I Turned Carpenter
Well, last week I turned carpenter and managed to construct a simple shelving unit for a friend who needed one in her kitchen.
My dad used to build this kind of shelving for storage in the basement back home. I brought most of those with me when I moved here, and with the help of cousin Gary, I’ve built a few extras. They don’t look grand or expensive, but they are very useful.
Basically, they consist of two ladder like structures made of 2x4s or sometimes just sturdy boards and even planks. The rungs are nailed or screwed on at good distances, depending on whether I’m going to store big boxes and bins, or smaller stuff. The material for the rungs can be any scrap lumber boards or 2x2s, etc.The width of them depends on how deep (from front to the wall) the shelves will be where I intend to use that unit. I have some where the rungs provide space for a 10 or 12″ board to be laid across as the shelves.
But I also have some that are 3 or 4′ deep, meaning I can stash 2 or 3 rows of cartons and bins on the same shelf. One of the 4 in my pantry is like that. At first it stored all of my sister Elsie’s stuff that I was keeping for her. She came to get her stuff in May of 2015, just before I moved a stash of the mission’s old records and files, etc., home to work on that history book. I am presently packing some of that stuff to get ready to take it back to the office.
By the way, the green shelving unit in front of the south window in the pantry is my little greenhouse – full of plants!
Anyway, back to the most recent shelving unit project. I had seen before Christmas already that one of my friends really needed stuff in her kitchen to be much lower to be more in her reach. I asked my cousin Gary to build her such a unit and I would pay him for it. But then I found out he was working out of town and didn’t have time. I thought it over and decided that since this would be a smaller, dainty shelving unit I could probably make it. At least I would try.
I had some pieces of wood in the shed, but not enough, so I went to Home Depot and bought 2 long pieces for the posts, and two 8′ long pine boards, which they cut in half for me for free. Good, then I could get them into the car.
Then I gave up my exercise times I’d scheduled after each meal, (and snitched some extra time from office hours) to get the rungs which I sawed up by hand from the cedar pieces in the shed, and screwed them down on the posts. That took two days. It took another two days to paint the ladders and the shelves. Oh, and the bracing piece, although it was already white on one side.
On Saturday afternoon I loaded these parts into my car and went to my friend’s apartment. There in the laundry room I screwed on the brace boards that keep the ladders apart and upright from the backside, which is closest to the wall. We cleared a space for it in the kitchen, and I let my friend load her pantry-type goods onto the shelves, while I cleaned the floor in the other corners, and eventually got the counter cleared and the heap of dishes washed.
It was all more physical work than I do – even on my own domestic, housekeeping Saturdays, but I was pleased with how it all turned out. My friend was quite happy too.
On Sunday I had to pay back my body for the strength and stamina I had borrowed the day before, by having a long afternoon nap.