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Old 10-25-2011, 08:57 AM   #1
Easterlake
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Default Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Most of us learn to do things by not being afraid to make mistakes. Let's hear some of your bone head moves. I'll be glad to start.
About 25 years ago I attempted to remove a toilet that my son had dropped something in and plugged it up. I had no idea what I was doing, and didn't have a wax ring to put back on before replacing it. There was no place open till the next day so for some reason I set the toilet on my back deck till the next morning. After returning with the wax ring about noon the following day I went out on the deck to bring the toilet in the house only to find out that someone had taken a ball bat to my toilet. At least that's what I thought. You see, I had set the toilet outside in 10 below zero and the water froze and shattered the toilet.
We didn't have squat for money back then and what should have been a 99 fix turned into much more......What an idiot!!!!
TOP THAT
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

We didn't have squat for money back then and what should have been a 99 fix turned into much more......What an idiot!!!!
I thought you were going to say you didn't have money and had to squat for a while!
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

now that's funny.
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

I let my wife and kids in on the location of my tools.....
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Not My mistake, but I have made plenty....When I had a Handyman service about 15 years ago, I contracted with a local "American Owned" wink wink Motel do do some re-model work. The owner was a cheap-ass tight wad, but I needed the work.
Part of the job was to hang 6 new, solid core doors. While I was finishing some tile work, the owner found another, Younger Guy to hang the doors, at a lower price. I had bid them VERY fairly. I didnt know about it until I saw some Kid, cutting the bottom off one of the doors on the saw horse.
I went over and asked Him what the heck He was doing, as I had driven 35 miles to pick up and pay for the doors, and had a accepteed big to install. "Mr Patel wants Me to put them in, cause i can do it cheaper." Says He.
Well.....This didnt set well with My Irish blood, but I bit My tongue, and began packing up My tools. Mr Patel comes running over, wringing His hands. "You dont leave, You not finsh job!". "Wrong. I am finished with THIS job, Sir." I pointed at My tool box. "See that handle on the top of that box?" "That is there so I can pick it up and leave at any time , for any reason. You will recieve a bill from Me for work completed. Good day." As I was about to drive off, the Kid came running to My truck, in a panic. "I screwed up, I dont know what to do!" What happened , I asked. "I measured wrong, on those doors....I cut all 6 of them too short." How much, I asked. "Six inches, can I glue them back together?" I just smiled and drove off, but I could see Mr Patel in My rear view mirror, screaming and waving His arms at that Kid. And that....is where two assholes met.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronson View Post
Not My mistake, but I have made plenty....When I had a Handyman service about 15 years ago, I contracted with a local "American Owned" wink wink Motel do do some re-model work. The owner was a cheap-ass tight wad, but I needed the work.
Part of the job was to hang 6 new, solid core doors. While I was finishing some tile work, the owner found another, Younger Guy to hang the doors, at a lower price. I had bid them VERY fairly. I didnt know about it until I saw some Kid, cutting the bottom off one of the doors on the saw horse.
I went over and asked Him what the heck He was doing, as I had driven 35 miles to pick up and pay for the doors, and had a accepteed big to install. "Mr Patel wants Me to put them in, cause i can do it cheaper." Says He.
Well.....This didnt set well with My Irish blood, but I bit My tongue, and began packing up My tools. Mr Patel comes running over, wringing His hands. "You dont leave, You not finsh job!". "Wrong. I am finished with THIS job, Sir." I pointed at My tool box. "See that handle on the top of that box?" "That is there so I can pick it up and leave at any time , for any reason. You will recieve a bill from Me for work completed. Good day." As I was about to drive off, the Kid came running to My truck, in a panic. "I screwed up, I dont know what to do!" What happened , I asked. "I measured wrong, on those doors....I cut all 6 of them too short." How much, I asked. "Six inches, can I glue them back together?" I just smiled and drove off, but I could see Mr Patel in My rear view mirror, screaming and waving His arms at that Kid. And that....is where two assholes met.
LOL!
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The last time that I hit my finger with a cheap dead blow hammer, it hurt just as much as the time that I hit it with the Snap-On dead blow hammer.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

I had a friend who did handyman work and he had a customer who installed thick carpet and needed the doors cut. He cut the wrong end of the doors, so no problem, just move the hinges. Ahh.... Now the latch is off by an inch.....

He did another job where the customer wanted the bathroom tile taken out. He swung wide with his hammer and took out the toilet.
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The last time that I hit my finger with a cheap dead blow hammer, it hurt just as much as the time that I hit it with the Snap-On dead blow hammer.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

does falling through a ceiling count? ive made some little mistakes but nothing crazy. i think the worst was either falling through the ceiling, or cracking a tub that was supposed to be donated to charity
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Easterlake View Post
You see, I had set the toilet outside in 10 below zero and the water froze and shattered the toilet.
We didn't have squat for money back then and what should have been a 99 fix turned into much more......What an idiot!!!!
TOP THAT
So, let me get this straight... You thought someone went to town with a baseball bat on your toilet, and you had nothing to go on?
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

I was removing some chair railing from a customer's wall, and not thinking I took the claw on my hammer, hooked behind it and started prying... well the hollow wall didn't fare too well... I moved to a stud did the same thing with better results, decided that was the way to go, moved over 16 inches to find out that the studs weren't spaced right...
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

You know that cardboard flap on the inside of new garbage disposals that clearly says "do not remove"? When you stuff your wiring back up in there and turn it on you realize you should have used a different piece of cardboard to stuff your used chewing gum in after you tore it out of the the disposal.
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Let's see, dozens.

- brazed my AC line right through my deep cut bandsaw blade. Had to cut the blade to get it loose.

- Built my daughter the ultimate princess castle bed - complete with a tower, staircase, shelves, a dungeon, beautiful fake painted block walls. It was designed to break into pieces to fit through her 32 inch door. It was perfect. The stairs were exactly wide enough to go through the door - except I missed the little jog in the wall about 36 inches into her room... It took five of us to haul that heavy sucker up the stairs only to find out it wouldn't go through the door. I cut two inches width off the staircase in the hallway with a sawsall, so we didn't have to carry it back downstairs.

- Decided to change the oil in my son's truck after we got it fixed up. Drained the oil - 8 quarts - pulled the filter. Installed new filter - put plug back in - new Mobil 1 oil - start it up and it shoots a stream of motor oil across the garage and hits my wife standing there in her new outfit. Old filter gasket didn't come off with the filter... Spent two hours cleaning up the Mobil 1 off the garage floor and 3 hours working to buy my wife another outfit. One of my more expensive oil changes.

I could go on
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:17 AM   #13
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Not my screw up, but. My wife kept smelling an "electrical burning scent" coming from one of the indoor electrical boxes. So I start looking around and found this. The previous owner had a 14 gauge wire running to a 220V water heater. They had a smaller water heater installed like a 30 gal and I installed a larger one under the assumption that the wire was up to code. Since then I have replaced that fuse type box with CB's. This was a fire waiting to happen.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:26 AM   #14
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

In one of my first attempts with plumbing I ran an outside water line plumbed directly off our kitchen sink. Everything went great and was done until I realized I had tapped into the HOT water line.
Ken
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:37 AM   #15
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Easterlake View Post
Most of us learn to do things by not being afraid to make mistakes. Let's hear some of your bone head moves.

These threads never work out as planned. Not enough humbleness maybe?

Quote:
Not My mistake...
Quote:
I had a friend...

I try to avoid handyman work, especially involving wood. I already know I WILL butcher it, so I don't have nearly as much plumbing/electrical/carpentry experience to tell about.

Once I was being a moron and decided to inspect the brushes on a porta-band. Oops! Shoulda made sure it was unplugged first!

When I was 17 I poured a whole bottle of octane booster/carb cleaner into my lawn mower gas tank. Melted all the carb seals.

Cut a LOT of stuff too short.

Set a few things on fire.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:38 AM   #16
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

I was changing the oil in my SUV and never installed the drain bolt back into the pan. Poured an entire 5 qt Mobil 1 synthetic jug in her and the oil ran down the driveway.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:22 AM   #17
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

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I was changing the oil in my SUV and never installed the drain bolt back into the pan. Poured an entire 5 qt Mobil 1 synthetic jug in her and the oil ran down the driveway.
I watched a professional mechanic, 35 years experience, do the same thing... His comment? "Oh, crap..."
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:31 AM   #18
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Oh, we could be here all day, but one that comes to mind is about 5 years ago when I was replacing some siding on the back of my house. I'd spent all day pulling off the rotted hardboard siding, pulling all the nails that pulled through it, and hanging new grooved plywood siding.

I was TIRED, and it was getting late in the evening, and I was nailing the last sheet. I bent over to put a couple more nails in the bottom plate with my coil nailer and the very LAST nail of the job angles weird and goes right into the *&^%#$@ copper water line that comes up through the slab. You know something's wrong when you shoot a nail and water starts running out from under the siding.

First off, I have to pull the corner of the siding loose and wedge it out, then the dang hole is so low I can't patch it any way, I have to just solder the hole closed. And it's getting dark. Standing on my head working behind the sheet of siding and trying not to set the whole damn wall on fire with the torch. Finally got it, but it turned out to be a MUCH longer day than I'd planned.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:00 AM   #19
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I watched a professional mechanic, 35 years experience, do the same thing... His comment? "Oh, crap..."
Forgot the time I forgot to INSTALL the dual oil filters and STARTED the engine. Atleast 4 gallons sprayed out in a forceful manner....
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:16 AM   #20
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Cutting the old unused post and peg wiring out of the attic in an old house. Wife yells up "Why did the lights just go out???" Came down and called it a day...

Not me but in college a classmate was going to build a loft bed in his room. Didn't know how to find the studs to tie it to the wall... He got out the drill and a 1/4" bit and drilled a hole every 1" across the wall. Even then he couldn't tell which hit studs so you think he would have quit after 3 feet but noooo.... 8+ feet of perforated wall...
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:15 PM   #21
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb2tha View Post
In one of my first attempts with plumbing I ran an outside water line plumbed directly off our kitchen sink. Everything went great and was done until I realized I had tapped into the HOT water line.
Ken


Replaced some supply lines to a bathroom... switched them around by mistake.
since I wasnt actually working in that bathroom, I never went in to verify things..

Found out the next morning when i was second in line for the bathroom and had to do my daily..
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:24 PM   #22
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

I was excavating with the 320C I rented.

Half asleep, I went to dig the new trench for the powerline to my mobile home completely forgetting about the water line.

I felt the bucket catch on something. I thought it was a root then up came the black waterpipe with the copper stub-out all knurled-up on the end.

I just about cried. Only took a few hours to fix but still....I thought I had done structural damage to the mobile.
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:24 PM   #23
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Here's another:
When I was in the Army we were at JRTC (Louisiana, we were stationed in upstate NY), one of our MTV wreckers had an axle bite the dust... we pulled the shafts and instead of swapping the whole axle we swapped the carrier/gears and shafts, when I was tightening the last bolt up on the wheel hub to hold the shaft in place, using German specs of course, gutentight, I snapped one of the bolts... We were leaving the next day, fortunately I was able to get the rest of the bolt out, and we only had to redo the rtv sealant...
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:53 PM   #24
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Back in college, a buddy drove his girl friends Pinto station wagon, manual transmission, up to NC from Florida. When he pulls into our place, this thing is laying down a smoke screen like a wounded ship in WWII. He asks me to go to the mechanic with him to get it checked so next morning off we go.

Mechanic calls back later that day and says to come back. We get there, I see the engine partially disassembled, and he asks my friend what gear he drove up I-95 in. Friend gives him a blank look. Mechanic asks "Did you shift the gears?" Another blank look. Turns out he had driven from Florida to NC up I-95 in first gear. The engine and transmission were toast.

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Old 10-28-2011, 05:21 PM   #25
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

When I was 18 I worked in an old school Pawn shop that had a watch maker. He was retired and only came in a few days a week. One day he was off and a customer came in with a $500 Waltham RR pocketwatch that had a scratched crystal he wanted buffed and didn't want to leave it. No problem for my skills at the time. The watchmaker had taught me how to remove a watch movement and reassemble it so I could repair/polish cases & buff crystals. I was already repairig jewelry sizing rings & such so I was trusted to do this. Well I happened to be supergluing a plastic part working on another project at the bench and put a small pallet of glue laying on the bench to the side. Not paying attention when taking the movement out of the case I layed it right on top of that pallet of super glue and that movement soaked up every drop of that glue. That was the toughest thing I ever had to own up to but at 18 I looked the ower in the eyes and had him walk over to the owner while I told on myself. It all worked out, He was allowed to pick out an even better watch in stock and was made whole and I just had to work off the cost of the watch he picked out and take a lot of rookie ribbing.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:42 PM   #26
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

I'll post later, my mind is racing.. Too much to weed through, rank and file.. Great topic!
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:53 PM   #27
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by metal1313 View Post
does falling through a ceiling count?
The handyman at my high school passed away that way. Was so unfortunate.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:56 PM   #28
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oggy View Post
Here's another:
When I was in the Army we were at JRTC (Louisiana, we were stationed in upstate NY), one of our MTV wreckers had an axle bite the dust... we pulled the shafts and instead of swapping the whole axle we swapped the carrier/gears and shafts, when I was tightening the last bolt up on the wheel hub to hold the shaft in place, using German specs of course, gutentight, I snapped one of the bolts... We were leaving the next day, fortunately I was able to get the rest of the bolt out, and we only had to redo the rtv sealant...
Now that's funny!
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:34 PM   #29
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

When we bought our first house I decided to make the closet bigger. When I put up the new wall I could not find my 6' level so I used the little 2' level I could find. The wall was a hair off so I figured it was close enough and nailed it into place. After getting it sheetrocked I realized it was not level at all.

The worst was when I put our new kitchen in. I ran a multi wire branch circuit under the sink. One was for the dish washer and the other for the disposal. Get everything connected in the panel and flip the breaker. One big snap and the breaker trips. When I put the cabinet in I missed a stud with a screw and went right through the wire.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:47 PM   #30
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

In high school i was asked by a friend to help with his oil change, thinking i've done this many times before no problem. Well he drives in his mustang to my dads garage (never worked on a mustang before) i go about draining the front of the double sump and not the rear, thinking wow this car has two trans pans. I change the filter and then go on top to fill her up. Well I put in five quarts and never bother to look at the dip stick thinking shes good. I tell him all is fine and to drive off, well about 4 blocks later i get a call from him that shes smoking bad and that oils leaking from a seal. That's the day i learned what a dual sump pan was.
Josh
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:46 PM   #31
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Default Re: Your Handyman SCREW UPS!!!!!!

when i was 16 my dad had me pick up 10 sheets of 4x8 3/4 plywood for flooring inside the house......mighta picked up treated
on an old junker i wired the power from the alt to the frame...wooops
forgot to check for an old seal during an oil change, lost about 1/2 a gallon of amezoil
confused the black and silver screws on an outlet
put an engine in a car, no start, no spark, turns out i didnt plug the harness in all the way
put an engine in a truck, kept throwing tranny codes, turns out it wasnt plugged in well either
left a 2 bell housing nuts off a car once
i could go on, criticize if you want but i caught all these mistakes, so it cant be all bad right
oh yeah also fell off a goddamn ladder painting a house and shattered my ankle
also when i was 16 did brakes on my car, didnt realize there was an inboard and outboard pad........most of my mistakes were young and stupid
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:04 PM   #32
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My favorite was I was removing a coat rack in a movie theatre I used to work at. I always thought that this was a very over built coat rack. It was a 2x6 flat against the wall with 2x4s on the top and bottom and another 2x6 on the face with the hooks. I took the screws out to remove the the front 2x6. I discovered that there were 3 bolts coming out of the wall with nuts holding the rack up. I remember thinking how much weight was this thing designed to hold? I removed the first two nuts and had the last one 3/4 the way off. Suddenly I heard a loud noise and all three of the bolts shot into the wall, stopping on the last nut. At this point I had a realization and walked downstairs to see if I was right. I was, there was a 10 foot wide neon clock hanging a few inches off the wall about 20 feet above two very scared concession workers. I then went back upstairs and reattached the very overbuilt coat rack.

The best not me story. A friend of mine hangs drywall and was working on a radio station remodel. There was another guy working in the same room as him with a sawsall. The radio station Manager came running into the room freaking out that they were off the air. Turns out the guy with the sawsall cut through a 8 inch conduit in the wall that was completely stuffed with wires. I can only imagine how big a pain that was to fix.
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:10 AM   #33
William Payne
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For what ever reason I get mighty embarrassed by my mistakes. I know everybody makes a mistake now and then even the best of them but for me it allways seems to be little mistakes like lately I had to make a bracket for something and I measure it all up mark it all out drill the holes and then realise I am off on one of the holes.

I try and do a good job and mistakes like that are a kick in the pants.
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:15 PM   #34
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Oh theres been a good few, a couple that spring to mind are working late on this house before we actually moved in, drilling a hole through the front doorframe, drill wouldn't go any fiurther, leant on it and "Bang" big blue flash and all the damn lights go off plunging me into darkness. Turned out the light wire had been run behind the door surround. Had to rus to the local aelctrical suppliues place as I had no spare cable. I also nailed a floorboard down, and stuck a nail striaght though the copper central heating pipe, cue an underfloor swimming pool as the system emptied itself.

Best one I've seen by a real pro was when I was working for Microsoft here in the UK, all of a sudden all of our phones went dead, turned out some contractors digging up the road had put the bucket of their JCB (backhoe) straight through the main phone cable feeding the whole area. Took em two days to get it back up and running, two whole days when I had no work to do as I was in customer services on the phone all day. Boy I could have bought that guy a pint or two!
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:53 PM   #35
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At my sister's house she had this shitty linoleum in the kitchen that she had ripped up, so there was a layer of luan (sp?) and then the old hardwood floor under that. She told me she wanted the subfloor ripped up, so I took off all the luon then started on the old hardwood floors. I was about 1/4 done with the hardwood floors when she came home and screamed that she only meant the luon. She was planning on refinishing the hardwood, which I ripped up part of already.

I ended up having to put down 3/4" plywood in the areas I ripped up and she had me put Pergo over it.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:14 PM   #36
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i havent had too many handyman f ups,
best couple i can remember were cutting the cable tv cable buried in the ground with a shovel, not once, but twice.
at the same house, sliding glass doors at the back of the house, rock thrown up by the weedeater shattered the glass......
not once, but twice,
and on a sunday aternoon both times.

ive done the "forgot to put the drain plug back in the oil pan"

wasnt 5 qts on the floor,
5gallons

while working at the same dealership, i pulled the engine out of a LBH one friday afternoon, and had "temporarily" clamped off the fuel return line in the bottom of the fuel tank with a pair of vicegrips.

monday am i came in,
vice grips on the floor, dryrotted fuel line, and 40 gallons of fuel on the floor....



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Old 10-30-2011, 03:41 PM   #37
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Car related.
Had a VW Rabbit when they were popular.
Decided to do front and rear brakes to save some money.
Did it at the parts store, a former gas station.
Put the front left tire over the concrete curb/hump between the doors so car wouldn't roll.
Did the work and got in the car and put it in reverse and gunned it to get over the hump.
Looked in the rear view mirror and watched the concrete block wall of the adjacent building behind me get bigger.
Thought about how I should have bled the brakes, while stabbing the brake pedal repeatedly.
$800 damage.....
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:03 AM   #38
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We were doing a service on one of the FMTV's (new 5 ton in the Army) and one of the new guys on my team was told to drain the transfer case and refill it. He pulled on the drain for about 5 mins before he finally snapped the head off. Now it has to be drilled out, so my sergeant grabs a drill, and being the only bit he can find, drills in the rest of the plug... that's right IN, straight on up into the transfer... Not my F@^& up, however they all went to training the next week when the new transfer came in (quicker to order the whole transfer and swap plug, plus we didn't know if any damage was done to the transfer) and I was stuck cracking the transfer, checking for damage, and putting it all back together. From that day on I watched the new guys to make sure they were turning bolts the right way...
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:40 AM   #39
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Oh I forgot about smashing the rear window on the wifes brand new Nissan X-Trail over at our house in France, did the same as crewchief888, flicked up a tiny bit of gravel with a weedeater and next thing I know theres a puddle of tiny little tinted cubes of glass on the floor, when I first saw it I thought I had an oil leak until I looked up and realised there was no back window. As it was easter and most of the windscreen places were shut for a long weekend there was no time to get hold of a replacement as it was a special order so we drove 900 miles home with a rear window made from the plastic wrapping off a roll of rockwool insulation and about four rolls of duck tape.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:09 PM   #40
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I had been doing some fall clean-up, raking leaves and picking up trash.
At dusk, I called it quits and as I turned to pick up My tools, I stepped on the rake.
Yep, it flew up and smacked Me HARD, right on the nose. It would have been funny if it didnt hurt so bad. I was PISSED! Not having anything to kick, I bent over and picked up a rock out of the flower bad, and threw it as hard as I could......Right through the kitchen window.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:15 PM   #41
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Back in college, a buddy drove his girl friends Pinto station wagon, manual transmission, up to NC from Florida. When he pulls into our place, this thing is laying down a smoke screen like a wounded ship in WWII. He asks me to go to the mechanic with him to get it checked so next morning off we go.

Mechanic calls back later that day and says to come back. We get there, I see the engine partially disassembled, and he asks my friend what gear he drove up I-95 in. Friend gives him a blank look. Mechanic asks "Did you shift the gears?" Another blank look. Turns out he had driven from Florida to NC up I-95 in first gear. The engine and transmission were toast.

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if he knew enough to handle the clutch and get it moving, how come he didn't know enough to shift the gears?

Wow...
On the other hand, most people today under thirty don't know how to drive a clutch. Just look at all the auto thieves who are thwarted by the third pedal. Best way to not have a car get stolen.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:29 PM   #42
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I was about to say;




But who takes pics of their screw ups
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