I spent the morning sandblasting the rust off of old tools and clamps. They had originally been sprayed down with WD40 and in good shape but had been setting forgotten in the back of a barn in near 100% humidity for ten years before being rediscovered. Wuh oh. A layer of rust covered everything.

I was on my way out to my former DIL’s house when SwampMan yelled out to me that he needed a few things sandblasted before I left. No problem. Sandblasting is one of those things that I find to be deeply therapeutic. You take an old rusty tool, blast all the rust off, and it looks all pretty and shiny and new. Instant results! I love it.

SwampMan finds all that little nitshit detail work extremely boring and even frustrating. His big hands won’t even fit into gloves so that he can do it. It isn’t just metal work on which SwampMan doesn’t like to do the finishing details. Even in his beloved woodworking, he doesn’t care to do a (in my view) thorough enough job sanding. After all, the appearance of the finished product is all about the effort put in beforehand!

SwampMan: “HEY, that thing is sanded good enough!”

Me: “No, it isn’t. If I put a nylon stocking on here, I’d get instant snags in it!”

“But it doesn’t have to be perfect!”

“Well, if it was one of your chairs and I sat in it and got a splinter in my ass because it wasn’t sanded properly, I’d be a little upset.”

*SwampMan breathing heavily, like he is trying to control his words very carefully but is finding it extremely difficult to do.* “Yes, a splinter in the ass is very bad, but you are working on a FREAKIN’ BIRDHOUSE, DAMNIT!”

Okay, I probably am not cut out for production work.

So I’m carefully and very thoroughly sandblasting through layers of old paint and rust on a metal object that he handed to me. He’s done some grinding on it but can’t get the rounded parts. It must be an important piece of metal, so I take it out of the sandblasting box several times to feel it as well as look at it more closely. SwampMan is standing there with his spray paint waiting to paint it. After about the 5th time out of the box, he said he’ll take it.

“Nah, the rust goes a little deeper here, and I need to go over it a few more times.”

“It will be okay.”

“No, it will rust through. I need to get it better.”

“DAMNIT, it’s the cover to a 35-freakin-year-old panel box! I don’t expect it to be perfect! I don’t CARE if it lasts another 35 years! I’ll buy ANOTHER one if it only lasts 20 years!”

*sigh* Well, if you put it THAT way…..

In the meantime, Breeze the mare is standing outside waiting patiently for me. Whenever I’m outside, she is by my side, a stalwart companiable presence. After awhile, though, she starts to get less patient and reaches inside the barn to a table that has SwampMan’s tools piled on it and starts picking them off the table and dropping them on the floor one by one to get my attention. After all, when she’s out in the pasture, I bang the feed bucket against a gate to get her attention, so I guess she figures it works both ways.


“Don’t you yell at my horse! You’ll hurt her feelings!”


“I told you not to yell at her!”


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kae said,

    Obviously scared the crap out of her…

    She sounds gorgeous.

    I’m a bit like SwampMan. I hate the preparation etc., but I don’t mind doing the job. I don’t start up the mower etc., periodically to see if they’re working.

    My ride on mower is on the fritz at the moment. It’s a Cox with cones and a pedal to push forward and backward. The thing was pedal to the metal and hardly went at all – wouldn’t pull your uncle off your auntie. (Oh, I hope that’s OK to say here – certainly cracked me up when I first heard it 25 years ago.) Now I have to get the mower fixed.

  2. 2

    JeffS said,

    That’s my kind of horse!

    But only if someone else owns her…..


  3. 3

    RebeccaH said,

    I have to go with Mr. Swampman here about the nooks and nicks of rust removal, but that’s only because I’m basically lazy and careless, and have this really rather inefficient idea that if something becomes unusable because of my inattention, I’ll always be able to buy or find a replacement. It’s the conundrum of the optimist vs. the pessimist.

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