Jan 052018
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No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift. Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip. It’s OK if you call me “cheap.

That genius philosopher, Plato, was the smart guy who said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

On the eve of New Year’s Eve, I was painting some corner molding and found it really difficult to cut in because where it met the wall, it had a rounded profile. I needed a guard, but didn’t have a commercial one. I could have used a putty knife, but the widest knife I had was only 5″, which would have been tedious.

I remembered having one years ago that looked for all the world like a 12″ Venetian blind, but, if I still own that, I couldn’t find it.

What I could find, though, was… a Venetian blind.

When we were building our house, 22 years ago, we splurged a little on blinds for the garage windows so they would present a uniform appearance from the outside. Of course, I’m much too cheap to start cutting up blinds, but I remembered that they have two little valance slats at the top. No one would care if I borrowed one slat for a few days, would they?

See the two little slats at the top that make a valance? I borrowed one, temporarily.

Surprise! It worked so well that I forgot all about going to the store to buy a guide. The bonus is that the slat is almost 4 feet long, so it can be put in place and left there until a long piece of molding is painted.

Now I just have to make sure nothing happens to it before I get it back on the window!

This little Venetian blind slat saved the day on this painting job.

Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home.Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

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