Sunday, June 29, 2014

Nail Guns 101: Or `That's Not A Toy Gun'

Serious remodeling, circa 1997 in Prineville. That's me, on the right of course.
Remodeling is a way of life in the Sabo house. Since roughly 1997 in Prineville, Ore., through houses literally coast to coast, the sweet sounds of a Skil saw, Milwaukee sawzall, Makita compound miter saw, finish nail guns, jigsaws, drills and assorted other power tools have been the norm for our family. We've tackled an addition that more than doubled the size of our house in Prineville. We basically built a 4,000-square-foot house in Corvallis, Ore., in a project that was supposed to be a "remodel" but ended up being virtually "new construction." We've manufactured bookcases and entertainment centers, remodeled kitchens and bathrooms, painted, repainted, trimmed out, sanded, spackled, torn down, built up and everything in between.

Somehow, miraculously, no one has suffered serious injury. We've had close calls; I remember being grabbed by my dad on a scaffolding after I started falling from two stories up while putting in a window at our Prineville house. That would've hurt. I popped my shoulder out a time or two, or maybe three or four, while working on our Corvallis house. That did hurt. Every time. I'm notorious for suffering cuts and scrapes on the smallest of projects; I pretty much donate blood anytime a power tool or hammer is involved. Some of us have stepped on rusty nails or screws, or mistook a thumb for a nail, or had a misfire on a nail gun. On our latest project a person very dear to me handling a cordless drill had an unfortunate catastrophe with it during a cabinet installation that resulted in a gash in my hand. That was a bloody mess. There's been other incidents, such as the time a huge burn pile of construction debris was lit on fire and that turned out to be just a little bit too close to our house. The Corvallis Fire Department showed up for that one. But our brand new house didn't go up in flames and that's all that mattered. It gave the neighbors something to talk about, that's for sure.

It's actually a pretty good track record of safety when you think about it. With all these kids running around and power tools everywhere and we all have all our digits and limbs ... God is good to us. That's not to say there haven't been close calls with the power tools. I was reminded of this tonight when I was using a finish nail gun on some toe kicks and quarter-round trim I was working on in our new kitchen we're finishing up. I was on the floor working and put the nail gun down to take a measurement and when I turned around Seth was eyeballing the tool and reaching for it. Like he was apprenticing or something and was going to lend me his expertise. I managed to remedy that situation right quick and got the nail gun out of harm's way. There's some built-in safety features on that nail gun and he really couldn't have done any damage but sheesh these kids are quick these days. It was also a good "Parenting 101" reminder for me that every parent surely has heard: Don't leave the locked and loaded nail gun on the floor.

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