Getting into the garage and making stuff using your hands and an assortment of power tools is good for you. Your brain gets drunk on solving issues and fixing things, making you feel good. Sometimes I feel so good I celebrate by getting physically drunk.
As a self-taught garage stooge I learned an important lesson recently – fabrication is still good for you, even when you fail. The hard truth never spoken about in #weldporn posts on Instagram is that even the master craftsmen have a bad day and things don’t turn out how they’d envisaged.
This past weekend I made up a block-off plate for my Pontiac’s mechanical fuel pump and, in the midst of a hot day thick with humidity, the simple act of cutting, shaping and drilling this piece really helped soothe this savage beast.
To make this part, which ticks yet another job off the list of many required to finish my Pontiac, took 20 minutes, and didn’t need any exotic parts or tools. I used a knife, some scrap cardboard, a Sharpie, a piece of scrap aluminium sheet, and a drill with a step bit.
There is something cathartic about taking raw materials and solving a problem using your brain and hands together. So much in our life today is reliant on one or the other at different times that it is easy to forget how useful you can feel when you put them together.
My plate isn’t some piece of art that could use the #fabporn hashtag on Instagram, but it will works and gave me a feeling of satisfaction. I would encourage everyone to get out and create something of their own design to give themselves a hit of the feel-good vibe.
And to think this revelation came about from using $2 of scrap steel to plug a hole in my timing cover…