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Saturday, July 10, 2010


Today the sun was shining, I had all the tools I needed and no excuse not to start on framing the bed.  So I did.  I worked for 5hrs straight and I have to say it was so much better than stripping wallpaper.  I finally remembered what I loved so much about building something and it felt great.  I didn't get all that much done, truth be told.  At least not much that you can see but this is the first time that I've worked without plans (ie:drawings) and it's taking me longer to figure things out.  I set up the compound mitre saw at the side of the house.  I haven't used it since at least 2002.  I got to use one of my new metal, folding saw horses that have been sitting in the basement too.  I waited outside C______T___ one Saturday, along with two men, so that I could make sure and get those saw horses on sale.  I'd wanted a pair for at least ten years but they were always something that fell into the "like" instead of "need" category.  When I saw that they were on sale for $9.99ea. (reg. $39.99), which is less than the cost of plastic ones, I knew I had to have them.  When they opened the doors that morning those two men and I raced to the display and grabbed a pair each.  It was a high.  I also strapped on my work belt today, something else I'd wanted for years.  I finally received one as a gift this past Christmas and I love it.  I'm the type of person who loses things the second I put them down.  Having a home for all the tools I use most often is exactly what I need.  I should have bought myself one of those a long time ago instead of waiting.  I need a tape measure, got it.  Pencil?  Right where it should be.  Rubber mallet?  Not buried at the bottom of my took box, two floors below me.  The belt is a life saver.  I've decided that the reason that women often use a shoe as a hammer or a fingernail as a screwdriver is because they don't have a tool belt.  It's a total pain to have to go to the basement and rifle through two tool chests to find something.
Anyway,  I'd probably have gotten a lot more done today if I could have built the bed partially outside but I'm not strong enough to carry something like that up by myself and it wouldn't fit up the stairwell anyway.  I could have framed it on the floor of the room and then lifted it into place, but, not only is there not enough space in there, I still couldn't lift it up to secure it to the wall.  So, I'm building it in place, no plans, figuring it out as I go.  What fun!  I enjoy being forced to think a few steps ahead constantly and figuring how the placement of one piece relates to the others and how it will affect the final outcome.  I'd also probably have done more if I didn't have to go downstairs and outside for every single piece.  Measure upstairs, go down and out, cut the wood, bring it up, install and repeat.  I am very proud to say that at the end of the day today I've framed the outside of the "box" and it's completely square.  That was also a good feeling, I should have taken a picture of the level.

Halfway through the day I realized that I was going to run out of lumber.  No plans means not being able to accurately judge how much of everything I'll need.  I bought 6 2x4's @ 8' long and today I had to go and buy six more.  I always underestimate what I'm going to need before I start, even when I do have plans.  By 4:30pm I was too exhausted to continue, wimp that I am.  I was sweaty and tired and I'd skipped lunch.  I tidied and vacuumed the room to prepare for more work tomorrow, brought the tools inside so they don't get stolen and got to use my new reciprocating saw...

The guest room has an antique rope bed which is 3/4 size.  There has been a foam double mattress on there, which works out OK because I can squash the length down to fit and all it does is make putting sheets on a little difficult.  However, a few months back, the cat peed, twice, right in the middle of the bed.  The mattress didn't have a waterproof cover on it.  I sprayed it down with cleaner but had to wait until the weather was warm enough to take it outside and give it a proper cleaning.  I cleaned it last week, took the cover off and everything.  The cover went in the washing machine and the mattress got hosed off outside.  It took three days to dry out again.  All would be well if not for the fact that once you remove a factory installed cover off a foam mattress and wash/dry it?  It's not going back on.  I knew there was a good chance that would happen and I did it anyway.  Since the pieces were already apart I had a friend help me cut a few inches off the length so it would fit the bed better.  Then I tried to put the foam back in the cover.  Not happening.  So today I decided I'd have to cut a couple of inches off the width and try again.  This time I was alone and hence I got to use my new reciprocating saw.  Not what it's meant for, but in the past I've usually used an electric carving knife and that works just fine.  The saw actually works better than a carving knife but is almost too heavy for me to operate one handed.  By the end I thought I was going to drop it.  Once the excess was cut off it still took me over an hour to wrestle the foam back into the cover.  Moral of the story?  If the mattress has a cover, even if it has a zipper, do NOT remove it.  I know you can buy spray to make foam slide back in easier but I didn't have any and I'm not sure even that would have worked.

I've finally had a shower, eaten a hasty dinner and am looking forward to watching a movie and collapsing in bed.  I'm inserting a photo of the bed as it stands so far.  Since I can't find my daughter's point and shoot (told you, put it down and I lose it immediately) and I don't have a wide angle lens, I had to paste a bunch of photos together.  I can't believe I actually spent time doing that for no reason other than to have a record of today's work.  Not the best cut and paste job, but at least I see progress.

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