So I’m talking with Todd Langston who works at Stanley Tools. The reason we were talking is that he’s Director of Marketing and he was telling me about some cool new gear coming. At least that’s what we were supposed to be talking about. See, in addition to being one of the ultimate good guys in the industry, he’s an avid woodworker and DIYer so it didn’t take long for the conversation to turn to projects around the house. That’s when he told me this story:
His neighbor knocked on the door and asked to borrow a “hammer drill” and “carbide bit.”
To put his reaction in food terms: that wine doesn’t compliment the entree. Noticing the discord, Todd gently asked: “What are you doing?”
Answer: drilling a hole in my tile back splash so I can hang my microwave.
HOLY MACKEREL! was my reply. The impact of a hammerdrill will break the hard but brittle tile! What you want to do is use a nail set or scratch awl and tap–TAP I said!–the tile to break the glaze so the bit doesn’t wander. Then use a masonry bit and spin the drill through the tile. And don’t press the drill too hard. This is even more critical in an old house where you might not be able to find or replace the existing tile!
That’s when Todd said something that stuck with me–and this is from a tool guy!
“About 70% of any home improvement project isn’t about boards and bits; it’s about the plan. Yes, you need the right tools, but you need a reasonable idea of what to do with them first. So many DIYers get started with good intentions but don’t ask the right questions or don’t think through the process then end up unhappy.”
Personally, I’ve seen this happen a zillion times. What I like about this story is that I’m not alone. Stanley makes great tools–I’ve had a Stanley tape in my pouch since I started in this business–and not only is Todd right, but he takes that mindset is helping design the tools we use.
Once again, thinking is one of the most important tools in our pouches.