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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)
Pages: Latest, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Off shore
DIY disaster? I don't have any disaster stories all mine are me fixing the disaster.

Off shore in a sinking boat. I saved my ass and those souls aboard the vessel, buy recognizeing and fixing a carbon monoxide leak enabling us to soundly pump the water over board using the engine.

I once removed a hive of bees from inside my neighbors wall.

Several times in space I had to weld a piece of formalable poly-steel to patch an air leak, on the outside of the ship.

When my tour guide crash landed the helicopter,
in the artic, I built a fire out of electrical components and a gum wrapper to roast a penguin which I had killed with a piece of rubber, a large metal ball and my feet.

When I was night diving a buddy lost his reg. I held him from shooting to the top and gave him air off my octo.
(, Tue 8 Apr 2008, 6:31, 6 replies)
This is True, I swear
In high school, I played Football (the American variety) and in the course of one hard fought battle, my best buddy, Carl busted his chin.

It was split wide open, about two inches by one half inch. He figured "I should probably go to the hospital." "Nonsense!" says I. "I am considering medical school and have served with distinction as a lifeguard!"

So, as my Parents had left for the summer home, we repaired to my home where I handed him a beer and said "Start drinking!" About four beers later, I broke out a sewing needle from my Sisters sewing supplies, heated it with a match and attached some polyester thread.

I handed him 4 motrins (pain killers, like that would help) and proceeded to stitch his chin up. 6 PERFECT stitches.

I was so impressed with my work that I drove him to my Sister's house, who is a Nurse. She was absolutely amazed!

The disaster bit? Infection. I failed to thoroughly clean out the wound. Two days later that thing smelled like the funkiest French cheese EVER! Imagine having that stink factory RIGHT beneath your nose! Poor bastard. It's suprising we are still friends frankly. Fortunately however, a couple of shots and some replacement stitches and he was fine.

One STUPID step and all my hard work was for naught!
(, Tue 8 Apr 2008, 4:29, 2 replies)
DIY Bikini Line
Ex-flatmate swears this is true.

He'd picked up some lass and lured her back to our flat and was about to get down and dirty when he noticed something. Her ladybits were a tad on the hairy side.

So he tromps into the bathroom, returns to his bed and chucks a razor at her.

"For fucks sake tidy yourself up a bit" he grumped then retired to the front room to watch telly until she'd finished.

When telling this tale in the pub he said:

"Man - it was so long I could have plaited the bugger"

He's such a charmer.....

(, Tue 8 Apr 2008, 1:53, 18 replies)
DIY abortions
It would appear that if you have another pregnancy over the child limit set in China and DIY the abortion you get a free meal:

(, Tue 8 Apr 2008, 1:05, 2 replies)
Nail surgery
So, the theme seems to have shifted to DIY surgery and medicine. I've got one good experience of this (not including the glycerol), and it involves my little finger.

I'd managed to run the little finger up against the door catch, and due to the angle it had come in at... basically ripped the nail up. But, it hadn't come out or off. It was just... lifted. As you could imagine it didn't look pretty. The doctor looked at it, told me to keep it clean and dry, and the nail would fall off in a few days. I was able to push the nail back down, and it looked pretty normal for an hour or two, when it would spring back up again at a 30 degree angle.

After three days... even with cleaning, dressing it, it was beginning to get a little nasty. The initial stages of an infection. Not a pleasant thought, as I'd had infected ingrown toenails before and had no desire to repeat it with a fingernail. So, I cleaned it up with diluted dettol as best I could, and I sat down in the lounge with a big bowl of warm heavily salted water, and soaked my hand in it, to soften everything up. An hour or so later, my family were sitting down and watching TV with me. I judged the nail to be about ready... and to this day I've never forgotten the face my mother made when she saw me take my hand out of the water, grab the nail with a pair of pliers and rip it out.

What's amazing is that it didn't hurt at all. Obviously, I felt the incredible pull and pressure, but it didn't hurt. It looked rather odd after the nail had been pulled out of its 'socket', but now that it wasn't in the way I could get to the flesh proper. Gave it another dettol scrub, and this time didn't bother to dress it, preferring to let it dry out as much as possible.

Completely cleared up in three days, though it took weeks for the nail to grow back. Fascinating, watching it progress across the base, until the day it was actually long enough to cut.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 23:00, 4 replies)
My D.I.Y disasters
1. My wife asked me to knock 2 rooms into one, so I removed the lounge ceiling.

2. I built a conservatory from clingfilm and drinking straws. (If the planning officer asks, its a windowbox, ok?)

3. To save wasting time using wallpaper paste, I simply stapled the paper to the wall.

4. I ran out of polyfilla whilst plugging gaps in the wall. So I used batter. Now every hot day, I get the urge for pancakes.

5. When a fuse blew in the consumer unit in my hall, due to the absence of 5amp fusewire, I substituted a 3 inch nail.
I can now power a small nuclear reactor without blowing the circuit, but my domestic appliances have all melted.

I confess to being worse at DIY than Robert Mugabe is at gracefully accepting defeat.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 22:16, 2 replies)
While we're covering DIY surgery...
I made the mistake one night of walking home without my shoes on. They were stupid bastard high girly heels and they made my size nines hurt like a bitch. I was drunk, it was a warm night, I thought nothing of the safety of my tootsies...

The next morning, the sole of my left foot was really, REALLY sore. Just up towards the ball of my foot, couldn't put it down properly. I figured it was the shoes, I couldn't see anything there (mind you, the bottom of my foot was pretty disgusting from the walk home). I thought no more about it, and limped on...

Days passed and the pain subsided. But my foot never felt quite, well, right. Eventually, out of curiosity, I waited till my office was empty and slipped off my shoe. There, in the ball of my foot was a lump, hard and irregularly shaped. I poked, I prodded, I said "ow" quite a lot. What to do? Wait for a doctors appointment? Go to the NHS walk in centre? Or...

I nipped down to the lab and picked up some ethanol wipes, a spray bottle of ethanol, autoclaved forceps and a scalpel and a pack of fresh blades. I then hid in one of the instrument rooms, cleaned the forceps and scalpel with ethanol, just to be sure, then wiped my foot with the alcohol wipes.

And then I sliced. A nice neat incision about a centimeter long. Using the forceps I pushed the flesh on either side back slightly and bugger me, I could see something. For there, wedged in the bottom of my foot was something clear and shiny. I gently eased the forceps around it, grabbed and pulled.

And out slid a chunk of broken glass, about the size of a 5p piece and twice as thick.

It was at this point that I realised my foot was hurting like fuck and I had to sit in the "I'm going to faint" position for a minute.

But when I stood up, there was no pain, no discomfort and a couple of days later, no indication that I'd ever cut the bottom of my own foot open.

My triumph was shortlived. I recounted my daring deed to one of the graduate students in the lab who used to be a nurse. "That's nothing" she scoffed "I drained a cyst from Prof T's neck the other day with a 21 gauge needle..."
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 22:06, 5 replies)
Treeless treehouse
I remember when I was little I had a huuuge tree in my back garden. I loved that tree. Til one day my dad decided to chop it down... I was quite sad about it but what made it worse was the fact that about a month later he told me how he'd always wanted to build me a tree house. Now this seemed quite stupid to me as he'd just destroyed the main thing you need to make a TREE house... But no fear! He had a plan. He decided to make the tree house on stilts and to make it even cooler, create a slide so that when I wanted to get down I could slip my way to freedom. So he made the house, gave it some legs, made a wooden slide which he put at the back and I have to be fair, it looked pretty cool...though dangerous. The only thing wrong with it was that he gave up half way through so it was basically a box on legs, with no hole at the back yet so I couldn't slide down (I had to climb up the slide to get to the top) plus the slide was made of wood so I got lots of splinters in my ass... I think I'd rather just kept the tree.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 21:27, Reply)
Previous owner
The previous owner of the house I bought was a DIY freak, but not very good. One of his better ideas was to install a rainwater collection tank and a pump to allow this to be used for flushing toilets. However he connected it up to the mains water system, meaning that the entire water system was contaminated with unfiltered rainwater.

But his greatest triumph was the heating system: he'd installed all the radiators and piping himself, and done a pretty bad job of it. But one radiator in particular just would not heat up, and no amount of bleeding or banging would get it to work. I traced the pipes back to see where the problem could be, and found a gap in the pipework! Looking around, I found a nice clothes rail in a built in cupboard that looked suspiciously like a water pipe... He'd removed a section of pipe, capped it off, and used the pipe as a hanging rail in a wardrobe. Obviously had his priorities right there...
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 20:57, 1 reply)
My Dad,
as I have said, thinks I am still a child with no brains. He once ran into my room upon hearing me operating a cordless screwdriver and hurriedly made sure I understood how to work it. My cordless screwdriver. Which I had used to assist in building all my bedroom furniture when I had moved back in, and kit an entire house out in shiny MDF goodness in the previous years.

I politely but firmly suggested he might like to go away, as I had just discovered he had done me the massive favour of losing most of my screwdriver heads and all of my drill bits.

On another occasion, he threw a massive tantrum after having bought his first ever computer, a shiny new PC waaaaay back in 1998. The problems with the PC (which I later inherited for a few years) would come later, this particular bout of hissy-fitting was due to the "stupid bloody desk" that he couldn't assemble because all the parts were "too wee and fiddly" and the screws were all "wonky".

He stomped off downstairs, leaving the unassembled mess in his bedroom.

About 10 minutes later, I called him up to admire the lovely new desk I had assembled. It turned out that one of the "fiddly" wee bits was in fact an alan key, which I had used to screw in the "wonky" screws.

I don't know if it was anger or shame, but the heat his face was giving out was quite powerful.....
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 20:33, Reply)
Shelves and family history
When I was a wee lad my granfather lived with us. One afternoon I was summoned to his study to find the old feller supporting a row of shelves that he had intercepted on the way to the ground. Much was the effort required to rescue him, but the lesson was not learnt by me.

Several years later and the ex-Mrs Steve has taken master Steve to visit her parents, leaving me with instructions to put up some shelves for my cd collection before her return. This was all well and good but my own plans for the weekend had involved spending some time with a rather nice young lady of my recent acquaintance. Thus it was that I rose at the ungodly hour of 6am on the Sunday to set forth on the shelf issue. We shall ignore the clear antisocial elements involved in putting shelves up on a parti-wall in a council flat at 7am on a sunday and just say that I got the bastards up after a lot of swearing and exciting activity with the powerdrill. By 9 o'clock I was free to perform my acts of adulterous badness.
By lunchtime I was kicking back on the sofa with my ladyfriend and having a fine time when k-erash, down come the shelves, in an exciting domino style. Kinda put the dampner on any other activity and at that point I finally learnt that lesson.
I've never attempted shelves since then...
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 20:06, 1 reply)
My stepdad is a Twunt
Who can't do DIY. I can't do DIY but flatpack is easy - just like a big 3D jigsaw really.

Anywho when I was a younger goldfish said twunt was trying to be all manly and put together an MFI/MDF computer table.

It was taking ages but every time I would offer to help said twunt he would tell me to shut up. So I shut up and watched as he became more and more frustrated at not being able to put the computer table together. Eventually, he was turning red and about the wreck the thing (which I needed as it was to hold my spectrum and TV)he screamed 'Why won't this bloody thing fit together' It was then that I decided to point out the bit that was upside down and had been since he started. Twunt.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 20:01, Reply)
Back when I was a nipper
Well before I got a hearing aid, I used to have to get regular operations to stick grommets in my ear. Whenever one came out, I'd usually be rushed into surgery (within the week) to get a new one, meaning they didn't have to cut a new hole in my eardrum.

Now, the problem that caused my gradual deafness was glue ear when I was VERY young. This meant I had a lot of damage and a LOT of wax. It never seeped out (see: caramel) but it was fucking itchy.

It started to get so bad that I'd have to get my ear syringed. This was fucking horrible and painful and mentally traumatising.

It happened again a few months later. More itching. My mum said she'd ring ENT the next day.

'Fuck this' thought I. It hurts. So I got a cotton bud and gave it a good going. This didn't work, so I decided to get the wax out with tweezers.

I found a wax ball and pulled it out. It fucking hurt, but not as much as syringing.

I went to check out my lovely prize, but it was oddly blue. And had a weird shape, kind of like an air gun bullet. I don't remember wax being...OH FUCK!

I was so scared to tell my mum that I kept quiet about it, going deafer and deafer for weeks until she drags me off to ENT. There, they hum and har, and say it must have fallen out, though VERY prematurely. It had also healed, so I had to get a new incision. OUCH! And it lasted all of a week.

After that, I got a hearing aid. To this day I wonder whether it was a good or bad thing that I prematurely got a hearing aid, due to a traumatic operation involving drilling my skull and putting an implant in it being given when I was very young.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 19:48, 1 reply)
eye protection
I was fabricating an adjutable exhaust hanger, cutting the slot with a jigsaw, couldn`t see what was going on, took the googles off and a piece of swarf went straight in my eye I was lucky , wearing soft contact lenses it melted in and the water had cooled it, quick trip to A+E as a check and £80 notes for a new lens OUCH, but nearly worse
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 19:38, Reply)
PJM's Dad reminds me of a similar tale
I'm referring to his post earlier today, regarding a polystyrene aeroplane.
His father and mine have some similar traits - except mine has always taken much longer to galvanise any plans into action. Mine's with his on the distinct absence of patience / abundance of foul temper.

PJM's story reminds me of a time 30+ years ago, when my parents bought me a kite. Not the run-of-the-mill diamond shaped one with a pretty pattern that I wanted. Oh no, those flimsy plastic shitty kites are for mouth-breathers. (Intellectual snobs are my folks.) No, no, no, Young Tourettes shall have a properly constructed kite, made from canvas and dowelling rods. So they built the fucker in the living room; I wasn't allowed to help because it involved Proper Grown-up Glue and I was bound to "do myself a mischief".
What was that squeezy glue in a plastic bottle from the 70's called? It had a red rubber end (woop snik gnuff) with a slit for the sticky substance- HALT!! This is turning into Frankie Vaughan!

Anyhow, that was the only glue I was allowed to use (Gene Hunt had a bottle of it in Ashes to Ashes a couple of weeks ago.)

A couple of hours, and many expletives later, "my" lovely blue kite was finished and placed very high up, out of my reach. (??!)
Eager to try it out, we all went to the beach the next day in the Vauxhall Viva.
Except, when we got there it was very very windy. Well, Gale Force 2.18 maybe. I wasn't allowed to fly "my" kite. The wind would be too strong for my little girlie handies. My folks wrestled, endeavouring to *GET IT UP*.
"Now can I have a go please?"
"No - you'll get blown away!"
"Can I at least touch the very end of the string?"
"But it's my-"
"Just get in the car before you- SHIT A BASTARD FUCKING BRICK!!!"

The wind had changed direction.


The pair of them were performing a rather special impression of Charlie Brown. The only missing prop was The Kite-eating Tree.

Yep, twas cattled, mere minutes later. I never even got to lay a finger on the fucker after they'd broken it!

"Hands OFF! You'll get a splinter!"

They promised they'd get me a new one.

I'm still waiting.

And, as for the psychological scars! Don't get me started on those....
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 19:34, 14 replies)
Car maintenance
mini gearboxes are full of oil and the selector from the gearlever goes in a little `ole with a rubber sealat about 40K miles this leaks and the block slowly gets less full of oil and the exhaust gets splattered causing a fire risk. to change this you drift out a roll pin that holds the remote. Sadly the roll pin will have corroded before getting oily and a proper pin punch leaves you nowhere to Put the hammer. I hnow if i use the flexydrive on my drill i can drill it out. Drill is latched on all goes well, then the drill sticks and drill body and flexidrive flail around, catch a great chunk of my hair ( not possible now) and rip it by the roots. manage to kick drill untangle bloody hair and retire hurt. Bingo! a can of freezer spray to shrink it and self tapping screw used as a drift. why didn`t I think of that?
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 19:31, 1 reply)
One more for today.....
Our sink came loose from the wall.

I tried to reattach it.

With plaster.

This led to my cousin, a plumber, dubbing my former abode as "The house that Alan built" (for that is me).
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 19:23, Reply)
Lots of memories
are being brought up by other stories today.....

Many of my QOTW posts always seem to involve the lady I unfortunately found myself married to a few years ago. At least one thing came out of that bit of my life, I have an abundance of QOTW answers.

She was a lovely lass. Well..... not lovely.......one of her more endearing qualities was her pig headed stubbornness. She was very pretty but, in hindsight, an utter bitch. She was not, bless her, the brightest spark, but point blankly refused to accept any advice from anyone...... nay, further than that, offering advice would often be received with a hail of abuse in the "What am I, stupid?" line. (Replying "yes, you are" often got me in trouble tee-hee)

My dad, on the other hand, believes that no-one else in the world has any brains whatsoever, and everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. To this day, every time he leaves the house, everything must be unpugged and I have to be reminded *every* *single* *time* to do the same or the house will burn down. Needless to say, he can come across as quite patronising at times.

You can see, then, how things could go wrong when these 2 characters collided. My dad's a gentle soul, and takes things to heart easily, but he never learned to just let the pig-headed twat make her own errors.

Fortunately, as it turned out.

On leaving the house one day, I heard her shouting and bawling in the kitchen. She had the lawnmower out of the shed, and my dad, having been passing by walking the dog, had seen her and immediately went home and returned with a circuit breaker. This was WRONG!

How stupid did he think she was? She was a trained nurse, a GRADUATE with letters after her name! Cutting the grass was not above her vast intellect. My dad looked very hurt, but insisted on putting the circuit breaker in the socket, much to her very vocal disgust.

Course, I returned home later to find our neighbour, an uncle of my mum's, splicing the cable back together where the stupid tart had mown through it.

I might not have much left in the way of fond feelings towards her, but I wouldn't go as far as to wish her electrified. Not to death, anyway......
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 19:15, Reply)
Other stories of DIY surgery
have reminded me of my own little..... amputations.

There was the ingrowing toenail, of course, but that wasn't too far gone and resulted in only a agonised 10 minutes with a craft knife and a fair amount of lime green pus. Lovely.

But then came the wartinator.

It was on the thumb of my right hand. It started off small, just a little bump, really, and I only really noticed it as I had almost no feeling in that part of my thumb. As it grew, I decided it wasn't just a patch of rough skin and began the 100 years war to get rid of it.

I started with a tin of Wartner, as you do. One application will remove the wart, it proudly claimed on the tin. 2 tins, 10 applications per tin later and I booked an appointment for my GP to freeze the bugger off.

It did not work.

The thing could not be bargained with. It could not be reasoned with. It didn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and it absolutely would not stop.... EVER. Until I was dead. Or at least warty.

By now, it had started bringing friends to the party. Two more sprang out on the index and middle finger of my left hand, next to the nail. A fourth began erupting on the back of my middle finger on the right hand. Things were getting serious now...... my job entailed having my hands in dirty water which I believe may have been where I got the buggers from, but these swine would not die! The old favourite was brought into play..... the craft knife, comlete with new, sterilised blade. Blood and skin went a flying, but to no avail, I had not the stomach to cut deep enough. Another tin of wartner fell under their blades with no effect. I even tried a DIY freezing operation, holding the little blighter on a bar in the freezer til it went white. Not a good idea, I know, but they were getting unsightly. They just grinned.

I swear, they were laughing at me.

I decided to try some compound W from the chemists. My dear old Mum, bless her, went in for it for me, and I just managed to remind her in time that it was compound W, not preperation H, she was buying for her son ("Yes, that's him in the car. They're driving him mad, he can't get rid of them" oof that was close.... she did eventually embarrass me in a similar way though but that's a different QOTW :P)

It didn't work.

However, a rather unlikely remedy was suggested to me by my auntie. Wrap them in electrical tape. Hah! There's no way that will slay these monsters, they'll eat the tape up and spit it out, thought I. So I went for the double whammy...... large dollop of compound W, followed by immediate wrapping in black electrical tape.

After a week of looking like a cheap remake of "The Crow", the beasts were felled! It seemed that the compound W melted the tape over the warts, increasing the air-tightiness of the seal and suffocating the little blighters to death!

(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 18:46, 4 replies)
DIY disaster
I once hit my thumb with a hammer.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 18:41, Reply)
a bit off-topic, but urgent:
Charlton Heston's being buried with a gun. But during his life he said several times that he's fine with anyone taking it.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 18:22, Reply)
The useless fecker...
... who fitted my bathroom passed their disaster on to me!

The bath drainpipe was merely placed in-situ, not actually connected. This resulted in a flood (beoming evident) over the christmas holidays when the three of us bathed consecutively. The shower (mains - built into cavity wall type - no fixing without major household demolition) has about as much pressure as a yorkshire terrier with prostate cancer having a piss. The toilet cistern leaked onto the top of, and still leaks into the pan. And something is still leaking (I think) in an unknown location as the (chipboard) floor is permanently damp resulting in the floor tiles becoming more and more cracked and the bath lowering itself by about an inch every time I get in it. Oh, and every tap spins around when operated (probably causing more leaks) but are boxed in with tiling so can't be tightened.

I want to re-do the whole lot from scratch, but I'm scared of the complex central heating system connecting it all and can't afford to get the pro's in.

To top the whole lot, the replacement suite they fitted is the cheapest nastiest shitty 'shell shaped' thing that B&Q inflict on the nation and actually manages to (in my opinion) look worse than the 'dusky pink' (but doubtless perfectly plumbed) original one that it replaces.

I currently only use the downstairs toilet for fear of repeating the 'shit story' from last week where the guy (sorry, too lazy to search who) had to engage "hover mode" when the toilet fell through the rotten floor.

Just to add a little more un-necessary and probably humourless whingeing length, in my last house the staircase was a steel, spiral type job and someone had chopped a wedge out of the skirting boards at the top & bottom (presumably) to fit stairgates. WTF?
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 17:31, Reply)
Motorbike DIY and accidental wheelie...
This didn't happen to me (thank feck) but to a mate of mine who is also a biker. (Yes, even now.)

When lubricating the drivechain on a motorcycle, the accepted procedure is to put the bike on the center stand or onto a paddock stand, so the back wheel is up in the air, put the bike in first gear so the back wheel spins freely, squirt your chain lube onto the chain so it's well and truly greased up, and then give it a rev to fling off the excess grease.

One day this friend (who shall remain unnamed) was doing exactly this in the back garden of his house, where he had spent the previous day putting up a new fence.

All went well until he got to the 'rev the engine' part. When he forgot that the back wheel is supposed to stay off the floor, and allowed it to come down while near the redline in first gear.

This resulted in an impromptu power wheelie straight through his new fence, before the whole ensemble flipping over backwards with the bike landing on top of him.

No, he didn't let go once it started to move.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 17:26, Reply)
my father is somewhat of a DIY god. he can build pretty much anything and it will last for years. his prowess, however, seems to have one downfall - shelving. having installed some shelves above my bed, he promptly tested them by loading them with an array of ridiculously heavy items, which seemed fine until the night my mate stayed over. at about one am, the whole lot collapsed on her, pinning her to the bed until one of us heard her cries for help. needless to say, she has refused to enter my room ever since.

length? 2 hours of muffled shouting beneath 300 national geographics, 50 OS maps and both my parents unabridged uni theses.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 17:23, Reply)
Where to start
i am not bad at all this DIY, but have made some howlers and managed to find some cowboy work in my friends house.

1. Nailed into central heating. After 13 days of hard work renovating old house, sunday 4pm comes and i was laying new floor boards. Nail into pipes, water everywhere and had to empty central heating and turn off the water. i was filthy, had no hot or cold water and had to get monday off work to spend £3 on a 25mm straight join. And spend the night absolutely filthy.
2. About a week later, slipped on joist and put foot though ceiling. Old nail head ripped up inside of thigh and thankfully only cuts through jeans. Wife laughs. I did not. Very very grumpy.
3. Re-hung a kitchen cupboard after builders had done such a bad job it fell off the wall. New position was marked. Small hole drilled from front room wall to kitchen to show position of joist. On other side, i put first screw in and BANG! sparks. I screwed into a ring main. There was only a second hole 5cm from the last that i had not put there, and i had used that.


Then my wife mate nearly killed me - and herself. I was asked to go look at a washing machine that kept turning itself off. As i pulled it out (oo-er mrs) it started to spark. "f*ck". Then i realise its the socket arcing. mmmm. i decide then and there to do nothing. It was basically getting no power because it was shorting to the back of the machine.
I had a scout round and - no fuse box. mmmm. So i asked, and she said she didn't have one! mmmm. Yep. she was right. The power came in from next door and she had no meter or fusebox.
There was also a light bulb that kept blowing if you used a certain socket it the front room. Yes - it was connected to the lighting ring and any decent load would blow the front room bulb.

Friggin nightmare.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 16:47, Reply)
DIY triumph, my one and only time
Many many years ago, I worked for a small company selling spares to the agricultural industry. One of the things we did was make "beater bars" (apparently they're part of a combine harvester).

Anyway, we used to make these things and ship them out in big wooden crates that we used to make ourselves.

My boss was a curmudgeonly old boy of 64, and liked everything just so - he once showed my friend how to sweep a floor properly, as he was making too much dust. Anyway, he showed me how to make these crates, and needless to say they had to be just so - everything measured, marked out (with a set square too!), then carefully cut and finally nailed together and lined.

One day we were running late, and a lorry arrived to take our next load of bars away, while we were still balancing them (and there was no crate ready).

My boss told me to get the crate done, while my friend balanced the bars, and he'd make the driver a cup of tea (!) - when I asked him for the set square, he angrily said "we haven't got time for that, just get it done!", so off I went.

I made the crate, measuring the wood against another crate and then cutting various pieces and had just finished nailing it together when the boss appeared, took one look at the crate and proclaimed "That's no good, it's not square!"

My protestations of "But you just told me to get it done quickly!" fell on deaf ears, and he went back to his office to get a tape measure and set square to show me how inept I was.

Every corner was a perfect 90 degrees, and every side measured exactly the same as its opposing side, it was the best crate we'd ever made.

I would apologise for the length, but I think you'll find it was absolutely spot on =)
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 16:38, Reply)
DIY surgery? Pah!
I do my own waxing.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 16:25, 31 replies)
My dear old Grandad (who is still with us in body but sadly depleted in spirit*) came to stay with me and an ex for a week once.
While he was with us he got my girlfriend to take him to B&Q and buy a load of stuff we didn't want or need and then fitted it all for us. When he'd gone every tap in the house could be isolated without having to touch the stopcock, thanks to the joy of ballafix valves.

He also fitted some new taps to the bath for me - which actually was handy, as I'd been meaning to get round to it and hadn't done it. Trouble was, they moved when you turned the handles - his explanation, "You can't tighten stuff on a plastic bath, you'll break it" didn't sound right to me, especially when after he'd gone I tightened them and they worked fine. This in turn led to this gem of a phone conversation a couple of weeks later:

"Have you sorted your taps out yet?"
"Yeah, they're fine now"
"Oh! What did you do?"
"Ah, you know... I... tightened them"

Also, while he was there he saw my shed and decided to put some bits of wood on the walls so that I could hang some hooks and things. I showed him a few offcuts of skirting board, tongue and groove etc that were stacked neatly in the corner and said he could use them.

I got home from work the next day to find that he'd not touched my offcuts, but had instead searched the garden for suitable pieces of wood and used them. They were muddy, splintered, uneven and rough, the entire inside of the shed looked like it had been brought up from the Titanic \o/

And finally, while he was there he oiled every hinge in the house, so every door slid quietly shut on its own... so we had to go and buy a load of wedges to hold them open, the way we liked them.

*Funny isn't, no matter how annoying that week was, I wish he was still like that instead of the shadow of his former self he's becoming... O_o
(, Mon 7 Apr 2008, 16:21, 1 reply)

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