The perfect gift part 2

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angle grinder
(Eric Keller photo)

The moment I touched the switch, I could feel the power start to energize the angle grinder. It was alive! It was powerful and it was shaking so badly, I could hardly hold onto it. What was I doing?

Unfortunately, that question didn’t come to my mind until afterward. After lightly touching the disc to the wood, it kicked back with so much force that the handle snapped off. Holding the broken handle in my hand, I still don’t know how I managed to keep my fingers from going into the spinning disc. Fortunately, I was able to carefully hold the grinder still while I moved my thumb onto the switch to shut it off.

Still spinning in my hand, I listened carefully as the blade came to a complete stop, before setting it down. I then unplugged the machine, before examining it. The handle was shattered into pieces, but the threads in the machine appeared good.

Using a little ingenuity, I engineered a new safety handle. At least that’s what I called it. It was just a bolt with some duct tape. After a quick inspection, I was all set.

After donning my safety glasses, I grabbed the handle like my life depended on it. I squeezed every muscle in my hands as tight as I could and braced myself anticipating the recoil. Then, with a slight motion, I flipped the switch on… nothing. What the…

At this point, if you were watching this on TV, instead of reading it, you would hear a continuous chorus of beeps, only interrupted by more bleeps. It would probably sound like there was a secret Morse code message being transmitted, in between the pauses and beeps. It was an anger-fueled rant of expletives and word combinations that would make a sailor blush. I was angry and everyone within earshot could hear that.

If you’ve ever seen Clark Griswold destroy his Christmas decorations when his lights didn’t work in the movie, Christmas Vacation… you would understand the kind of fit that I was throwing. Until one of the kids pointed out that my grinder wasn’t plugged in.

My anger didn’t subside, but it did change. Now I was angry at myself, at my stupidity, and more importantly that it was on full display for someone else to see. And they won’t let me live that one down.

After securely plugging it in, I grabbed hold of the grinder and began carving my masterpiece. At least in my head. It was not a fluke, the grinder shot back so hard that I could barely hold on. It was almost enough for me to quit, but I rarely give up.

I went online to do some research. There is no way someone could hold that grinder to the wood when it was kicking back so hard. I know… I tried, twice.

Apparently, I had the disc on wrong and it wasn’t balanced. The oblong orbit of the disc on the grinder was causing it to shake so bad before I ever touched it to wood and once I corrected it, things got a little easier. But my patience ran thin, to my dismay.

I found myself grabbing a chainsaw to make the job go a little faster. Unfortunately, it went really fast, maybe even too fast. I carved through the clamping table, some of the wood and then through the entire wooden project.

After countless hours and a month’s worth of failed attempts, I made her exactly what she asked for, for Christmas… nothing!

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