Wednesday, November 30, 2011


As of last night:

Have conquered the agonizing selection of a power drill, bought paint for the second bedroom (the only bedroom I haven't painted - yay!), figured out how to use the caulk gun, caulked the (red) flange reinforcement ring to the "flange" (really, end of antique cast-iron pipe that is masquerading as a [non-standard-sized] flange), bolted flange reinforcement ring to floor, discerned that "flange" is wider than standard size and wax ring will not fit (possible cause of original leak?), and did more internet research on how to fix this problem. (Answer: mold 2-3 standard wax rings into a SUPER-wax ring of wider diameter. Molding wax is within my skill level, so moving on with enthusiasm.)

No progress with respect to that second picture. (And I note that I only took the rotten thing because after the several days of pre-cycle spotting that have been my standard for a year or more, I failed to have - ever - the day of hemorrhagic bleeding to which I have grown accustomed. Leading me to believe that I might be pregnant I ought to take an HPT. It was my last one, and I am not taking any more. I think.)

I'm not going into my greater concern with the bathroom, which is that it is pretty clear to me that the subfloor is rotted under the toilet, if not all the way through, then much of the way through. (The water leak only appeared really recently, and the stain on the plaster ceiling on the floor below is quite small. I don't understand how it could have been exposed to water long enough to rot the wood.)

If I were being really thorough, I would rip out the floor and subfloor right now, but I am not ready to learn tiling and replacing subfloor just at the moment. The wooden finished-floor is obviously not up to scratch for a bathroom (it was already visibly damaged around the tub as well), so I have been expecting to replace it with tile, and I am now mentally preparing to spend a few thousand for the tiling (which I would like to do myself), repair to the subfloor, and (big-ticket item) replacement of that cast-iron waste pipe with PVC. It needs to happen in the next year or two.

Instead, I am choosing to focus on happy thoughts. Such as - my new power drill. I've borrowed others' cordless drills in the past (kind others to lend them to me!), so I had some idea what I was looking for. In view of my weak little T-Rex arms, lightweight is obviously an advantage, but I am planning to become a muscle-bound behemoth in the course of my home improvements, and bigger drills clearly have advantages. I've used a friend's lightweight drill with 550rpm max, and that's fine for driving, but I think for drilling more speed would help. I wanted at least 1200rpm. I definitely wanted something that takes an hour or less to charge. I didn't get too far into understanding torque, but I did learn that 18V of power makes a big difference in terms of getting tough jobs done. I understand a 1/2" all-metal chuck is better than a 3/8" chuck with a plastic outer grip, but I wasn't committed to that. Also, I wanted it to be able to go in reverse. The end.

The drill I bought plugs into the wall. This means that I can't take it just anywhere, but then, I've never used a drill outside. And I do have a heavy-duty extension cord. (Its own cord is a decent length, too.) Also, it takes zero minutes to charge :). Further, I understand that for applications like mixing mortar and grout (not that I need to retile a bathroom or anything), a cordless drill simply doesn't have enough power. This one has outrageous power - 120V, to be exact. And 2500rpm max! It's not that heavy (4.1lbs.), but it's large, and all chunky and rough-looking, and its yellow-and-black color scheme even looks menacing. I was frankly afraid of it, but my husband wasn't all excited to do the drilling himself like I thought he would be, so I figured I would be brave. It's my drill, after all. I need to learn to use it.

It accomplished the project without difficulty - it gave off a definitely snide air that it was capable of any task I offered it without experiencing the least strain, provided only I was sufficiently competent. (Not always the case - I aligned one hole wrong and was unable to fix it. I think the drill is losing respect for me.) I've used Ryobi cordless drills before, and while they sometimes take a while to get the job done, they're nice, polite tools. You want to hang some blinds? Yes! Show me the window frame! I'll get through it eventually! The DeWalt has a decidedly different demeanor. I will destroy the window frame. Then I will destroy the blinds. AND THEN I WILL DESTROY YOU.

It's awesome.


  1. I feel like you should have your own show on HGTV. :) I would SO watch that. I look forward to your posts like the next "episode" of Misfit's Home Renovations. :)

  2. SO awesome for a mega-powerful drill! I love your ability to fix everything. I'm not patient enough to attempt to fix or learn how to.

  3. HAHA, now I feel silly recommending a 12v drill! That sounds like one bad ass power tool. Appropriate for your first one. You are braver than I to attempt fixing your toilet issue, and eventually the tiling, etc. May God guide you on your quest! (I guess that last line is only funny if you know the scene I'm referring to from the Office, but I'll let it stand.)

  4. I agree with Hebrews that you need your own HGTV show. Hope you and your power drill continue to have fun.

  5. Meg - me with a 120V drill is kind of a joke, believe me. According to the reviews I read, 18V becomes really useful if you want to drill through metal or stone - which I don't expect to do, ever. The one I wanted (but they didn't carry) was actually 12V, and I would have been more than happpy with that. The only benefit I see to the one I bought - besides entertainment value - is that I think it will mix mortar if need be. But that's not something I hope to do often!

  6. I'd totally watch your show!!!

    I have a big love for power tools, really I love all tools. Being the only child of a handy dad, I've been well-acquainted with a tool box. I just wish my husband was a little more interested in learning. He's pretty hopeless when it comes to home repair.

  7. Um, the wax ring thing really impresses me. Seriously.