It wasn't until I helped Aly hang her doors that I truly comprehended shimming. Thank God our friend Jeremy (who helped me move the bus way back when) was there too. Because while Aly at least knew what a shim was, neither of us was really prepared for the exercise in precision that hanging doors is. Jeremy, however, is a construction guy (and a really great teacher, I might add). He was very patient with our ignorance, and walked us through the whole process. Because Aly's doorway wasn't quite plumb, we had to make shims, so I got to see exactly what they are and what they're for. Pretty nifty. Jeremy even let me operate his circular saw, a first for me. Turns out I'm pretty good at it, but power tools still kinda freak me out.
|Sorry for the crappy quality; these were taken with my phone.|
My second experience using shims has come unexpectedly. I bought a Christmas tree last weekend, and while installing it in its stand, I realized the trunk was too skinny for the screws that hold it in place, so my four-year-old's dad helped out by making four shims, one for each screw.
Useful buggers, shims! You just never know where they'll come in handy.