Kelly’s Living Room Office – 3

Hi, this is Kelly! 


Today’s post will document how my happy “this is fun” attitude came to a screeching halt. This post could also be titled: 


Frustration Sets In: My Arch-Nemesis, the Circular Saw


On the left and right sides of my built-ins are two tall tower cabinets. We originally planned on building them as one tall unit, but realized that if I built them on the floor, there would be no way to  stand them up (Sandra tried to explain this to me with the Pythagorean Theorem, but it just made my brain hurt). Unfortunately, we realized this after I had built them on the floor.


Bookcase tower

Sandra, always her positive self, said NO WORRIES, we will just cut the towers in half and build each section separately. I’ll need to cut the MDF myself with a circular saw.


Wait a minute, whoa there, hold the phone…


I need to interrupt here to share with you that the circular saw IS MY ARCH NEMESIS.


Table saws? No problem. Sliding compound miter saw? Piece of cake. But for some reason, the circular saw terrifies me. Something about a wood-slicing hand-held tool spinning at a gazillion miles an hour sends chills down my spine. It just feels so out of control to me. There’s a reason that murderous psychopaths with masks are always holding hand-held saws in the movies!
Don’t get me wrong, you should ALWAYS have a healthy fear of power tools, it’s the fear that keeps us cautious and safe. But for some reason, this one stops me in my tracks.
To illustrate my point, below I’ve highlighted the warnings of dismemberment and slow, bloody death which are detailed in the circular saw manual. Who wouldn’t be afraid of this thing?
Circular saw warning
Sandra got out her pom-poms and gave me her best DIY coach cheer: “You can do this, girl! Own that saw! Tell it who’s boss!”
With Sandra’s encouragement, how could I not face this thing? I went down in the basement and dug out our piece of crap battery-powered circular saw. This saw was SMALL. And old. Maybe I could handle this little thing after all.
I suited up with safety goggles, lined up the guide and got to work.

Kelly and the Saw


What happened next sounded something like this…
VVVVVRRRRRRRR, Vrrrrrrrrrr, vrrrrrrrr, vrrrr, pffffffttttt.  {silence}.
The saw just freaking STOPPED half way through the board (despite having a full battery charge). Thinking I am a woodworking genius, I figured I could just flip the board over, cut halfway through the OTHER side and meet my cut in the middle. No problem right?





So I did what any calm, rational DIY student would do. I sent Sandra a hysterical, ranting text.

Hysterical text


Sandra remained calm (as usual) and said NO WORRIES, we will make adjustments to the measurements and fix everything. She told me to go get a bigger, better saw – with a power cord, not a battery – and it will be fine.
Off to Home Depot I went, and bought a Ryobi with a bigger diameter blade, which was also very light (7.9 lbs.).

Ryobi circular saw


I Skyped Sandra this time so it felt like she was right there in the room with me. She walked me through how to line up the guide and set the blade depth. It went perfectly, and I really did feel like I had mastered my fear.
I love my DIY Coach!!
Now the towers are nicely divided, the project continues, and all of my limbs and digits are intact. Next update: Face frames, shelf pin holes, and how to deal when life gets in the way of renovation.
See you soon!


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One thought on “Kelly’s Living Room Office – 3

  1. […] I was on a roll with Part 1 and Part 2. I had even conquered my fear of the circular saw in Part 3 and fixed (with Sandra’s help, of course) what I thought might be un-fixable. But lately […]