Swinging a hammer is not good therapy for tendonitis and tearing up the foredeck last weekend really did a number on my right elbow. It’s been bugging me for a couple of months now and I have no idea what I did or have been doing to injure it. By late Saturday afternoon my forearm and hand were swollen and my hand was going numb. Sunday I decided to take it easy…or so I thought. I wanted to breathe some life back into the two rusty deck cleats from the foredeck. I got the Flitz and began scrubbing…and scrubbing and scrubbing. Then my right elbow began aching so I tried to use my left hand, which was futile. How is it I can type, drive, eat chips and drink with my left hand, but that’s about it. Stick a utensil in my left hand and I have about a 60% success rate of getting food in my mouth. And I look like an idiot while I do it – clutching the fork in my fist like ape. I can’t write at all with my left hand. Brushing my teeth is no better. Trying to polish 37 year-old rust off a stainless steel cleat? Forgeddaboudit.
After about an hour I had most of the rust off one cleat. We have six 10” deck cleats and all of them are a rusty mess. I also noticed some small cracks at the welds at the base of the shiny cleat so I thought maybe we could just replace all the cleats and my elbow would be saved. To the computer I went with high hopes that for a couple hundred bucks we could have all new, shiny, non-cracked cleats. The only cleat I could find that vaguely resembled our cleats were Schaefer’s 10” deck cleat for $143 each. That’s $858 for all six, not including tax and shipping. Ouch! After picking my jaw up off the floor I had a serious talk with my right elbow and we agreed that it would have to be sacrificed for shiny deck hardware. This summer Advil is going to become my best friend.