The Other I

January 4, 2011

Carpentry 101

Filed under: Just Stuff,The English — theotheri @ 9:50 pm

I got the snow shovel today.  More precisely, the snow shovel I ordered on the internet last week arrived today.

It cost $32.  Well, $31.75 to be precise.  Keep this in mind, because I am going to describe it.  At the end of this post there will be a quiz in which the reader will have an opportunity to decide whether it was a good investment.

First of all, as advertised the shovel does have a blade of 20″.  It does have a wooden handle attached quite similar to all other shovel handles with which I am familiar.

The “blade” is screwed onto the handle with two screws.  There is no supporting bracket but the manufacturer says it is “very strong,” and can lift heavy loads of snow.  Personally, I fear the blade may not stay attached to the handle if it is submitted to the pressure applied by the weight of too much wet snow.  But  since there are no sides to the shovel, the excess may fall off.

But the striking feature of the “blade” is that it consists solely of a piece of flat wood painted bright red.  It was supposed to be better than plastic because it doesn’t freeze and break.

Apart from the fact that I think I could have constructed it in less than 30 minutes from stray pieces of wood lying around in the workshop, it’s brilliant.

I think, in fact, it should be used as an introductory lesson on day one for a course in carpentry for 10-year-olds whose confidence needs to be built up.  I think they could go home from class after day one with a money-making project in their hands.

Just think, $32 for a hand-made snow shovel.

I must not give the impression that it is impossible to buy plastic or metal snow shovels here in England.  They are available.  It was just that the advertising blurb convinced me that, compared to a manually operated one made of metal or plastic, this one was the best on the market.  Admittedly, I have not yet tried it out with proper snow.  The weather forecaster thinks I might get a chance this weekend.

What’s your betting on whether it was worth it?


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