I’m sorely tempted to install new kitchen countertops from – gasp – Ikea, because I know it would instantly update the look of the kitchen…but the real reason is because I find it frustrating to not be working on something. I am not good at just sitting around. But I have a showing on Saturday and an open house on Sunday – and I’m well aware that while I estimate new countertops would take me three or so hours, it would in reality take at least twice as long, plus lead to a snowball effect of tangential fixes.
So I was delighted when my neighbor, who’s in the midst of rehabbing/flipping a house down the street, called for some woodworking advice. How serendipitous – a project, but one I needn’t worry much about! He needs to drill flat-bottomed holes on a 40° angle in a curved bottom rail and rounded bannister to accept 3/4″ spindles.
I showed up all smiles with my brace and a 3/4″ bit, and he said (I’m paraphrasing here) “Dear God what is that thing?!”
I explained that it would be quick and easy – that the long lead screw would allow him to line up the bit perfectly with his marked center locations, and that just a few turns would do it for each hole. I also brought along a block of wood cut at 40° for him to use as a guide, and offered to demonstrate the ease and finesse with which he’d quickly finish his project.
He wasn’t having it.
He has a benchtop drill press with a tilting table, but clamping those rounded pieces on an angled surface and having to unclamp and re-secure the workpiece for every hole? Well, I couldn’t convince him that a brace and bit would be faster. So I reached in my pocket and handed him the 3/4″ Forstner bit I’d stashed as a backup.
I almost offered to do it for him, but decided instead to go home and read “All’s Well That Ends Well.” I should be writing rather than worrying about countertops and my neighbor’s spindles.
(But I know I’m right about the brace and bit.)