One man's junk

Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2007 by Travis Cody in

I had Legos, Lincoln Logs, and Tinker Toys. I had Hot Wheels and model cars.

But I don't know how to build stuff or fix cars. I didn't take any shop in high school. I can put together pre-fabricated furniture, like the CD/DVD cabinet and the TV shelf I bought. I can handle a power drill for hanging curtains.

But I'm not really the guy to take your scrap wood and make something fabulous.

I've been learning some stuff from my stepdad. He's a terrific carpenter - he built a fireplace surround and some beautiful bookcases. He helped me hang my cabinets here at the condo.

He's also rebuilding a 1940 Ford Fordor Sedan. He did the engine and the exhaust system, plus the electrical. He sanded the whole car down to the base and just finished the paint. This fall he'll put it all back together and it will be ready to hit the car shows next summer.

I'm fascinated by people who can build stuff. I've been watching this show called Junk Brothers on HGTV. Steve and Jim Kelley cruise around at night looking for stuff that people have set out by the curb as junk. They grab two pieces and take them back to the workshop where they transform the junk into something unique and special. The only requirement is that the discarded junk has to be recognizable, because after they finish the project they actually take it back to the homeowner!

If you've never seen this show, check it out on HGTV at 11pm on Wednesdays.

One thing I've learned from watching this show...a sewing machine is a power tool! Who knew?


  1. TopChamp says:

    I can't build stuff either. We were supposed to build a frame support for our bath when it was installed (for very little £) last year... Still thinking about doing it, rather than actually doing it.

    And you're one up on me if you can use a power drill. I genuinely find that really difficult... to make the holes straight and to keep the drill in the same place. (A girl DIY stereotype! Aaagh.)

  1. well i certainly can't fix anything and neither can sarge. he has two tools, a plastic butter knife and a chain saw. that's about it. but we do have a phonebook and that's how i get things done! (and bond has pie today!)

    smiles, bee

  1. Man, I wield a mean staple gun! That is the neatest show! I love the nameplate they put on the project. We watched it one time when the people rejected what they'd made! It was like, "Hey, that was our trash, buddy." Real cretins...

  1. I have faith that you can build anything you put your mind to building.

    Power tool... did you say power tool???? *evil grin*

  1. Matt-Man says:

    I cant build a damn thing either although last year Ryan and I built a catapult that successfully shot marshmallows into a cup of Hot Chocolate. mean HE got an A on the project. Cheers!!

  1. Gail says:

    Can't build anything either...worried I might break a nail...



  1. Bond says:

    I am semi-able to fix stuff... I have done some electrical work, some plumbing (this one scares me)...but building things? Never had the real time or space or money to try and do it...
    will be making a note to check that out tonight...11PM that would be PDT correct? So 9 PM for me?

  1. Steven says:

    Never heard of this show...but it sounds like another possible show addiction!! Excellent!

  1. Mags says:

    Oh yes, Trav...a sewing machine can change your life. 8)

    I don't use mine much b/c I'm too busy, but I've made lots of cool things with it!

    I need a staple gun too though...

  1. Morgen says:

    I'm in the "I can build it but it won't be beautiful" category right there with you.
    I do much better with paint than with a power saw.
    I LOVED my tinker toys! And Lee still plays with Legos - but he's a master with a sewing machine, too!

  1. Angell says:

    I'm right up there with ya hon - and NO ONE in their right mind gives me power tools. LOL. They don't trust me.

    And since a sewing machine is classified as a power tool, guess I'm going back to hand stitching....

  1. julie says:

    Oh Trav! Great post! Yup this show sounds quite interesting! I'll have to check it out...if I wasnt' at this computer so much!

    One time I rewired a triple receptacle light switch.....DRUNK! I can't for the life of me remember how I did it OR how I got the b*lls TO do it!

  1. Travis says:

    TC: Next time you try, be sure to rely on the level in the handle - that helps keep the drill straight.

    Bee: A chainsaw can fix all kinds of mistakes! I wish I could build because it would save a fortune in labor costs for home improvements.

    Gracie: That name plate is cool. I remember one show when the people actually called the cops!

    Dixie: Well, perhaps I can. But the idea is to have it look good when I'm finished!

    Matt: Now that's an invention I could use!

    Gail: Break a nail....ROTFL!

    V: 11pm E/P for the show. I'm a total idjit when it comes to plumbing.

    Steven: It is addictive!

    Mags: I never would have thought of a sewing machine as a power tool. Now staple guns rock!

    Mo: Now I'm excited about painting. We just need to choose the colors. Legos are actually quite relaxing.

    Angell: I'm sure you can handle the sewing machine.

    Julie: You're a nut!

  1. Comedy + says:

    You sound just like my husband, he can't fix things or work on cars either. It usually costs twice as much after he tries to fix something. Have a great day Travis. :)

  1. JohnH985 says:

    You sound so much like me. I'm helpless with trying to build things or fix my car.

  1. Travis says:

    Comedy: I wish I was fix it guy.

    John: We're the guys that keep mechanics, plumbers, and carpenters in business.

  1. Neila says:

    A sewing machine is a power tool? Because I can't build stuff, but I can make a scarf! Woo hoo! :-)

  1. Lego, Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys are the best toys ever! I even loved plain ol' blocks. And I spent many, many hours playing Hot Wheels with my little bro.

    I've seen the Junk Brothers, and I love it! I should learn how to use tools...