Posted by: thediygeochemist | August 16, 2012

in which I prove my friends (and a reader) wrong

A while back, I brought up a conundrum: as a reward for passing my quals, should I shell out for a table saw or should I buy a Kindle, much cheaper but less exciting?

I asked many of my RL friends as well as my readers and the general consensus was that I should get a Kindle. After all, it would be so much more useful for going to sea.

Only problem was, I only liked the idea of a Kindle in theory. I didn’t feel like I would really look forward to getting it. On the other hand, money was getting tight and I didn’t think I could afford the table saw.

Shortly before my quals, I got an email from my siblings. Some of them evidently read my blog, and they were putting their money together to buy me a table saw when I passed. [Did I ever mention how awesome my siblings are?]

I never did buy a Kindle. Before I went to sea, I downloaded the free Adobe Digital Editions software as well as a bunch of free books from Project Gutenberg. This solution worked just fine for someone who didn’t want to haul a bunch of heavy books with her. I spent the money I saved by not buying that Kindle on lumber so I could make something nifty with my table saw.

But here’s the kicker: the table saw actually turned out *very* useful for someone who went to sea. A couple of months ago, Dr. Hand-Waver told us that she’d really like to have a custom-built crate for shipping our Go-Flo bottles–most serious oceanography groups have such things, but we’d been using a cardboard box.

So MacGyverina and I spent a whole day being paid to play with the table saw (and a few assorted other power tools), and this was what we came up with:

As you can see, it not only is a shipping crate, but also an easily accessible hanging rack for use at sea.

It worked out so well that we are seriously considering making more shipping crates for our other expensive equipment. My table saw may be getting a workout soon.



  1. Very nice work!

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