Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tech Tip Tuesday

"Use your head for something besides a hat-rack!"

This particular admonition is seared into my brain. This pearl of wisdom was delivered ad nauseum by my father - particularly during the teenage years of both my brother and I. Basically, it's the "think before you do" argument and as I get older and have children of my own, I find myself delivering similar messages which also seem to be studiously ignored. I can only hope that in the future, these gems will be dredged up from my children's gray matter and put to use.

I've been working on a little project for quite some time. It is a new bookshelf unit for the living room that I designed. Stylistically, this piece of Shaker furniture was designed to match other pieces in the house that we already have. DW and I have decidedly different tastes in furniture and Shaker is modern and clean enough for her ("No twiddly bits!") and classic enough for me. In the picture below, the shelves (already finished) are installed and the door panels have been pre-dyed before assembly, which is why they appear to be a different color. Knobs, some sanding and finishing and the installation of lights are yet to go...

The bookshelf actually consists of three separate cases that are bolted together. To give you an idea of scale, the center unit is seven feet tall and the whole assembly is about nine feet wide. I had some help recently getting the center unit into the basement so that I could wrap up the woodworking and major assembly to prepare for finishing. The shelf was brought into the basement through our hatchway and put on the floor to the left of the posts. It was no mean feat. I was happy to get the case in and didn't quibble about its placement. It was later, once I was alone, that I realized that I didn't have enough space to assemble all three pieces where the center section lay. I also couldn't move it between the two posts in the picture without turning it.

I could hear my father's voice echoing in my head. "Use your head for something besides a hat-rack!"

So, I did.

The cardboard tube was in my garage. I'd gotten it to store rolled drawings, but decided it would better suit my needs cut into short lengths. They became rollers. I lined them up next to the case, tipped it onto its side and the rollers at the same time and rolled the case effortlessly into a good location. Simple and slick - no damage to the crown molding or quarter-round from sliding or dragging the piece on the floor. If you're working hard at something physically, you're probably not thinking hard enough.

I guess Red Green has it right, "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!" (Who?)

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