My Dad taught me how to use power tools—chain saw, sander, drill, table saw, etc. He taught me how to handle a hammer so that the nails go in straight and how to swing an axe to chop wood. He taught me how to cut down trees. I have fond memories of my Dad explaining the proper placement of cuts to fell a tree and yelling “TIMBER” from behind him.
Once upon a time, a school curriculum included home economics and industrial arts courses to teach students how to sew, prepare simple meals, cut metal and wood, and assemble simple wood and metal projects. I liked both classes. I was hell bent on taking industrial arts exactly because the girls were not taking the class and were not actively encouraged to take the class.
I was stoked to make a candleholder out of punched metal. Who knows what happened to that candleholder but I learned how to bend metal and solder. I was equally stoked to make a tote bag. I think that regardless of gender that we all could use some of these skills in real life! I sew now because of that home economics class, I can make clothing, repair and alter clothes, and fix things. I am not afraid of power tools and putting them to work because of the industrial arts classes and my Dad. I am not the most skilled with a drill, but I will get the job done.
This year we, including my 23-year-old daughter, carved our pumpkins with power tools. She can use the drill, isn’t afraid of it, and puts it to work. Albeit drilling holes in a pumpkin isn’t exactly construction work but one never knows when a skill will need to be brought to bear.
Last weekend Dale and I rented a chainsaw and cut down two trees. It was a good weekend of work and it was much easier with both of us able to use the chainsaw!
- Ask a friend or neighbor to teach you how to use a power tool