Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Brief Summary and Recap Part 1

As some of you know, I have been building a giant built-in cabinet in the basement of the condo. It's about 98% done. I only need to put up the trim that will cover the small gap between the studs and the cabinet. I've already got the shelf loaded up. It's okay.

This all came about because I became infatuated with home repair and woodworking sometime around November of 2007. I have no explanation for where this obsession came from, but when it arrived it hit hard. I soon set my sights on obtaining every piece of obscure toolery I could find; whether I needed it or not. Since then, I have obtained a stud finder, a shop vac, saw horses, a router with 1'2" shank (not the paltry 1/4" shank), a complete 18 piece router bit set, a circular saw, a new 18v drill, a saber saw, a reciprocating saw, a really nice Dremel tool with a huge set of accessories, a compressor complete with blower and brad nailer, tons of clamps, a pry bar, and the mother of them all; an awesome 12' compound mitre saw! Now all I need is a table saw. No wonder I am broke.

Now that I had all of the tools, I needed to build something. That's where the idea for the cabinet came into play. The previous owner had built a nasty piece of wooden architecture that was in the spot where my new creation would be. It had to be done. It was all perfect in my head, however; things quickly changed.

I realized that in order to start building something of this magnitude, one has to actually have a game plan and a certain skill set. Well, I had neither and I quickly realized that making building plans sucks, so I figured I wouldn't do it... HUGE mistake. I set about the task like I would a painting. I just kind of started it and let the progress and the process dictate where I would go next. When it was finished it was a piece of shit. It took waaaay too long and was way to expensive. I thought I would be saving us money by building rather than going out and buying. Not the case. Due to my lack of preparation, I made countless trips back and forth to Home Depot. The idea of the cabinet was so simple, however, it was way more complicated and costly than I had ever anticipated.


Keep in mind, all of this construction was going on during weekend intervals. I had to return back to Oak Park during the week so that I could work. Anyways, being the perfectionist that I am, during my five days away from the cabinet I obsessed over what I had done wrong and what I could do to fix it. Erin told me not to mess with it because it was taking way too much time and effort. I said okay. I lied.

The next saturday I woke up super early and went to town in the basement without her knowing. I tore the entire thing apart and rebuilt it all from the ground up using proper techniques and planning. I also remembered to use wood glue this time! Needless to say, the effort was worth it. The final product was so much better than what it would have been if I hadn't have redone it. I think there might be a lesson on here somewhere. Not sure.

Like I said before, the cabinet is okay. It could have been done way better, but I feel that it's pretty damn good for my first project ever! I hate to say it, but I'm actually kinda proud of it. it was a great learning experience. The next project I do is going to turn out so much nicer and now I actually have a game plan for how to do it.


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