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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No Rain!

That means I spent the last four hours or so working, hard!  I know it won't look like it from the photo today, but I promise, I've been working like a dog.  I was supposed to happily report that the dual bookcase carcass section was complete, except that right after I'd put the saw away I realized I still needed to cut three pieces to support the "roof" of the bookcase, grrr!  I'm also out of wood, yet again.  That's 18 8' long 2"x4"'s.  If you had told me at the start it would be that many I'd have laughed (yet another reason to plan ahead, right?).  So far it has cost me $58.00 in materials for the wood, joist hangers and screws.  Granted I'm using some of my old stash of screws but I had to buy a lrg pkg of one size because I ran out.  Not bad I'd say.  That price will go up severely once I have to buy the material for the "skin" of this built-in (I'm still thinking MDF but may change my mind) and the trim.  I'm going to reuse the baseboard I took off before I started but I'll still need a lot of other stuff and some shelves and fixings.

Once the carcass is complete the really dangerous part begins for me.  Dangerous because whenever I look at the project I know I'll get a new idea and say to myself "I'll just...".  Those "I'll just's" usually cost me a fortune.  "I'll just add some hand forged hinges" or "I'll just add some turned legs instead of plain ones".  What I should say is "I'll just hand the store my bank card and get it over with."  I'm going to try my best to keep it simple and plain.  I can't guarantee that will happen, but I'll try.

Do I wish that I'd planned this all out before I started?  Not really, actually.  Because I didn't have a set plan it was easier, even though it took longer, to change things as I went along.  Each change wasn't affecting other parts of the plan requiring a rewrite.  Am I happy so far with my idea to frame the whole thing with 2x4's and then skin it with MDF rather than just building a 2x4 frame in place, constructing the components like the bookcases separately and then inserting and fixing them into the frame?  Not yet, I may change my mind when I have to start working on the finishing.  Doing this as one person, without room and no shop means I've had to build this somewhat unconventionally.  I know how it could be built faster and probably with less wood used, but it would require things I don't have.  Even building the bookcases as separate units and sliding them into place and fixing them to the carcass, though it seems easier, would be pretty hard for me.  I've done stuff like that in the past and it's required two people and some wiggle room to haul it into place.  I don't want to have to wait until I can schedule (and beg) help to get things done.  I'm hoping that the end result will be beautiful regardless of how I made it.  And in case it seems odd that I'm using screws to fasten everything together rather than just nailing, which would be faster and maybe cheaper, I chose screws on purpose.  I don't care if it's overkill,  I like the idea that the thing isn't going anywhere.  Also, if it looks as though some of the wood was cut incorrectly because it's a bit short here or there or pieced together in places?  That's because I made a conscious effort to use up as many scrap pieces as I could on non load bearing areas.  I've got surprisingly little waste.

So at the end of work (on this at least) today I've got the bookcase section almost finished and I did in fact bulk up the bottom of the built-in and I already think it looks much nicer and is better balanced visually.  Unfortunately I pulled a muscle in my shoulder yesterday and it was no better after waking up this morning.  After installing all those screws today and bracing with my arm, I'm left handed and it's my left shoulder, it's even worse.  It hurts my shoulder to make a fist.  My back is also killing, but I think that's because I was working at floor level, mostly, as well as hunched over.  Maybe tonight I should take some time out for a Jacuzzi with epsom salts?

1 comment:

  1. Well I'm impressed! It seems you are knowledgable in many DIY projects and eager to learn more. This should be inspiring to many women. Way to go XX!