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How to tell my husband he’s not a carpenter without hurting his feelings

(20 Posts)
morethan2 Thu 16-Jan-20 15:19:38

My husband is really handy. Over the years he saved us and family members a fortune. He can fix cars (they’ve never been near a garage apart from mot) he can mend bikes, toys, (our grandchildren answer when they tell their parents a favourite thing is broken is “give it to grandad” ) lawnmowers, paint and do most simple electrical and plumbing. The only thing is his attempts with wood look awful. He’s made a bed, a garden bench and latterly a wine rack. If a bomb landed on our home all three would remain standing. They are solid structures but look awful. I couldn’t move the bed to make it and needed help. Thankfully it’s long gone because I had backache. The bench has nettles coming through the slats and is not only an eyesore no one has ever sat on it, that’s still there. It’s the wine rack that’s my main problem. I’m terrified of it. It’s over six foot. I have to pull hard to get any wine out of it and it tilts the bottle the wrong way. I know I’m going to hurt his feelings when I ask him to take it down. I appreciate everything he does but honestly his carpentry skills leaves more than a lot to be desired. Maybe I should just drink all the wine pull the thing off the wall and get so drunk I don’t care if I hurt his feelings or not. Or maybe I should encourage him to drink all the wine then tell him his carpentry skills are well not as good as his other skills of which .....there are many!(the last bit is to make him feel appreciated grin )

NotSpaghetti Thu 16-Jan-20 15:26:56

Can you use the wine rack for something else?
Then it won’t hurt his feelings so much?
Would he like a woodwork class for Christmas this year maybe... to “refine” his skills?

DanniRae Thu 16-Jan-20 15:32:29

Play him the song "If you were a carpenter and I was a lady........" then say "But I am no lady, and you are no carpenter!" Hopefully it will appeal to his sense of humour and he will get the message??? hmm

TrendyNannie6 Thu 16-Jan-20 15:36:07

Oh dear it’s an awkward one, as I know you don’t want to hurt his feelings, he sounds such a kindhearted husband and obviously wants to help with great success it seems apart from a couple of things, I think I’d explain to him although I appreciate his handy work, the bench is not being made use of and I’d tell him it would be great to have a whatever you can think of to go in it’s place,and I would tell him the truth about the wine rack it’s very awkward for you to operate, as it tilts the bottle the wrong way, so maybe it’s time to replace it. Good luck morethan2

rosenoir Thu 16-Jan-20 15:39:08

I was in the same situation with a huge ugly cabinet thing. I took the cowards way out by completely redecorating and buying new furniture which meant the thing did not fit, size or "style".

What I should have done was said " please dont be offended but it is not your best work and I dont like it" one awkward sentence maybe hurt feelings for a day but it would have been sorted.

annsixty Thu 16-Jan-20 15:46:19

I had to do it but it was wallpapering not carpentry.
In the end the result was so embarrassing I had to tell him he couldn't do it anymore.
I still have one bedroom that is a no go area for any one but family.

Auntieflo Thu 16-Jan-20 16:07:27

Morethan2, perhaps your DH has built the wine rack like this, on purpose. So that the difficulty you find on removing a bottle, that's tilted the wrong way, is a money saving exercise.
Too hard to get bottle, result leave bottle in situ, thereby saving on more wine buying! 🤫 😉

crazyH Thu 16-Jan-20 16:12:04

morethan2 ......dont look a gifthorse in the mouth. Count yourself very lucky!!!

M0nica Thu 16-Jan-20 16:38:51

Why not encourage him to join a men's shed. He will see other men doing carpentry well, or someone will say, 'Carpentry isn't your best skill is it?' and will get the message and, spending time in the shed he will not be home to do carpentry.

Pantglas2 Thu 16-Jan-20 16:54:56

I think in a marriage you both have skills you bring to the table and in some things it will be ‘a good enough job’. I can replace a zip or hem a pair of jeans etc but I don’t doubt a professional tailor/seamstress would find fault.

Likewise, DH can turn his hand to most things but is nowhere near as quick, as perfect or as expensive as the pros! My own wallpapering skills are very tailored to where the wardrobe will be placed! I’d probably be more painstaking if doing it for someone else!

Can you not suggest Pinterest designs on woodworking projects - they usually have detailed plans etc to follow and it really is a case of following the measurements/instructions.

agnurse Thu 16-Jan-20 17:17:52

I'd maybe say to him, "Honey, you're very handy and I and the rest of the family really appreciate your skills. But I'm concerned about the wine rack. It's very high and I have a hard time getting bottles out of it. Would it be possible for us to buy another wine rack? That would be a safer and easier option for me."

If you start by validating, it doesn't put someone on the defensive. You can also use the DESC format, as I have here - Describe the issue, Express your concern, Specify what you want to see, indicate the Consequences of the positive choice. (I learned this in a teacher training session and we teach it to our students.)

My father once leaned on a wooden drying rack and broke it. Mum wanted to buy a new one. Dad's response: "No, we don't need to. I'll fix it." (Now, Dad is ordinarily very handy with carpentry - he has built a bed, a desk, a computer desk (basically a box on wheels with a pull-out tray for the keyboard), numerous shelves, a dollhouse, and a play kitchen, all with excellent results. However, I think he had been watching WAY too much comedy involving the handyman's secret weapon here.) The next day, Mum discovered that her drying rack was held up with a wooden dowel and probably about half a roll of duct tape (the handyman's secret weapon). Needless to say, a new drying rack was purchased shortly thereafter.

Baggs Thu 16-Jan-20 17:25:41

Just to check: which way is the wrong way for a bottle of wine in a winerack?

I know the right answer (used to make wine); I'm just curious as to what others think.

sodapop Thu 16-Jan-20 17:38:54

Agnurse had a good solution for the wine rack but doesn't address the problem of his other wood work efforts. I think you just have to wait until he offers to make something else then be up front about it. If you really can't bring yourself to do this then it's a case of grin and bear it.

Davidhs Thu 16-Jan-20 17:43:58

If the wine rack is very unstable get him to screw it back to the wall. The garden bench that is not used turn it int a plant pot stand.
When he is doing his projects take an interest and divert him from anything too unattractive, he does sound just like me.

Urmstongran Thu 16-Jan-20 18:24:55

Is the correct way to store wine in a rack with the wine tipped towards the cork Baggs?

I didn’t realise until a few years ago, when my aunt told me, that once you’ve emptied a bottle of wine into glasses in a restaurant one should upend the bottle in the bucket so that the table staff know it’s empty. Makes sense when you think about it!

Sorry. Gone off topic there.

morethan2 Fri 17-Jan-20 11:35:17

DanniRae your response really made me giggle grin
It cheered up my morning. You may be right Auntieflo perhaps he thinks I’m a bit of a lush wink. Cheers everyone for your input. In the light of everything else I know it unimportant. MOnica thanks for the link I’ll keep that information for future use.

gillybob Fri 17-Jan-20 12:02:12

I have told this story before so apologies to those who have heard it .....

When I was a kid my dad was a miserable grump . He hated DIY . After months of waiting for him to wallpaper a small toilet my mum announced that she would have a go herself . My dad in a terrible strop begrudgingly said “ I’ll do the bloody thing” .

After it was done we all trouped up to see his “ handy work” and looked at each other in shock as the wallpaper was very obviously upside down ! My mum (frightened mouse that she was) elbowed my sister and I and her eyes told us to keep quiet and say nowt for fear of him going “off it” . It became a bit of a private joke but we were so frightened to mention it . Then one day my sisters friend visited the loo and came back down stairs announcing. “ hey guess what , the wallpaper in the toilet is all upside down “ . The air literally drained out of the room and we all looked at each other terrified of the reaction . My sisters friend was standing there thinking “ what?” And my dad announced
“I wondered how long it would take for anyone to notice”. Yeah right !

agnurse Fri 17-Jan-20 16:31:37


Reminds me of the time my husband installed a new folding door for daughter's room in our old house. (It had to be a folding door due to the layout of the house; the room was tiny and there was no room for a regular door. The old folding door had tears in it.) I tend to micromanage these kinds of things, so told Hubby I'd just go in the bedroom, listen to some music, and let him crack on. He installed the track for the door and was incredibly proud of himself, so I went out to take a look. He had installed the track upside down, with the indented part where the door was supposed to go pointing upwards to the ceiling. (Thankfully he did manage to get it taken down and get the door installed without any more mishaps!)

Eloethan Fri 17-Jan-20 17:36:44

That's so funny gillybob. I could just picture it.

My husband would get very stroppy if I criticised any of the things he makes.

I'm absolutely hopeless with anything that requires precision and practical ability. At least he gets things done, if not always quite as I'd like them.

If you're nervous about the wine rack, perhaps you could just tell your husband that. From what you say, he sounds quite kind and good-natured.

annodomini Fri 17-Jan-20 18:37:29

47 years ago, my then H and his brother put up a small shelf unit in my kitchen. A few days later, when I was 9 months pregnant the thing fell down and bruised my nose. After that fiasco, I did all the DiY in our house and the electric drill belonged to me and was used only by me!