Today's post is all about carpentry, a subject that I know absolutely nothing about.
But I'm all about learning new things. And after my brief foray into the World of Wood, I think I can safely say I would make a really great carpenter if wasn't for all that measuring stuff. (I've always been a firm believer in the eyeball-and-estimate method.) Plus, I'm a little weak in the "sawing" and "hammering" departments. But other than that, I've got potential.
My Adventures in Woodworking began with this pieced piece that I had put together back in 2008 (my "earth-tones period") with a thrift store frame, some old lath and 16 ounces of wood glue.
It hung in a couple different spots in my house, but as I gradually shifted to a more neutral color pallet, the pieced piece started to seem a little loud and crazy. A couple years ago, it got carried down to the basement where it languished in Project Pergatory: the dark corner where I store all the projects in need of doing or redoing.
Then one day, as I was contemplating whether to hang a plant or a wreath on the empty space next to my front door (above the green chair), inspiration struck: Why not cut a monogram out of my pieced piece for that spot?
Before the inspiration wore off, I went online to Font Squirrel to look for a big chunky font with an angle-y C that was within my budget (i.e. "free"). Sports World (available here) was the winner.
I put my transparency on the projector, propped my pieced piece against the wall and taped a sheet of white posterboard on top of it. Then I turned out the lights and...
Turns out the C was about 2 inches too wide. Grrr. (Note to self: Next time, measure FIRST.)
I could have/should have called the project done at this point. But I didn't. I wanted to put a frame around the C, so I checked in with the engineering department (aka: my husband) to find out how to go about doing that.
For the frame, I needed boards that were narrow (about 1/4 inch) so they didn't add much width to the C. I was originally hoping to use lath, but those boards would not be tall enough. Meanwhile, 1x2' s were the right height but too wide.
I did not see any boards in the husband's stash that looked to be the correct dimensions, so I asked him if such a board existed in nature and/or the Fleet Farm lumber yard.
Short answer: Boards do not come in the dimensions I needed.
Long answer: If one is not afraid to operate a table saw, one could easily rip 1x2's down (run them through the table saw lengthwise) to make them the right dimensions. If one suffers from tablesawaphobia, it helps to have a really, really, really nice husband who will do it for you. (Thanks, honey.)
With the boards for the frame ripped down to size, I began the slow, painstaking process of nailing them to the 1x2s on the back.
I cut and attached the long, straight pieces first, then went back and filled in the shorter, angled pieces. I cut the pieces with my jig saw, which was relatively easy. But nailing the pieces together was not.
All of the crazy angles made it really hard to get leverage when swinging the hammer to drive the nails in, especially for someone with my level of carpentry skills. Suffice it to say, many mistakes were made, many nails were bent and many curse words were uttered during this step.
I also started to question my judgement in choosing to marry a man whose last named started with a C at this point. If I was making a simple T or I or E, I could have been done with the frame in half the time. I believe the man causing all of my frustrations sensed my inner turmoil (or maybe he just heard my cursing) because he came to my rescue more than once when I had stubborn nails that refused to go in or bent nails that refused to come out.
Despite all the frustrations and bent nails, and with much help from my husband, I eventually got all of the frame pieces attached.