My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #226: "The Project" Part 3 - Are We There Yet?

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 01-15-2011 03:09 PM 3964 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 225: "The Project" part 2 Part 226 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 227: "The Project" Completed :) »

It seems like things haven’t been normal here for weeks, even though it has only been three days. It hasn’t been bad at all though, and now that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, it is very exciting.

Phase one – building the units – is almost complete. I only have to finish the front of the doors and then we can install them. We needed to let the paint dry overnight and then we just need a coat of varnish on them and they are ready to go. They are already fitted and level and we know they will look good.

I am going to (perhaps foolishly) boast again today how smoothly everything went. Even the cats are still cooperating. In all my years of cat-ownership (and that is almost all my years of living here on this planet) I have never in my wildest dreams could have believed that we could pull this off without them causing at least one “mishap”. I am simply amazed. They have been exemplary pets and each of them deserves a treat and a good scratching under the chin.

We finally got to begin moving things back into place around 3pm yesterday, when the paint from the small unit was dry. That was when the second phase of this job really kicked in – disassembling the massive amount of equipment and rearranging the storage areas.

Along this one wall, we have both our computers, which of course are networked to each other. We each have a monitor stand at our respective ends of the couch and there is a large TV screen which is a monitor for my partner’s computer in addition to his 24” one. Our music system is also connected to his computer, and consists of the two large sub speakers and the two speakers which sit on top of them. We also run our phone line through the computer, which requires more equipment. The printer and scanner is connected to my computer which is also accessible through the network from my partner’s computer. It is all very high tech and oh, so cool!

Believe it or not, in this day and age we don’t have live television. For the little time we would spend watching programs, we just feel it isn’t worth it. I haven’t seen a commercial in years and I am quite happy about that. I have the Chicago Tribune and New York Times delivered to my email box every day and it helps me keep up on what is going on in the world.

We do watch movies and also several series through the computer. We like it that way because you set your own schedule and don’t have to be a slave to their time frame. We have our background shows that we watch while drawing and doing computer work which are the ones that you don’t really have to pay much attention to, and we reserve our favorite shows for when we call it a day and want to relax. Most of the time when we are working during the day we play music, which ranges from Mozart to Pink Floyd to Tech N9ne. It is a good life.

As you can imagine, wiring for that type of set up is a bit complicated. Even though we have as many ‘wireless’ devices that we possibly can, in many instances we just can’t avoid the wiring. The network alone reduces the need to wire things directly, but it is still quite a great deal of wires to deal with. As the “tech guy” my partner is in charge of setting up the wiring and he does a wonderful job of it. On the occasion when we have had to change our computers or troubleshoot, things are so neat and organized that it is not a difficult task at all. It is only when things are really moved around such as with these new pieces of furniture that it really takes some extra attention. But after an hour or so of working through things, everything was up and running and working properly and we were on our way. :)

Here is a picture of the finished wiring:

From "The Project"

I realize it may look bad, but be assured that every wire is necessary and it is actually quite neat and tidy. I also know where each and every wire goes and have become pretty good at putting together systems such as this. :)

Once the components were up and running, it was only a matter of figuring out what to do with all that extra room. We decided to put all the office things in the new cabinet and proceeded from there. We began sorting and moving and as usual when someone starts something like this, a ripple effect was felt throughout the entire apartment. With the office stuff out of the large cabinets in the hallway, it opened up room for tools and wood. We have had a small (yet annoying) pile of wood sitting in the middle of the bedroom floor since our last trip to the lumber yard and we were able to find a place for it in the cabinets. I also found a place for my magazines and many of the other things like painting supplies and small tools.

We worked until after midnight reorganizing and sorting and it really felt like a breath of fresh air. By the time we called it quits, I was quite tired and my body ached, but I was really thrilled with the results so far.

Today will be the final day of organization. We will start by applying one final coat of finish on the doors, and then continuing to finish sorting the cabinets. I will post pictures tomorrow of everything else when all is in its new place.

For now, the filled unit looks like this:

From "The Project"

It is quite a different corner from what it was a couple of days ago with all that wasted space. The top two shelves hold all our CD’s and computer media. The center shelves hold office supplies, such as mailing supplies and general office supplies, the bottom shelf holds the scanner and the printer, complete with the continuous ink system for the printer, and the bottom shelf holds my computer and all the paper, labels and business stationary we use on a daily basis.

I even like how it looks without the doors on it. :)

The cost of this endeavor has been under $300 in total. The wood and hardware for the cabinets (hinges, shelf pegs, door handles) was just under $200. We got the paint from the nearby fish plant and we were fortunate because instead of selling us a gallon of black paint, they were getting rid of quarts and gave us four quarts for around $25. The paint was a great Benjamin Moore semi-gloss outdoor paint, so it will hold up well. They even threw in the rollers and trays for us at no charge. I used a SamaN waterbased outdoor varnish in semi-gloss to both seal the protect the outer surfaces. This worked great as a sealer on the MDF and plywood, and after applying two coats to the bare surface, I sanded and then applied the black. After two coats of black, I then sealed the surfaces with another several coats of the Saman varnish. Since all these products were water-based, there was little odor, the clean up was easy and everything dried quickly.

So that is the report for today. Again, I am sorry if I haven’t responded to your emails and comments as quickly as I usually do. With the house in an uproar, I have kept focused here and have only done necessary orders and such. I hope everyone understands.

I appreciate your comments and encouragement very much though! I loved hearing Rivergirl’s story of following me down the road to organization. I think it is a great way to start the new year!

Have an incredible Saturday!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

4 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3115 days

#1 posted 01-15-2011 04:32 PM

that is only few wires and it ain´t looking too bad :-)
compared to the day´s when I was DJ I don´t think I wuold be able to
connect the gear I had , today….LOL

I like that wall with the entertainment center and speakers …...I gess thats a malething
from the day´s before they destroyed the music going digital and cutting a 1/3 of the music off :-(
nop let me have an old vinyl I can listen to …with gear build to play it as it shuold be ….LOL

have a great weekend your self Sheila


View tdv's profile


1188 posts in 3070 days

#2 posted 01-16-2011 03:03 AM

Mmmm. tidy now all you need is a Sontia system & you can lose the big speakers LOL
Nice job you two it looks great

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18271 posts in 3676 days

#3 posted 01-16-2011 09:51 AM

Lookin good!! Don’t forget to check on that stuf on the “dry” paint in few days. Might be sticking? Don’t ask how I know :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2920 days

#4 posted 01-16-2011 01:38 PM

Thanks guys! I really don’t mind the speakers. They sound amazing and they are like part fo the furniture. :)

I did the shelves the first day TS, but I know what you are saying. I would love to give them about a week to dry, but the whole house is torn apart and we really have no choice. They seemed pretty dry though and we tried to put what we could on little ‘feet’ to minimize sticking. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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