With both hands holding the pry bar, I raised it to head-height, then drove the straight end into the joint of the stair railing with a solid thunk. The wood separated slightly from the post to which it was attached, so I took the curved end of the bar and pounded it into the newly-opened crack with my right hand. Lifting the lever with both hands, I separated the railing from the post completely and the wooden structure fell to the ground some two feet below with a satisfying thud.
“That was cool. I didn’t even hurt myself,” I said aloud to no one but my dog.
I’m what one could graciously call a slow starter when it comes to projects. One less gracious would call me a procrastinator, and with no grace at all the question would be, “Why don’t you just get started?”
My favorite explanation–though it’s not an excuse–for someone like me is that I’m a perfectionist who’s reluctant (read: afraid) to get started because of the commitment to something that might not turn out as I want it to.
Something, in this case, like a set of stairs off of our back porch that needs to be rebuilt. If I didn’t take them down soon, nature would do so through the even-slower process of decomposition. That’s less than ideal.
So, this was the day and I knew I’d have to jump in. I don’t have the materials yet to rebuild the stairs, but the first step was to take the railings off the old ones, so I decided to just go for it.
I opted to eschew power tools since there were only two cuts to be made. Standing in my woodshop, I grabbed a hand saw designed for firewood, decided it would do, and walked out to the back porch. With a lot less effort than dragging out a power saw, I cut the lower supports of the railings off at ground level.
With the lower supports cut, I used the pry bar to remove the structures from the posts at their upper ends. Piece of cake. One trip with the wheelbarrow to take everything out to the street for pickup, and step one was done in less than 30 minutes.
With the railings gone, the project is a lot harder to put off, and I don’t see it being long before I can check it off the list.
Oh, yeah…the list. This is my summer to knock it out, I can feel it!