Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Booth for two! (thanks for that one Brian)

My wife decided a while ago that a diner booth in the dining room would be a great addition and a practical piece of furniture to have since we have a relatively small house.

After much thought and having no say whatsoever on the matter I hunkered down in the workshop, did some rough sketches and measurements and began the process of buiding my darling wife her booth.

It starts out as usually, measuring, cutting, throwing away the mis-cut boards and running to the local home improvement store for more wood. Now traditionally I am not a big fan of drawing up overly details plans, but this one I thought I should have some good details to work from....wrong! Lets just start cutting and figure it out as we go. Actually I did have a great idea of what Betsy (my wife) wanted for the look of the piece. Nothing detailed or ornate, just a really clean, straight forward booth. So I built the framework for each of the three sections and then proceeded to put the finishing wood over the shell

The reason for the three sections was to make sure I could get the booth up the basement stairs and through the doorways. I learned my lesson years ago with a large kitchen shelf unit that I had to cut the entire bottom shelf off in order to get upstairs. I know...never said I was the smarter kid in the class. I didn't eat paste, but damn it look tasty.

Days had passed and I was making great progress. Betsy approved as far as she could tell (needs to see the finished product to form a conclusive opinion). Heat vent! The booth was going to cover the heat vent...oh boy. At first thought I would build a new vent system that would come out the bottom of the booth, but after much deliberation I decided to put two small heat registers on the bottom of the booth were the toe kick is. The booth would allow the hot air to pass through, seeing how the carcass was pretty open. It worked out pretty well and saved me a ton of time. I had things just about complete. The pieces lined up well, the flip up top for the benches were ready to have the hinges added and I actually was really liking what I had created.

Uh oh....paint! This is going to be painful. Betsy an I agreeing on colors is extremely rare, more rare then a purple flying unicorn. I have never seen one. Time to have a smoke and get ready to give in. She brought home paint chips and the discussion began. To dark, too light, are you nuts! After minutes of me being wrong, she decided on a deep orange. No big deal, I really do like colors.

Sanding, and more sanding, and then tacking to remove dust, then workshop cleanup and the the really fun time, the painting. Now my wife tries to compliment me on my painting skills, but I clearly see through her. She just doesn't want to paint it herself. No big deal I would rather do it myself, I mean she uses sponge brushes to paint!

First I have to start with the primer, yawn. Then the first of three coats. This is crap! Well after three coats it is finished and yes the color took us both by surprise. Not sure what the paint manufacturers do with their paint chips but the color we got was at least two shades brighter than what we expected.

Yeah, installation day. I carried the three pieces up the stairs with the help of both dogs, and clamped and screwed the three places together before moving it to its final resting place. My biggest concern was getting it level. With an old house you never now how level the floors are or how square the walls are. Once we started to slide the booth back, we were both very surprised to see that it actually fit in the space with very little shimming needed. A few L-brackets to attach to the wall, a bit of vaccuming and then the attaching of the top cushions, and what the heck do you know, we have a booth.

I proceeded to the basement to put away tools, and do a little housekeeping. I new that by the time I came upstairs the glory of my project would be short lived once Betsy started to add her decorating flare and usually overkill of knick knacks and things I just don't get. Oh well, I just keep the lights off. If I can't see it, it must not be there. It's a pathetic life, but I have things pretty well when I truly think about.

I am amazed at the blessings and goodness that God continues to bestow upon me daily. As I sit back and take in the latest project and think about things, I realize that even when things seem really bad I have been very fortunate in life. I might not be rich in others eyes, but I have been given more wealth then I deserve. Next time you think things are bad, look around...you might be surprised at how much you actually have, and you might want to say a little prayer of thanks. That's what gets me through life.

Be Kind, God Bless.

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