October 2008

No, we have not been burgled…

… we started packing for the move.

For now, everything’s going into Tamsyn’s room. She’s not happy :-)

<– Some of Tanya’s books.

It’s OK, I also have a few paperbacks somewhere to help fill up the shelves… (Truth is, I have a few *hundred* paperbacks in storage — now you know why we need so many shelves).

More aggravation

If you allow the board to go into your precision CNC machine sideways, this is what will happen.

Your customers don’t want their bookshelf corners to look like this.



Furniture shopping

Tanya and I hit the road looking for furniture. A desk for Tamsyn, primarily, and pedestals for the main bedroom. We found both of these at Exclusive Used Furniture in Wynberg. Bought the desk, took an option on the pedestals. They also have a nice large oak wardrobe, which we’ve decided to get for Tanya.

When we saw this, we both went “ooooh!” It’s beautiful, but it also seems to be a cheap rip-off of the real thing. The drawers don’t fit properly and the doors are a bit wonky… but I’m still sorely tempted. (Price tags read R7900 / Now R6500).

At another place further down Main Road, we found this oak wardrobe, which might just work for me :

We also found the dressing table on the right, which is sooo nice — but it might not fit.

Some of this stuff is rather expensive. But if I built a 1800 wide chipboard closet with sliding doors, it will cost me about R6000 (unit on display at Lansdowne Boards, so I know). “Real” furniture is just so much more durable and less tacky than chipboard built-ins.

Carpet, Novilon, backsplash

We spoke to the carpet dudes in Fish Hoek a while ago, got a quote etc, but we waited as long as possible before (1) choosing the carpets (to match the kitchen cupboards and bookshelves which are still going in) and (2) having the carpets laid (to get as much work done without getting the carpets too dirty).

Belgotex Sensation Kiat for the living room (the one on the right).

Novilon Liberty Yellow Beech for our bathroom.

And while we were at it, Dakota Mist (floor) tiles for the kitchen backsplash.

The quote came to just under R14k (Carpets in Jessica’s room, passage and living room, Novilon in our bathroom, and the supply of one box of tiles). They’re starting on Thursday, which means we have to clear the place so they can work.

What a silly bunt *

When designing bookcases, one should take the thickness of the actual shelf into account. 185mm = good, 177 = bad.

CDs fit better, but I’d need a few thousand CDs to fill the shelves… so… the girls get a fairy shelf each, and I get to redesign these bookcases with fewer shelves.

* Spot The Reference.


Took me two and a half hours to assemble this bookcase. Each shelf has four dowels and four pins and cams keeping them together. Eish!

The overlap you can see on the left hand picture means I need to trim a little bit off the skirting board (above) to make things fit.

I was completely out of it this morning, and slept in. Definitely a Guronsan C day. I’m not 22 any more.

This is the hidden comparment behind the old kitchen door. It’s only about 130mm deep — any ideas on what we can hide there? Candles and tins of baked beans?

Losing my sense of humour

So last night, it being Tuesday and as such a kid-free evening, Tanya and I started assembling the latest units.

The 2400mm tall Colossal Cupboard (it’s also 900mm deep) had to be assembled upright, in place, because there’s no way to tip it once it’s assembled, it’s only about 100mm short of the ceiling. So the assembly was a bit of a mission, 720mm wide 900mm deep chipboard shelves are *heavy*.

I pinned and dowelled the two sides, slotted in the bottom and the backing board, and then realised that the top had no groove for the backing board. So with Tanya holding things from falling over, I rushed to the garage and chopped eight or ten millimeters off the bottom of the backing board — not the best plan of action but the best I could do under the circumstances.

Eventually got the whole thing assembled and in place and screwed to the skirting and to the piece of skirting I used as a spacer against the wall. Tanya has pictures.

So then I wanted to assemble the bookshelf that goes next to the Colossal Cupboard. And I noticed that the cam & dowel holes in the top didn’t match those in the bottom. The sides are correctly drilled, however — and this means this unit won’t work. And I noticed that neither the top nor the bottom had the slots for the backing board.

So I stripped my moer, commented on the stuff the guy in the workshop was smoking, made nasty remarks about his parents and siblings, and the like. And I checked the other three units.

Yup, groove on the one side, no groove on the other.

Went back to Lansdowne Boards this morning, voiced my extreme displeasure, and after much pondering over CAD drawings and many incredulous looks at the offending shelves (“Oh, look, the holes are *still* wrong!) they realised that yes, indeed, the fellow driving the machine was indeed high on… life… or… err… something.

So we went over to the workshop, waved hands all over the place, and the fellow jigged the stuff up and added the neccessary holes and slots. Got to see how the machine works. Impressive, although it doesn’t go “ping“.

/me renames his blog to “Dealing with Idjits”.

Road trip hiatus

I’ve been quiet because we’ve been on the road. Tanya and I drove up to Gauteng on Wednesday, September 24th, spent two days there, then drove down to Port Elizabeth and from there to Knysna, where we spent the most of last week.

Wednesday : Bellville to Rustenburg. Departed 04:00, got there after 7 the night. Bit of a drive.
Thursday : Rustenburg to Krugersdorp to Centurion to Randburg to Benoni.
Friday : Benoni to Witbank and back to Benoni.
Saturday : Benoni to Standerton to Bloemfontein and down to Port Elizabeth
Sunday : PE to Knysna. Shortest leg of the lot.

And then the next Thursday we drove back home. A total of 4435km, seven tanks of diesel totalling 285 liters for a consumption of 6.4 l/100km (The VW Golf computer reported a consumption of around 5.5 l/100km on Caltex and Total, and 6.5 l/100km on the one tank of BP I put in. It lies by about 0.7 l/100km).

Why? Because I like driving up. (Really! I’d like to drive up twice a year or so if I could.) And because I had to collect stuff which is too heavy to fly down easily, and because there are people up there I like seeing now and then, and because we were on our way to Knysna anyway so what’s a short detour?

Tanya has the notebook, so you’ll have to read more about it on her blog.

When we got back I followed up on our kitchen countertops, they were ready, and I picked them up on Friday.

I fitted the long counter first — this involved power planing off about 5mm on the back corner on one side because of course the kitchen corners are not perfectly square.

I then joined these two bits after edging the 600mm deep one. The holes are cut using a cupboard hinge drill, which fits a standard electric drill, and the slots are routed. I was extremely nervous about going all the way through, so I went 20mm in (I could probably have pushed it to 30mm).

Perfect fit.

I tried matching the back of the counter to the (not so straight) wall, using a down-cutting jigsaw blade. My recommendation is, don’t bother. My result is slightly less in line with the plaster than the original straight cut was. Down-cutting jigsaw blades don’t work so well. Or maybe it’s my jigsaw.

While waiting for the glue to dry, I went around sorting out door handles and locks. Just about all the handles had stripped out screws, some lock mechanisms were missing etc. I bought two new locks for Jessica and Tamsyn’s rooms, and I had one lying around for Tanya’s room — the bathroom and toilet don’t need keys, sliders will do. Basically I filled the holes, pilot drilled new holes, and used the nicest screws I could find — brass, which is better than the chipboard screws they sell with locksets these days, but not as nice as the oval countersunk screws one used to get.

The holes for the bottom hinge on Tanya’s room’s door were completely stripped out, so I grabbed the 10mm dowel kit and modified a few dowels by chopping the one pointy end off.

Holes drilled out and dowels glued in. All fixed up.

On Monday I got the five cupboard and bookshelf units I ordered from Lansdowne Boards. This time I paid extra to have them individually wrapped — this will go far towards avoiding the confusion I had last time, although I’ve already identified two 2000×500 panels with edging all around which were nicely wrapped with the 2400 tall cupboard, but which don’t appear on my packing list).

Chipboard is heavy. I had help loading up, but to unload I had to unpack on top of the Land-Rover and carry it down bit-by-bit. Kept everything together, of course :-)