Whipping up a SandStorm

The spare room at Casa MacBride has been refurbished with lots of lovely pine skirtings and wooden doors. Which is nice, especially as She Who Must Be Excused From All DIY Because She's A Tad On The Slapdash Side When It Comes To That Sort Of Thing's father did all the joiner work for us. In fact, he's done about 90% of the joinery stuff in the house with 10% being down to my bumbling attempts at assistance. With emphasis on the word 'ASS'.

What usually happens is that he does all the sawing and measuring and hammering and putting up. I go round afterwards filling in all the nail-holes and then sanding and varnishing. It's a crappy job, but someone has to do it. And it's for my benefit, so I can't really complain, can I?


Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce you to the technological delight that is: THE BLACK AND DECKER SANDSTORM!

Before explosionBelieve it or not, this is the second one of these I've had. The first one developed leprosy of the dust collector after a fortnight and was sent back to B&Q and (after some arguing over who would have to send the thing back to the manufacturer) I was issued with an identical replacement. Oh joy.

Now the idea behind this marvel of engineering is that it's got Velcro on the bottom of the sanding pad, and you can just rip off your used-up sheet of sandpaper and slap on a new one. Then there's the dust collector bag thing on the back, easily removable for cleaning! And the little pointy bit at the front so you can swap out the sandpaper where it gets worn down the most. Brilliant? Well designed? Simple? Effective? ... Crap.

The bloody thing vibrates, so that clever little dust collector thing shakes itself loose the whole time and falls off, spraying you with sawdust. The Velcro sandpaper pads you need to use cost a fortune and don't last very long. The clever little pointy bit at the front falls off too. And when it's not falling off, the Velcro hooks are getting all flattened and unsticky, so the pointy bits of sandpaper fly off at inappropriate moments. Like when you're actually trying to sand things.

If you look reeeeeal careful like, you can see tiny spots pf blood

And, if you're really, really lucky... they explode. Yup, that's what mine did this morning: committed suicide with a loud bang and flying plastic shrapnel. Fun! Bloody thing had a good go at taking the end of my pinky off when it went, but I was too fast for it! Hahahahaha! So I'm only maimed, not killed.

Of course the sodding thing's out of warranty, so I can't even get my money back. Instead I have to traipse into Inverurie to buy something that won't fall apart when I try to use it for the purpose for which it's supposedly been designed.

Bloody Black and Bloody Decker.

I hate DIY.

* See -- it's just like being back in panto again, only I don't have to strap on a cold, sweaty pair of boobs at half seven in the morning. Not unless I feel like it anyway.