Today, a little tool that looks like this saved my life.
Well, not really my life, but it did save my shoes.
You see, I have me a bit of shoes. About 10 pair or so. The problem is they all reside in a vary narrow closet space, stored in sort of an amorphous pile. This was starting to annoy me as some of them would fall out every time I opened my closet door, so I thought I would build some shelves to corral those suckers (maybe it was from reading This Old House Magazine on my lunch break). Anyway, I went out to the garage to look though the spare lumber pile, picked a likely piece, and prepared to start cutting. Seeing this, Teri came over and casually mentioned, “what about your old shoe rack? You know, the one collecting dust in the garage?”
“Oh yea,” I said intelligently as I went to go look for it. “The shoe rack.”
Now this shoe rack was a hold-over from our old house. It was sitting in the garage because it could not fit in the narrow (23.5″ wide) closets of the new place. I intended to sell it off at the next garage sale. That was 10 years ago when we moved here. So I pulled the rack out, and looked it over. Besides it’s width, it was perfect. The problem was that the darn thing is made of metal tubes with plastic interlocking end pieces. Somehow, the metal tubes had to be cut.
I don’t know if you know anything about cutting metal tubes, but they can be a right pain in the ass. Put too much pressure on them, and they deform (meaning compress). After that, they are a ring-tailed bitch to get the ends round again. The problem is, the ends needs to be round so they can be pressure fitted (read jammed) into the plastic end pieces.
Enter the tool: The Superior Tool model # 35030 Mini Tubing Cutter. I bought my Superior Tool tubing cutter to cut the small brass tubes used for converting the motors on CD-ROM drives into model airplane motors. That was about 8 years ago, and the darn thing has been spending all its free time hanging out with the other model airplane tools. So I dusted it off, attached it to one of the metal tubes for my shoe rack, and gave it a go. Sure enough the darn thing worked flawlessly. Not only did it cut the tube without deforming it, but it also rolled the ends of the tube inwards so they would be easier to fit in the plastic end pieces. Within an hour I had cut all 8 tubes, filed and sanded their edges, and reconfigured the new thinner shoe rack in my closet.
Boy my shoes are happy right now. And I feel like a manly man. The best part is there is one less thing in our garage I have to deal with. Until we move again, that is.