Home > My Life Musings > D I Why

D I Why

Prompts for the PromptlessDo It Yourself (DIY) is the method of building, modifying or repairing something without the aid or experts or professionals.

I have to be honest – DIY and me don’t mix. I’d love to be one of those chaps who can put up a shelf at a moment’s notice or fix a leaky tap at the drop of a hat, but sadly this is not the case.

If I try anything so much as cutting the tag off a new t-shirt, I always ensure that the first aid box is close at hand. Stick me anywhere near a power tool and I’m likely to have one of those hard-to-believe hilarious yet tragic accidents.

“Cornish man accidentally falls on own chainsaw while hanging picture.”

Chainsaw Disaster

“Chainsaw Disaster” by DraliDoodles

I imagine you’ll be wanting some examples of “incidents” to back up my assertion. These span many years of unfortunate disasters and are mostly not purely DIY-related, rather they speak to why DIY is not a viable option for me.

Incident: Home Economics lesson, school, early/mid 80s
Details: Deep cut in finger while cutting potatoes for potato bake.
Outcome: Plaster required. Teacher finished potato bake.
Incident: Home Economics lesson, school, early/mid 80s
Details: Teacher makes it very clear that the dish for the jam tart must be very heavily greased. Subject takes this to heart. When removing tart from oven, subject burns fingers due to rubbish thin school-issue oven gloves and tilts dish. Jam tart flies through the air and explodes across the floor.
Outcome: Dessert is cancelled that evening. No injuries reported.
Incident: Soldering, work (Stuttgart, Germany), 1990/91
Details: Solder flux dispensed from hypodermic needle, plastic top is stuck due to dried flux. Subject pulls harder and harder. Top finally comes off – hands fly apart. Subject overcompensates and brings both hands back together again. Needle skewers two fingers.
Outcome: Company switches to plastic syringes. Subject never asked to do soldering again.
Incident: Car maintenance, home, mid 90s
Details: Oil filter jammed. Subject uses chain spanner to remove. Oil filter shreds but will not come off. Subject wraps filter in rags to make short journey to mechanics. Rags don’t work. Oil sprays all over road.
Outcome: Tow truck required.
Incident: Gold wire bonding, work (Cork, Ireland), early 2000s
Details: Gold wire bonder uses stored electricity to create spark to melt end of gold wire before bonding to laser. Subject pushes “spark” button without removing tweezers. Subject jerks and squeaks at 2500 Volt shock (in front of several onlookers including lab manager and health and safety representative).
Outcome: Company changes procedure to ensure only plastic tweezers used with gold wire bonding machine.
Incident: Cutting cable ties, work (Cornwall), late 2000s
Details: Subject cutting plastic cable ties with Stanley knife. Boss says “Watch your thumb”. Subject replies “Yeah, it’s fine, OW!”
Outcome: Subject (unofficially) not allowed to use sharp knives at work. Eyebrows are raised when subject uses scissors.

I could go on and on. Nearly slicing my finger off opening a tin can. Stabbing myself in the thumb with scissors while slicing open a box two days ago.

Ask yourselves – am I really the sort of person you would ask round to help build that new conservatory?

Measure Once Cut Twice

“Measure Once, Cut Twice” by DraliDoodles

  1. August 4, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Dammit – I hit “publish” instead of “preview” 🙂
    There were gonna be pictures and everything.
    I hope it reads OK – there may be edits!

    This is ironic considering the post is all about my clumsiness…

    [EDIT] There’s a DraliDoodle on the way – please hold.
    [EDIT] Fastest ever DraliDoodles added!
    I’m such a muppet.


    • August 4, 2013 at 7:10 am

      (1) Muppets are awesome, (2) I loved the incident report, (3) Never leave a chainsaw on the ground. 🙂 Haha, loved this! 😀


      • August 4, 2013 at 7:58 am

        Muppets ARE awesome! I recall from your post recently that you like to ask them what to do.
        Using a chainsaw to put up a picture just shows you how bad my DIY really is 🙂

        I’m glad you liked it!


  2. Gilraen
    August 4, 2013 at 7:52 am

    I am pretty OK in DIY, but then again my dad is a DIY guru so he taught us well.


    • August 4, 2013 at 7:59 am

      My Dad’s also pretty good at the old DIY. Unfortunately no amount of teaching is ever going to make me any good 😦


  3. August 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    May I suggest a pair of safety gloves…oh, and safety goggles and boots before attempting any D I why 😆


    • August 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Ha ha, yes, if I’m properly attired maybe there won’t be so many unfortunate accidents 🙂


  4. August 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Great stuff. Looking on the bright side you’ve managed to change the world at least twice – Plastic syringes & Tweazers. Love the DraliDoodles 🙂


    • August 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      Yes, I’ve inadvertently pushed forward health and safety in two countries!
      Glad you liked the DraliDoodles – I published instead of previewed so I had a mad 20 minutes drawing, scanning, cropping and uploading. It looked way too wordy without the pictures 🙂


  5. August 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    When I am seen in the kitchen holding a paring knife, any member of the family in possession of an opposable thumb will quietly remove said knife from hand, looking first to see if I am bleeding yet. Although this has gotten me out of a lot of chores, it is an impediment when trying to accomplish anything. My favorite tool is a box cutter, but I have to hide it because if anyone knew I had it, they would take it away from me. Do my second amendment rights to own a gun count? Are my civil rights being infringed? I share your pain.


    • August 4, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      A kindred sufferer 😦
      Last time I cut up some boxes with a cutter (a couple of months ago) before taking it to recycling – you guessed it – sticking plaster required.
      I’m sure if I didn’t live alone my other half would quietly relieve me of anything sharp before I did myself damage.


  6. August 5, 2013 at 5:47 am

    Hilarious, yes you changed company policy, twice.
    I also have been blessed with the clumsy gene. Once while opening a cat food can I had a disagreement with the can opener, it wasn’t doing its job very well. I sliced the pad of my palm on the lid. Opener won!
    Due to being somewhat on the frugal side I learned DIY talents. I learned my problem was to focus my mind on the task. Tend to have wandering thoughts and that’s when I hurt myself.
    You need basic math also so your out.
    Ha ha. You have good medical insurance?


    • August 5, 2013 at 6:28 am

      It looks like I’m not the only clumsy DIY-er after all!
      Fortunately I live in the UK where medical care is free for everyone – otherwise I expect I’d have to invest in some pretty substantial medical insurance!


  7. August 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I tried so hard not to laugh while reading your cases-in-point. However, I failed.


    • August 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      I guess it was pretty funny once all the mess and/or blood had been cleared up :-).
      My arm stopped aching about an hour after the electric shock, so that turned out OK as well!


  1. August 4, 2013 at 9:56 am
  2. August 5, 2013 at 6:40 am
  3. August 7, 2013 at 6:56 am

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