Men are from Mars, Power Drills are from…

27 07 2010

Sometimes things can feel like they’ve got the best of you.  I was given the task of hanging some drapes in our bedroom, and while this seems like a simple task, my relationship with my drill has been somewhat hit or miss.  As has been noted before, my drill has played a part in some rather frustrating events in the past.  This was the case today as well.

Shortly after we moved in, I put up drapes in our bedroom.  The window had blinds in them already, but they did not do much for darkening the room, so we bought a pair of room darkening shades and the cheapest and flimsiest of all curtain rods known to man.  Well, the look never really satisfied Melissa, and I probably have to admit that it didn’t exactly show off my stunning craftsmanship.

First attempt at drapes

The look left quite a lot to be desired.

So we went out and got a new curtain rod, and it was my job to perfect our window treatments.

One of the things that I’ve noticed as a general weakness of mine is the inability to differentiate subtle changes in sound.  What this means is I cannot find a stud by tapping the wall.  Add to this that I have a stud finder that apparently has the same problem; this is a killer combination.

The curtains came with screws and plastic anchors.  Knowing that I would have to drill holes to place the anchors, I started drilling, and in a couple places I realized that I hit a stud.  Now, I know that you don’t need an anchor if you are screwing into a stud, but I didn’t realize that you really shouldn’t use one if you are.  You see, I felt the stud when I was drilling and thought, as long as I’m drilling, I might as well just drill into the stud.  Well, the anchor is intended to fit into the hole in the drywall. Then when the screw is screwed in, the anchor will expand slightly into the surrounding drywall which will provide the strength required.  So when the anchor was pounded into the stud and the screw sent in after it, there was no room for the anchor to expand.  However, I didn’t realize any of this until afterwards.  What I ended up with was a screw sticking about halfway out of the wall, and me completely unable to turn it any further.  I thought maybe it was a bad screw/anchor combination, so I tried another one right below the first where I needed to drill the second hole anyway; same thing.  My electric drill started stripping the screw, so I tired using a screwdriver; very slooooow progress.  I lost it.  I stormed throughout the house (luckily I was alone) shouting that it couldn’t have been me that was wrong, because I did everything right!  I found the right size drill bit for the anchor, I measured and leveled the spots for the holes.  Clearly it was the tools and the hardware to be blamed.

I took a 10 minute break to collect my thoughts, and I came back.  I had 3 brackets to hang, and this was the first one I attempted, the second one gave me similar results, but eventually I was able to get the screws tightened and the brackets mounted.  The third one was a piece of cake, apparently that one wasn’t drilled into a stud, so I probably only did one of the three correctly.  Anyway, once I got the brackets mounted, the rest was a synch.

The results

Form, function, blood, sweat, and tears

So, until next times, and hopefully I can continue to develop the lasting relationship with my drill and avoid such disagreements in the future.  All in a days work, and learning the lessons of hard work that come with being a homeowner.

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3 responses

27 07 2010
Andrea

Was there swearing involved? When we hung our living room curtains, it came to curse words…and having to spackle and repaint the wall. 🙂 Good job, Scott…you learn something every time and it WILL get easier.

30 07 2010
Scott

Oh, there was cursing.

26 09 2010
The Handiless Homeowner

[…] was well worth it.  Hanging vertical blinds is like hanging a curtain rod.  And if anyone read my previous entry about hanging curtain rods, you would know that apparently this can be less then enjoyable for some […]

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