Grumpy about the construction project (F#**ing trim)

I’m installing trim today. A lot of wood is stained and sliced via the table saw to the correct widths. All I have to do right now is cut side casings to length and nail them in place.

It took me over an hour to install just three pieces today. The first piece went in easy. The second piece, I cut wrong. Too short. A wasted plank. I got it right on the second try. The third piece, I needed to notch out some wood on the trim to make space for the little thingy that the doorknob latch thingy goes into. I think you know what I’m talking about, right?

This would not be necessary if we were using standard trim, but no, we’re making it ourselves to meet our own personal ego specs. In order to do this, we had to buy one of those worksite table saws. All my life I’ve wanted a table saw, except for right now. I don’t want a table saw right now because I’ve used a lot of cutting power tools recently and, frankly, they frighten me. We got the table saw anyway, and I actually used it, despite the story our babysitter told us about some man who cut off the tips of all his fingers on a table saw min her parents’ basement.

We ripped plank after plank over the weekend. During most of the work, I was filled with a steely mix of terror and courage which kept my hands from shaking too much. I took many deep breaths, which helped keep the panicky feeling at bay.

“Steely” might be an exaggeration. Maybe a softer metal alloy is a better metaphor.

On the up side, the way I felt at the end of each day — emotionally and physically exhausted despite very little physically demanding labor — was a good reminder of what Jesse feels like most days because of her anxiety. She really is steely. Raw fear will wipe you out.

Anyway, the notch: first I tried the router because it already had this little chamfer bit in the chuck. (I just like saying “chuck” and “chamfer bit” in the same sentence. There’s a little chamfer bit in my router chuck, baby, you wanna stop by?) That didn’t really work despite a lot of fiddling and testing, so then I got out the good old hammer and chisel and had at it. Success, though it looks like a beaver sharpened its teeth on our casing now. Then I installed that bloody piece of wood but I forgot to stain the now-bare wood that was exposed by the notching, so I had to grab a little rag and try to shove some stain in there in the little space between the casing and that little doorknob latch thingy.

Don’t tell Anthony; maybe he won’t notice.

Things got a little better after these initial pains, so I’m working along smoothly now, except I got hungry so I’m eating lunch as I type this.

So far I’ve used the miter saw, nail gun and pancake compressor, and router. I’ll probably have to throw one or more power sanders into the mix at some point, and that will just complete me.

Done eating. Back to work.


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