Saturday, April 09, 2011

Riveting times

Today I bought a rivet gun and some pop rivets. Now I just have to work out how to use them. It seemed that they might be useful to have along on the trip should anything come unstuck. Like the microwave which seems to have become sick of it's place embedded amongst the cupboards some time during the last drive and attempted to relocate itself across to the other side of the van. Or the fridge shelves which seem to have buckled under the load of a thousand heavy jam and condiment jars and caved in under the weight. I'm not sure how the rivet gun will help either of these situations but I feel more secure now that I own one.  And I purchased a cheap drill because I'm sure everyone should have one, even if just to drill some holes for the rivets. It's fair to say that DIY is not a strong suit in my family. I don't ever recall seeing my father use as complicated a tool as a hammer. Whereas many of my friends spent time with their fathers in the shed building or fixing all sorts of constructions and learning the various tools of the trade, the closest I ever saw my father come to anything of that nature was... well nothing really. I don't recall him doing any repairs around the house, or working on any projects that involved putting things together ever. Actually that's not totally true, he did put together an airplane kit for me once. An Airfix kit model of a world war two Spitfire. I recall he was very proud of that achievement. Meanwhile, I had friends who were learning how to assemble cars with their fathers. Not that I blame my father in any way. His own father died when he was only ten years old and being as though they were living in Manhattan, they probably didn't even have a car. Or a shed. And with my grandfather having lost all of his money in the depression, perhaps they didn't even own a hammer. As for Tori, she's been completely banned from any form of DIY or maintenance. Ever. She only knows one tool, that being a tube of super glue. I recall with a mixture of amusement and horror the time a few years ago when I discovered that she'd "fixed" the curtain rail in the campervan we'd hired in France. A couple of the screws had made their way loose and dropped out somewhere, so Tori just superglued the rail along with part of the curtain to the roof of the van. Then there was the rabbit hutch she decided to build at home in Warrandyte. It was constructed out of a few fence pailings and some chicken wire, the former being nailed together precariously at an angle resembling Shane Macgowan's teeth. The wire never made it. And I think the rabbits might have died by then anyway. A lifetime ban seemed the best approach. But it's not that I'm too far above that standard. I always manage to assemble Ikea furniture the wrong way around and have to undo all the bolts and start again. Or drill a hole that's not quite in the right place. Or overtighten a screw to the point that it cracks the material into which it's being screwed. But whereas at home I can just call a plumber, or an electrician, or handyman, out here on the road it's not so easy. We just aren't in the one place for long enough. Plus I don't think I could handle the embarassment factor of having a plumber rock up and knock on the door of the van, having come to fix the leaking mixer tap. I feel a need to be sort of self sufficient even if my proficiency is questionable. And I wish now that my father had been able to pass on some of these skills to me. Part of this travelling lifestyle appears to be made up of constant maintenance. Nothing in a van seems as sturdy as its counterpart in a house and when you consider that it will also be vibrating around and jiggling up and down on corrugated roads, I guess it's inevitable that things will come loose or break. It seems that it might be time to pay a bit more heed to lowering tyre pressures when travelling down those corrugated roads, otherwise the van may have been completely vibrated to bits in no time at all. We can't get replacement shelves for the fridge door, so I'm not sure what we're going to do there. Now all those food jars are crammed in with the rest of the food, trying to battle for some space amongst the beer. I need to come up with a creative way of making some kind of makeshift door shelves so as to give us more useable space in the fridge. Perhaps if I can find a few bits of plastic and a tube of superglue.

1 comment:

doug_non said...

Pop rivert gun. Handy. Stainless steel rivets are stronger than aluminium (depends on application); regardelss you will need the right size drill bit for the rivets. A centre punch will help start new fixings.

Blog all good. Regards all.