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I bought a major new tool yesterday that cost about $600. Tool gloat? Nope. The tool I got was a monkey wrench.

If you’re thinking A.J. just found himself a wonderful antique adjustable tool from the 19th century, think again. What I got was the other definition of monkey wrench. What I got was a water heater.

I discovered a leak Monday night in the closet that houses our water heater and water softener. Unlike folks lucky enough to have basements, ours is located in a closet beneath the stairs in our living area. The resultant leak by the time I found it had managed to soak carpeting, drywall, baseboards and subfloor. That loud adult language you probably heard around 1 A.M. Tuesday was me ripping out soggy carpeting and padding in the middle of the night.

Now, two days later I have a new water heater installed, all the destroyed carpeting gone, and the subfloor pretty dry. (I’ll let it dry out for a full week before attempting to redo carpet, baseboards, etc.) The drywall, fortunately, turned out to be OK.

As you can see the unexpected expense of this essential tool I bought had nothing to do with woodworking, at least not directly. You recall, however, that I was about to embark on a major shop upgrade, so this unplanned purchase does relate directly to woodworking: It’s a monkey wrench tossed into my shop upgrade plans, now indefinitely postponed. As a bonus, it will also demand a good bit of my shop time a week from now to do all the needed repairs and restoration work from the water damage. Plus a few extra bucks for restoration materials on top of that.

It’s fortunate that my shop is already in good shape – if you’ve followed these blogs regularly you know I’ve already done some upgrading over the past year – so once all my repairs are done I’m not really impacted directly shop-wise.

But the tool shopping I had to do yesterday will preclude for a while any other tool shopping I may have wanted to do where it counts.

Till next time,


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