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Is it possible that you get to a point where you own so many tools that you forget what you own? Or is it just the ravages of old age taking its toll on my mind?

A few days ago, I decided to round over the corners of my drill press table because I’ve dinged up the edges pretty good. So I grabbed my Colt router and looked for a round-over bit. The only 1/4″ shank round-over bit I own is a 3/8″ radius, but of course I have a nice selection of 1/2″ shank round-over bits.

Rather than using the Colt, I end up flipping the drill press table upside down and routing a 1/8″ radius on my router table; it was awkward, but it worked. It looked so good that I wanted to relieve the edge of the router table I’m in the process of building. I figured I’d better pick up a 1/8″ round-over bit for the Colt next time I’m at the store rather than try to muscle the new table on top of the old table.

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After we sprung ahead into Daylight Savings Time, I changed the batteries in all my smoke detectors. Since we’ve lived in our house over ten years now, I figured I’d also take the time to replace the last of the old smoke detectors installed by the previous homeowner.

Imagine my surprise when I take one of the old detectors down, start to remove the bracket, and find drywall anchors sunk into the floor joist. I can think of two reasons why the anchors were there: the previous homeowner drilled holes that were too big and used the anchors to reduce the size of the holes, or the previous homeowner didn’t realize you don’t need drywall anchors in wood. Given some of the other repairs I’ve uncovered, I’d guess the latter, but maybe I’m being cynical.

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This probably wouldn’t pass vehicle inspection, even as farm equipment, here in Texas. On the other hand, the setting appears kind of boatish — or is that shippish?

— so maybe it doesn’t matter. But seriously this is unacceptable, and bordering on a complete travesty. Combination wrenches and electrical tape!? Are you kidding? The situation clearly calls out for a vise grip or two, duct tape, zip ties, and some paracord, probably in international orange. If you have to use electrical tape, use it for its intended purpose, like a seat belt or something.

Quit Wrenching The Steering Wheel [There, I Fixed It]


On a recent junkyard trip Sean and I came across this monstrosity in a Ford. Sean’s comment: “Wanna take one guess as to how this guy crashed?” Known most commonly as a “spinner knob” (or alternatively as a “suicide knob”), more sturdy and functional versions of this thing made cranking a whopping huge steering wheel around three or four full revolutions lock-to-lock easier. But with the advent of modern power steering — and a strong desire among most state motor vehicle departments to discourage the inaccurate steering inputs that lead to over-control — spinners are actually illegal in some places around the U.S.

But a non-spinning version made from nylon tape and a golf ball? That’s just an accident waiting to happen.

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Think you’ve seen everything the airlines could throw at you lately? How about this gem from reader Jeffrey Immer? We’re betting there was a discussion going down somewhere after this one got back to the gate.

This is what happens after a failed take off going full speed down the runway. The pilot had to slam on the brakes and they over heated, we were told not to worry the fire department was causally following us down the runway. Then, when we parked, we were told to exit the plane. At first calmly and orderly, then “get the @#*% of the plane now!!”

No one was harmed, with the exception of the tires. What we’re curious about is how they got the plane jacked up to change the tires.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


There are times when tools from the shop shouldn’t be brought into service in the house. You know, like using a circ saw on a frozen side of beef, or perhaps trigger-clamping the mixer to a table and letting it rip.

In this case that’s exactly what happened. Officially this is a horrible idea. However, with just a few changes in the setup like mounting the entire rig to make it a bit more stable and using a strap clamp instead of a trigger clamp, I could see how it would work.

See Honey? You Don’t Need A Stand Mixer [There, I Fixed It]


Another belief shattered: I always thought Vise Grips and duct tape were the universal solution. Those safety chains will come in handy. That little tie wrap on the left is probably holding the bumper onto the frame.

That Should Hold ‘Er [There, I Fixed It]

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Sort of a cross between “There, I Fixed It“, Cheap-Ass Tools, and Doh! comes an ASHI Reporter’s Postcards from the Field monthly feature. It documents a variety of funny — and weird and disturbing — home inspectors’ finds.

This kind of stuff will murder you in an inspection. There are about a hundred different ways to get creative with outlets and power but if an inspector is coming anywhere near your job site, don’t let them find this.

Inlet? [Source]

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From the way they wrecked out one side of this building it looks like they meant for it to happen. I can’t imagine why, but you’d figure any demo crew could look at this and see it wasn’t going to fall straight down.

Then again, I’ve never seen an entire building roll upside down either, so there’s a first for everything. I’m not a demolition expert but I can’t see how this helped them in the long run if it was indeed on purpose. At least the folks across the street in the building next to it had a nice view of the action.

Thanks to reader Karen for the heads up on this video.

Demolition in Turkey Goes Wrong [Youtube]


We can’t really say we’ve been here exactly, because we haven’t, but we do understand the busted-ass-car-have-no-money syndrome. It’s a crippling disease that strikes us all at one time or another. In this example we have what used to be a nice car, now ravaged with duct tape and a few flashlights.

With a little bailing wire and a few pieces of gum, this aftermarket install would be a perfect candidate for Mad Mike to do some of that electronic pimping he’s famous for. It’s a horrible waste of a good Mag-Lite too.

Note* Props to Joel for sending us to There, I Fixed It.

MacGyver Headlight [There, I Fixed it]