spray gun or bomb and paint booth and I'm fine. Give me a roller and make me choose a paint colour and I'm a spacking idiot.

In my last flat, my boyfriend was away on business and I decided it was time to repaint the bathroom. I had a funky idea for it: use smoky purple matte paint on the walls, grey on the cabinet doors, and update the hardware with stainless steel replacements. All good.

Except...with Mr. Armadillo gone, I was left to choose paint for myself. I went out and purchased a can in the desired colour, rushed home and started putting it on the walls. Unfortunately, what looked like a gray-purple on the swatch actually looked light mauve in the cruel light of day, invoking an old lady's lavatory (my nan's, circa 1982, actually) or a little girl's carousel horse themed bedroom.

I didn't want to repaint and risk greater disaster, so I let it be until Mr. Armadillo got home. Needless to say, he found it hilarious, but took me to the hardware store for another attempt at choosing the correct colour. He walks into the paint section, goes up to a cart of mistints, reaches in, picks one out, says, "This should be about right." And it was spot on. It was even the right type of paint.

Suffice it to say, I heard about that for quite a long time. Sadly, the light mauve splashes of paint I managed to get on the brand new tile lasted even longer.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 12:58, Reply)
Dad does it again
As a reward for enduring two hours at a DIY store one Saturday afternoon, my Dad bought me one of those "Flying Gliders" polystyrene type planes with the little whirly propellor on the front.

Like these:

My father decreed however that mini-PJM wasn't trusted with the complicated task of assembling it though, in case I "bugger it up". My father, with thirty year experience with engineering and aeronautics elected to assemble my P-47 Thunderbolt himself, notwithstanding the fact that I had a veritable Luftwaffe of the things in a little box in my room.

Thus he grabs a tube of Humbrol Polystyrene Cement and proceeds to glue the tailplane in place. Can you guess what happened next?

My P-47 ends up with a whacking great hole in the tailplane as the Polystyrene Cement burns it's way through like acid. Polystyrene Cement is used to glue together Airfix models and works by melting the plastic together.

Silly Dad.

So in the time honoured tradition of the Great British Bodge, he grabs some thick electrical tape and tapes over the holed tailplane before inserting it in it's little slot.

Now here's a funny thing an aeronatuical engineer should know, any type of gliding aircraft requires the centre of gravity to be perfectly balanced to ensure the wing is dragged through the air by a weight in the nose. If you upset that balance, for example by applying a large wrapping of heavy tape to the back of a polystyrene P-47 Thunderbolt, then the glider will drop like a stone.

Seeing the disappointment on my young face, he reacts with exasperation and removes the plastic weight from the nose of my glider and returns it to me.

Yep, it ended up flying better backwards.

Cheers Dad.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 12:48, 3 replies)
like father, like son.
my dad was a notoriously intolerant diy'er. woodwork was usually ok- thought things that didn't need to adhere to a certain size tended to end up at least 25% bigger than was strictly necessary. however cars were his weak point.
you could always tell when my pop was going to pop, you'd hear the immortal lines- a slightly quizzical yet exasperated 'what the fuck's going on with.. ' followed shortly by an almighty 'BASTARD FUCKING THING!!!!!!' usually followed by the crash of something being thrown in the air.
one time, after trying to do something arcane with the carburettor in our nice newish volvo, i heard the fateful words, looked round to see him storming away form the car, and hurling a rather large wrench into the air like a man posessed. up, up it went, reached the apex, twinkled defiantly in the sunlight, and l;ike a star falling to earth, plummeted down, and rather dramatically smashed the front windscreen, and made a chuffin great hole in the dashboard.
the look of total despair on his face is something i remember when he moans at me for overcooking the roast potatoes on christmas.

fast forward to the present day. pete's trying to refit a door onto what's a rather shabbily installed louvre type cabinet round a hot water tank, after the original door de-hinged due to a sex-related incident. one of the screws appear to have been gnawed by some wee beastie and has no head to work with. it's got to come out, or the door won't go back on and the landlord will shit (he's due home that afternoon) after trying to unscrew it with molegrips, i finally decide that being a small screw in soft wood, i could simply pull it out.
so i get my trusty clawhammer, and try to remove it as i would a nail.
as the entire cabinet comes off the wall, in falling separates into two louvred sides, and one pile of slats and splintered frame, 2 large chunks of plasterboard rip off the wall, and the whole lot crashes onto me, making me fall backwards breaking the slats on my futon, i hear the immortal words 'BASTARD...FUCKING... THING!!!' burst from my lips, and suddenly, i'm standing on our drive again watching a wrench spin silently throgh the air...
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 12:35, Reply)
Building site ineptitude
Alright, so this is a pearost, and the building site scenario is a tenuous link, but bugger it - I still laugh when I cast my mind back to Reg telling the tale in an Edinburgh pub (Greyfriars Bobby's Bar, to be exact).

The silly sod.


I have a friend who is a self employed builder. At the moment he's about half way through a massive renovation of a building in the wilds of Northumberland - the owner is a millionaire who wants some stables converting into a home. Nice.

Now, Reg is a lovely bloke, and gave another friend a labouring job, paying way above the going rate. All Brad had to do was help out, fetching and carrying, tidying up and assisting the other tradesmen, for which he received over a grand a month. Not bad at all, really.

Did I mention that this was in the wilds of Northumberland? I did? Good.

So anyway, one day Brad is asked to dispose of a bag full of spent shotgun cartridges - there's a lot of shooting goes on on the estate, and you don't really want spent shells lying all over the place. Especially as some of them might have been duds that hadn't gone off for some reason... Health & Safety and all that. No, no, you want to get rid of them in a safe and controlled manner, like burying them for example.

Brad, though, didn't. No, being the type of person who educated himself through watching TV, and the Open University in particular, he thought he knew everything about the disposal of ballistics, and wasn't going to listen to anyone regarding the proper and safe way to render them harmless. No, his way was best (honestly, if you ever met this bloke you'd know what I meant - decent feller, but you can't tell him anything).

So he emptied the bag full of shotgun cartridges onto an open fire...

When Reg heard the explosion, he wondered if there was some shooting going on, then realised that the noise was too close for that. Investigating, he saw Brad, still peering into the fire and wondering what the fuck has just happened. His eyebrows were totally singed off, nasal hair was gone and his fringe was just a tad on the crispy side.

The fact that he was still stood peering into the fire after this had happened tells you all you need to know about him really.

On another occasion he was asked to dispose of a door. Which he did, by throwing it onto a skip. A skip that was piled high with other assorted rubbish...

Apparently he watched, rooted to the spot as he threw the door onto the top of the pile, and continued to watch as it slid gracefully back towards him, before connecting heavily with his forehead and knocking him flat on his arse...
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 12:33, 2 replies)
DIY practical joke
A rather naive yet delightfully annoying colleague rather foolishly asked me about the hottest type of pepper in the world. I told him it was the morningwood pepper, that it was pinkish in colour, cylindrical, with a purple tip and if handled correctly produces up to a teaspoonful of seeds.

He's just come back from the Morrison's suitably embarrassed after asking a (young) female shop assistant for a jar of morning wood sauce...
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 12:31, Reply)
The moment your heart stops
I'm pretty good at DIY. My wort problem is usually finishing off - you know the scene, you've done 90% of the job in a couple of days and when the room is ready enough to use, u forget about all the little jobs until about six months later when you finally tire of the missus nagging.

Anyway, I'd had to refit some pipes for the bathroom at some point which had meant pulling up the floorboards in the adjacent room. The job was a success and, as we never used that back bedroom, I'd never got round to banging the boards back down properly.

A couple of weeks later and we are going on holiday, to Barbados for two weeks of bliss and sunshine. We were packed ready to go, missus had called a cab and we were just going round making sure the house was all locked up tight.
As we have a couple of cats, my brother was coming later that day to stay and look after them.
Just as the cab pulls up, the missus tells me I need to bang those boards back down in case my brother (tbh an accident prone guy) trips over them. So I grab a hammer and dash upstairs as she lugs her bags outside.
Now the boards where in place already, the nails sticking up out of them waiting to be banged in. Marvelous I thought and gave the first nail a hefty whack.
Soon as the nail went in there was the most awful hissing noise and I could almost feel my heart sink down into my belly. I knew I'd hit a pipe, but now I couldn't get the damn floorboard back up. I ran downstairs, grabbed a chisel which I was able to use to pry the board back up just in time to get a face full of water from the large hole in the pipe.
remembering an old plumbers trick, I knew if I could find a screw, I could screw it into the hole and stop the tide of water.
I ran back down the stairs, found a screw but no screwdriver. So I'm up there, water spraying all over my face trying to twist this screw into the hole with just my fingers. I manage to get it in and I thought, nice one - job has been jobbed, when the damn thing pinged across the room and water started spraying all over the place again.
Admitting defeat I ran downstairs and did the thing I would have done in the first place - switch of the mains water supply.
Once that was done, I surveyed the damage.... the downstairs ceiling was leaking water all over the place, a lovely brown rusty colour too.
Cabby was beeping his horn outside and if I didn't leave now we would miss our flight.
So, I did what any guy would do at this point, picked up the phone and called the one guy I knew who could sort this for me.
"Dad??" - thankfully mine is a legend and by the time we were ready to board our flight he sent me a message to say he'd sorted the problem.
When we got home we found a new addition to the mantelpiece, the piece of copper pipe had been cut out and mounted onto a block of wood.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 12:00, 3 replies)
Great timing
Back when i was a wee lad my dad was busy turning the loft in to a playroom. I was busy trying to scare the bejeevus out of my brother and sister by jumping in to my room, where they were sitting unawares, and fireing my cap gun. Yes i know, devious. Now imagine my suprise when the moment i pulled that trigger, my ceiling exploded! When it was safe to look up i was confronted with a leg cavorting about from the ceiling. On closer inspection i found the leg belonged to my dad whose downfall had been caused by placing a trusting foot on the fiendishly thin boarding between the loft beams. Silly bugger only then went and fell through above his own bedroom a couple of days later. He did build a good loft though.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 11:45, Reply)
I was called by a friend...
... to help her put up some venetian blinds. She handed me the blinds and a roll of sticky tape and asked me if that would work as her landlord wouldn't allow her to drill holes.

Made me smile.

However, she told me that night how she got these obscene calls time and time again. She was a petite young-looking girl in her 20s at the time.

She found out the number via the telecom company (this was the mid-90s), went to the place and rang the door bell. Woman opened her door, she asked if so-and-so lived here and the woman said: "That's my son!"

So the mother calls down the son and my friend told her what he's been up to lately- while he was standing next to her.

I would have wanted to be him then. Or ever.

DIY skills: Shit.
Balls: Present!
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 11:41, Reply)
Expandy Foam, Part II
After my exciting tale of foam-based trouble, www.b3ta.com/questions/diy/post137148 comes this story of woe.

A friend of mine, P, had recently moved into a new terraced house.

He decided to get the front and back walls cavity insulated, being a fairly eco-conscious fellow, and this all went off without a hitch.

His confidence boosted, he decided to hire a "cavity wall pumper-ma-jig" (™) and to Do It Himself on the side walls.

He failed to realise that the side walls of this house were rather thin, and obviously shared with the people next door.

He drilled a hole, fitted the foam hose up to it, and left it running for a while.

This would've been fine, but it turned out that he'd drilled into the back of the woman-next-door's fitted wardrobe, and filled the entire thing up with hard-setting foam.

He knew nothing of this until she next went to get some clothes out, slid the door across, and was confronted with something resembling a giant scone, with edges of clothes peeking out like deformed, fabric raisins.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 11:18, 4 replies)
I so desparately....
Want to be able to contribute to QOTW, but alas I have nothing to offer. I've drilled holes in walls, put up shelves, tiled and I even managed to rebuild my cars engine when I was 19yrs old and the worst injury I ever had was a cut finger.

However reading the stories leads me to believe that woman can be a mitigating factor leading to some of these disastrous screw up. Perhaps I should be asking more pertinent questions when I meet ladies such as 'So, do you like to do it yourself'. This could save me a whole lot of bother.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 11:11, Reply)
This QOTW has been mildly annoying for me,
because I'm not bad at DIY. I can put up shelves, assemble flat-pack furniture, and even do the odd spot of car repair with a minimum of fuss. So it's been pretty hard for me to think of anything to post at all.

Until this weekend, this is barely on topic, but I'm going to post it anyway. You see, the current Mrs Monkeysex had come round, and true to our name, we were rutting away like an army of Gibbons up to their eyeballs in Viagra and monkey porn.
She was happily bouncing away on top of me, inhibitions to the wind, and her breasts boinging up and down all lovely like. When, she decides to stop, pull me out and lay by my side, before whispering softly into my ear, 'I want to see you come.'
Frankly, I'm just glad she's naked, and that she's there, I couldn't give a flip what we do.
So, she grabs hold of my throbbing member, and begins pumping away like an expert. Now, any man knows that most women are generally terrible at the manual stimulation, they grip too hard, or not hard enough, pull the skin too tight, their weedy little arms just can't pump fast enough, or long enough.
This was the first time Mrs Monkeysex had ever done this to me, and I was impressed. She slapped the Dolphin at just the right speed, her grip of the monster, just below the neck, was spot on, hell she was better at it than I am! I lay there in paroxysms of ecstasy, I could feel the orgasm building inside me, I knew it wouldn't be long before my cock-Vesuvius was erupting it's sticky magma, drowning my pubic lice like Roman peasants.
But, bugger me, it just wouldn't happen! Curse the Gods of masturbation, I was laying there, receiving the best handjob of my life, but my little mini eggs of pleasure just wouldn't bring forth the spooge of life. Dammit, she was happily fwapping away for a good, long, long time. I was writhing away, moaning and groaning, on the cusp of an explosion of cataclysmic proportions for what must have been at least half an hour.

'Sod this for a game of soldiers,' she said, 'Do It Yourself.'

Which I happily did, in less than 30 seconds.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 10:48, 7 replies)
Never having thought of myself as a DIY person, I'm beginning to learn now. I even own a drill, god help me.

In the bathroom, though, you can see the evolution of my tiling skills: if you look at that wall, the tiles are straight and - if I say so myself - not a million miles from professional-looking. But now look around to your right, clockwise over the sink and along the bath to the tap end. It's like looking incrementally back in time - an almost evening-by-evening record of the development (or, if you're moving to the right, the degeneration) of my DIY skills. There's a reason why I started to teach myself to tile on the bit of the wall hidden by the taps and shower curtain...
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 9:49, 5 replies)

This question is now closed.

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