At first glance you might be wondering what a reciprocating saw and pieces of a kitchen faucet have to do with each other. Allow me to explain.
I pride myself on being able to dissect stuff pretty well. I rarely lose my temper and have found that taking a slow methodical approach will usually reveal where the hidden fasteners are and how things went together.
My skills were recently put to the test when it came time to do a little kitchen plumbing. I'm now trying to rent my old house as it doesn't seem to be the time to sell in the current market. As with human nature we try to prepare things we are going to be handing over to someone else as nice as possible beforehand. It's just like when you get ready to sell a car; you fix all the little things wrong with it that you've been suffering with for years like the window that rattles or the heater that doesn't work. I had been living with a leaky faucet at my house for the last year I lived there. It wasn't too bad, and if I turned the knob just right it wouldn't drip much.
I figured out right away that the main assembly needed to come out the bottom so I started dismantling the hot and cold valves and had them apart in no time. Then I moved on to the center spout and couldn't find the same set screw that worked so well with the valves. I managed to unscrew something from the top of the spout but it appeared to just be a decorative piece and nothing had loosened as a result of its removal.
It was starting to look like it was time to go for the big channel lock pliers and start twisting on some stuff, but nothing was moving. A few taps on the bottom of the spout with the same channel locks (always use the right tool for the job) made me feel a little better but did nothing to free it up. Now that I had exhausted all the normal ideas I had to start thinking bigger and more powerful. Maybe it was because I had just edited the Mercury top chop article that appears in this issue, but I started thinking that a reciprocating saw does more than just cut away those few unwanted inches of roof height.
I figured if you can't beat 'em (literally), cut 'em. I made a quick trip back to the other house (luckily it's close) to pick up my saw and happily found the battery charged and ready to go. A few quick cuts later saved me lots of frustration and the job was done. Well at least half of it; I still needed to install the new one. That's a whole other story involving several trips to the local hardware store and other drips.
It's times like this when I like to point out to my wife why I have all those tools. Hopefully she'll remember the next time she finds me wandering the tool aisle.