Thursday, January 17, 2008

Splinters and cuts no more - all purpose work gloves and the justification to buy a pair

Enough is enough. I’ve finally put my macho man status on the shelf and purchase a pair of all purpose work gloves. (Note: macho man status never really existed.) What made me finally break down? Read on...

When I returned to work after several days off around the holidays (days I spent working on our Cape Cod, naturally), one of my co-workers commented, “I can tell what you did over the holidays” as she pointed to my right hand. I retuned to my office and counted the number of cuts on my right hand alone: six. They weren’t big, just large enough to be noticeable to others (apparently). But that one comment wasn’t enough to push me into the all-purpose work glove camp.

The thing that really made me buckle was working with some bead-board plywood. You may recall that I used beadboard plywood for our upstairs bathroom ceiling last winter. That batch of beadboard plywood was good quality, free and surface splinters. However, the two sheets I bought recently were of lesser quality and had multiple surface splinters. In the course of 24 hours I planted at least eight splinters into my hands. It didn’t matter what I did, that plywood was out to break me. Transferring the material from the van to the garage for cutting... ouch!... one to the palm. Hanging the beadboard plywood... yikes!... another to the palm. Sanding the plywood prior to priming (this one was the worst)... inadvertently, yet forcefully, jamming a splinter into the side of my pinky as I try to sand the surface of the rough bead board plywood. Not just once, but at least four times.

Despite all these splinters, I still hadn’t reached my breaking point. Since I managed to remove all those splinters, I was willing to live and learn.

Then came the final straw... a splinter that could not be removed and will live with me for the next few weeks...

Have you ever had a splinter on the inside tip of one of your index fingers? For me, it was my left finger. Not a big deal, you say? Well, try typing sometime with a splinter in your index finger. Each time I’ve hit the letter F, T, G, Y, V, or B throughout this Old Home Blog post, I’ve felt that little splinter. Seriously, scan this post for the number of times those letters have been used. Each time I hit those letters I get a little reminder of my perceived toughness. (By the way, I type the right way... no hunting and pecking here, so putting pressure on this little nuisance is unavoidable.)

With this tinny little shard of wood buried within my index finger, I put my tail between my legs and set off for the Home Depot. At first I felt a little embarrassed to be browsing the end cap with the glove selection. Granted, I own leather gloves for heavy-duty projects, and clothe gloves for light duty jobs around the yard. However, the all-purpose glove is different. They look as much like gloves for playing baseball or football than working around the homestead. But I was resigned to my fait and had to be any pre-conceived notion about the silliness of these gloves behind me. I scurried to the self checkout lane, quickly made my purchase without witness, and headed home.

Seriously, am I buying work gloves or some “lady product” for my wife at Target? What’s my problem?

Then it hit me on the drive home: Me getting a pair of gloves like these is really no different than a wide receiver on an NFL football team wearing a pair of gloves throughout the season. I can understand wearing gloves in temperatures below freezing, but they wear them throughout their entire season. If they can wear gloves to do their job when it’s 80-degrees, yet somehow still appear to be though, then why can’t I?

Stand up with me, fellow home improvement not-so-tough guys and embrace the all-purpose work glove.


  1. Ah, Bergie, you did the right thing. Mrs. Yuhas bought me a pair of the very same gloves when we were commencing cottage demolition. The guy at the Home Depot recommended them, and told her that if I didn't like 'em for working on projects, I could always use 'em when lifting weights. They fit well, they're flexible, and they do a great job of protecting your skin. I've used them so much, for just about everything, that I wore out two or three pairs.

    Congratulations. It's the best $9.99 investment you'll ever make.

  2. Those look nice... I should see if they have them in a small hand (woman's) size!

    It would be nice to not have scrapes and splinters everywhere on my hands so that the small children in my classes can't say "Ms Jennifer, what happened to your hands?" every week.

  3. You've worn out two or three pairs already? Are you wearing your all purpose work gloves 24/7? :)


  4. That's exactly where I'm coming from, Jennifer. Good luck with your old home... I hope you're having as much "fun" as I am!


  5. A good pair of work gloves is a must for any DIYer or home any contractor in general! It is a basic piece of equipment, whether your working the landscape in a garden, or framing a brand new house! I bet you will not be caught on a job without a pair of gloves again!