Necessity out, stupidity in, as mother of invention.
One day not that long ago I found myself with the task of mounting an under-cabinet light fixture. Simple enough. Or maybe not… as I examine the fixture I see it mounts by sliding sideways over mounting screws. Unfortunately the light fixture is exactly as long as the space under this cabinet and thus has no room to slide. So without pause for any thoughts that would extend beyond my mid-brain, I ask myself the obvious… What would McGyver do? Easy… magnets.
Moments later, via assistance of a forstner bit, magnets, and CA glue the job was completed with minimal casualties. I quickly put the fixture up, flip the switch while exclaiming “let there be light!”, and revel in my brilliant ingenuity. Lastly, I check how I would replace the bulb and as I take the bulb out I see a clear view of the mounting holes. I find that interesting.
Before taking the, at this point, optional step of adding screws I explore other potential uses and applications that this groundbreaking use of magnets may yield, including cures for diseases, military weaponry, etc. While none of that panned out, I did find that it allows easy and convenient storage access to keys, canned soup, and knives. Clearly, the potential for such an invention is limitless. I may have to patent this novel notion of magnets holding junk. Disclaimer: if you have no sense of aesthetics, live in California, and actually implement my invention, I take no responsibility for subsequent injury due to falling knives and cans of soup.
What other McGyver-type ingenuity have I attempted? well, since I’ve mastered magnetism, it made sense to switch over to lasers. I played a little bit with using a leveling laser as an aide for identifying high spots when hand jointing a board. I think the idea may actually hold some merit and would have pursued it further if I hadn’t been distracted by a shiny object elsewhere in the shop that day.
I believe this technique may be particularly handy when jointing in the dark (probably how cave men jointed boards at night before fire was discovered). Operational note: While it’s interesting to observe the angle at which the laser bounces off your jointer, I recommend changing your observation angle if and when you feel your retinas tingling.
With lasers embedded in practically every woodworking tool these days, I’m waiting for the first hand plane with one embedded into the toe casting (maybe in a fore or jointer plane) and at least obviate the need for winding sticks. Come on Lee Valley get on this… I’m sure Rob will cut me in for half??? If nothing else, it should provide for one of your April 1 tool releases.
-As you may have noticed, I refer to Rob Lee of Lee Valley in this post in a familiar way. To be clear, we haven’t necessarily hung out for an extensive period of time (which is to say that I’ve never met/talked/communicated with him in any way). I, however, choose to believe that all tool manufacturers are my good buddies and that they make tools just for me (Freud understands me)… Yo John E! How’s it hanging Tom L?!? A little creepy? Perhaps… and while I know that they make drugs to remedy this, I just gotta be me on this one.