When I was but a lad and establishing my first household, I quickly learned that accumulating the day-to-day tools everyone needs had to become a priority. When I would invite my father over to help me change a light switch or such, I would caution him that any tools he saw in my toolbox that happened to look identical to tools he remembered from his own toolbox were the result of mere coincidence. Friends and family soon understood that tools were always a welcome gift for our young household. And I quickly learned, after making a few tentative tool purchases myself, that the right tool, and the best-made tool, was the correct choice to make.
But I’ve never really lost my inclination for the old five-fingered discount when it comes to tool acquisition. And so, on with today’s post.
Our tree work involves (as I’m sure I’ve bored you with enuf) fencing them with chickenwire. This chickenwire comes in long rolls, and Pablo and Libby must cut off sections of it for each tree. We’ve tried various tools to do this including pliers with wire-cutting blades built in. The black-handled set you see above was our most promising. Not only was it new (and presumably sharp), but the handle was spring loaded so that after clamping down on the chickenwire, it would open on its own, thus saving our hands one extra step (which can accumulate over a morning of snipping).
But the new tools were disappointing. We managed to get all of our daily cutting done, but job seemed to require more effort than it should. Each time, as we turned to the task, we recalled that back at home, in some dusty pile of otherwise forgotten tools was an old red tin snips that might work better. And we’d recall this old tool just as soon as we were already down at Roundrock and unrolling the chickenwire.
Well, through some cosmic influence, one of us remembered to pack the old red tin snips before our latest trip to the woods, and when we unrolled the chickenwire, Libby took the snips in hand and began cutting. And she flew through the fabric of the chickenwire! So, once again, the right tool for the job made all the difference. (Libby used this better tool not out of some gentlemanly courtesy of mine but because the old red tin snips had been “liberated” from her father’s toolbox many years ago.)
I’d say we’ve fenced about half of all of the plantings we have made, so there is still more chickenwire work to be done. I wish we had made this tool discovery sooner, but I’m glad we managed to make it at all.
- Young gray squirrels search for home territories.