Erik's 16 Commandment of Garage Workshops

Last week, after publishing my column "Erik's Commandments of Fishing," working on a recent woodworking project, and realizing that my family is getting a little too lackadaisical and free wheeling about how they use my garage workshop, and I decided to create this: Erik's 16 Commandments of Garage Workshops.

I'm going to carve these into a large slab of wood and hang them on my wall. Assuming I can find any room among all the hammers, chisels, and saw blades.

1. Useth not mine tools, unless thou returneth them to their exact same location, precisely as they had been found. Leaveth not mine tools outside where morning dew may cause them to rust or they may be stolen by raccoons that want to break into yon trash cans.

2. The fact that I have not returnethed mine tools to their exact same location is unimportant. I am in the middle of an important project, and I must be able to find them where I left them.

3. The garage is not messy. I am in the middle of organizing it, which will take days. Or weeks. Probably 40.

4. Hide not mine tape measure to "teach me a lesson." Do as I sayeth, not as I doeth. These commandments exist for a reason.

5. Criticize not the splinter in mine eye. It hurts, and I need thy help to get it out.

6. Thou shalt not set perspiring beverages on mine workbench. I have built this workbench with mine own hands, topping it with red oak plywood, and adorning it with three coats of polyurethane. Use the coasters I have also fashioned from wood and polyurethane.

7. Scoff not at my anal retentiveness over my workbench. This is why thou hath not nice things.

8. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's tools. Thou already may not covet thy neighbors' asses, so this should not be too difficult. However, thou may borrow they neighbor's tools, but breaketh them not, because they are overpriced.

9. Mine stereo is not too loud. I am making a joyful noise.

10. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are too a joyful noise!

11. Psssh! Our neighbors would knoweth not a joyful noise if it bit them on the butt. They listeneth to Nickelback.

12. Fear and respect the mitre saw, for it is ferocious in our sight, and will chop thine freaking arm off.

13. Fear and respect the table saw, for it is a nasty little bugger, and will loppeth off a finger.

14. Fear and respect the — you know what? All of it. Fear and respect all of it. All these tools are dangerous and will hack something off if you screw around with them.

15. Mow not your lawn before 9:00 am on a Saturday morning, as I slumber until late. If thou cannot abide by this, I shall run my table saw at 9:00 pm while thou layeth thine child to sleep.

16. Use not mine tools if thou art a young child in mine house. Please wait until I have instructed thee in their proper use, and can watch over thy work. Also, waiteth until thy mother is not home, lest she become angry and smite us.

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