Spring project season has begun. It actually started last weekend, but I was busy working on the basement and didn’t find the time to give it an official kick-off post. The first project for the season is building the shelves for the basement entertainment wall.

Lady Ronn mentioned, during a recent discussion of what we should do next, that she would like the basement and laundry room areas finished. Both of these projects have been in that ongoing-but-never-ending state since she moved in… 6-years ago by my count.

I guess finishing the basement is a reasonable request given how long it’s gone on. It’s one of those projects that I was going gangbusters on when I thought all three of the boys were going to be here with us. But then I realized that I was going to be doing this all on my own, and then they started moving out, and then it was just a place we walked through to get to the laundry room. But I really want to get it done enough to put some carpet down.

Last weekend, I cleared all the old shelves and moved the basement clutter around so that I could have room to build. Then I built and leveled a 2×4 ladder to act as the base for the new cabinets and shelves.

sauder shelving is on the way out

Getting a 17-foot ladder down the stairs and into the basement wasn’t going to happen, so I had to do it in two pieces. Which didn’t make leveling it up any easier. But here it is, leveled, shimmed, and screwed to the wall. Time to start laying out the cabinets and the shelves. The plan for this wall is making it necessary to raise the outlets up and out from behind the cabinets. So, that is what I did yesterday. You can see that I also built the center section below where the future TV will live.

framing in the project

Today, I’ll finish rewiring the new outlet locations and get the frames up for the tall shelves that go on top of the cabinets. I decided to go with adjustable shelves on these two pieces, so I picked up a Kreg Shelf Pin Jig and I’m looking forward to checking that out and seeing how well it works. I should probably patch the mess I made of the wall, as well.

Once I get the two towers built I can start on the face frames, but that’ll have to wait until next weekend. Later.

My email has been full with pre-deals, sale previews, and early price drops for two weeks. I’m sure yours has too. So money was bound to get spent. i can only stand up to that kind of pressure for so long. My personal BLACK FRIDAY shopping spree started on Tuesday at Home Depot.

All of my shopping has been at either the big box home centers or Amazon. And I did NOT leave the house on Friday. Saturday and Sunday, but not Friday. I let Lady Ronn do that particular brand of madness. 

Ronn smirking
no black friday shopping for me

On Tuesday I picked up a new 6-pc. set of Rigid battery powered tools and took advantage of the pick two freebies, I also grabbed a 3-1/2″ framing nail gun by Porter Cable. The nail gun is something that I’ve been waiting for a price drop on, the Rigid stuff… yeah, that was an impulse buy.

Then on Saturday, I went to Menards and took advantage of their R-15 insulation deal. They were offering a $9 rebate per roll, so that brings the price down to $2.99 for an 18-foot roll. I have a garage to insulate and I couldn’t pass that up. I had to go back for a second load today, and while I was there I picked up a heater for the garage. So now I have two new projects that I don’t have time to do.

So much good stuff
my weekend haul

I don’t want to even talk about the stuff I bought from Amazon, but they’ve been keeping my credit card busy all weekend. And I’ve been told that the Friday outing went well. Which I assume means money was spent. Sounds like we’ve done our part to keep the US economy rolling along.

So what’s on sale Cyber Monday?

I’m back on the sauce. I was trying to break the caffeine habit by drinking green tea, but the call of my weekend routine was too strong. That routine works out to a pot of coffee on Saturday and another on Sunday, no sugar, but lots of artificial creamer. So cheers to you and let’s see what I got up to over the weekend.

not being careful enough

It’s been a long time coming, but on Sunday I put the knife in the vinyl cutter and gave it a test run. I checked Amazon and apparently I ordered this thing on October 30, 2016. I’ve taken my own sweet time in getting any use out of it. I should be ashamed of myself.
I used the green, because I can see no project in the foreseeable future that will require or necessitate green vinyl. My other choices were black, white, yellow, or red, and three of those colors have very obvious uses with regard to arohen dot com. As you can see in this first picture, I was not very careful in my weeding and I let the vinyl roll back onto itself and ended up tearing off an arm, but otherwise, consider me suitably impressed.
What is weeding? I’m glad you asked. Weeding is the process by which unnecessary vinyl is removed from a design. It wasn’t bad on this design, but I imagine it can be tricky when working with small letters or intricate designs. On the design below, I had some problems with the finer bits lifting off the backing and wanting to curl up. I imagine I just need more practice.
still not perfect, but quite a bit better

I tried something a little smaller and included the outline to determine how precise the cuts are. You can see that it mostly worked out well. There is one section above the upper arm where the outline didn’t survive. I haven’t worked up the courage to try a two or three color, layered piece quite yet. Honestly, just getting the blade depth set right nearly put me out of my mind.
Lady Ronn is already asking for T-shirts for her upcoming bridal shower. So I should probably get this process down and figure out how well lettering works. And I think somebody’s car is going to get a sticker…

I keep looking at the Kreg pocket hole system. I like what I’ve been hearing about the K5, but it looks cheap to me. Also, none of the home centers have that one, everyone is still carrying the K4. But then, I was at Menard’s, I saw this Porter Cable jig, and it looked far more robust than the Kreg jig. I like Porter Cable, they make good stuff, and I was curious. So I started researching and it seems this is a pretty sweet tool. I could go on about it, but this video seems to cover all the bases, so I’ll just let you watch this Workshop Addict review.

Get the Porter Cable Quik Jig 560 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004…
So there are now three more Porter Cable tools on my list to pick up; this Quick Jig, their belt sander, and their router. I have their plate joiner sitting in my ‘gift closet’ already. (That’s the closet where I put things I’ve bought for Lady Ronn to give me as gifts at the appropriate times; Christmas, Father’s Day, Birthday, etc.)