Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Begets and Begats that Begot Me!

I think I have some sort of disease, or maybe it's syndrome, or maybe just a monkey on my back. I don't know and it doesn't make any difference either way.

All I know is that though it might not have an official name, whatever it is, I've got it.

It being an insidious compulsion that sometimes leads me on from one project to the next, each one begetting the next which begats the next, and so on until I've been begot! Projectitus if you will. I never know when it will strike, but when it does I'm helpless to stop it. I'm caught up in the flow and the only way out is to ride it all the way to the end. In other words It turns me into (Gasp!!) a serial projectorist.

Depending on how you count, what follows is either one medium project or as many as seven micro projects, all stemming from my removal of the TV and microwave from The Van.

TV mount on the right, former micro cabinet in the center.

That was supposed to be it, End of project. Remove the TV and microwave, toss a few baskets where the micro used to be, keep them there with a couple cheap spring-rods, and be done.

Time to kick back with an adult beverage, a supersized bag of some girth-increasing, life-shortening fried fat something-or-other and watch a batch of over-paid, roid-raged men beat the crap out of each other in the guise of moving a ball, or maybe a puck, around a field or arena for the entertainment of those of us that have consumed too many beverages and bags of crap to have the energy, or wherewithal, do the field-work ourselves, all the while being sold more adult beverages, bags of poison, a plethora of drugs to counteract the effects of the beverages and poison, and once in a while, for the more responsible among us, perhaps a life-insurance policy.

But I can't even get that right!

Initially I told myself that it was no problem that one of the bolts for the TV mount was trapped behind the fridge. After all, I carefully saved and wrapped the electronics I removed so that if I ever passed The Van on to someone more normal than myself everything could be put right back where it was, so leaving the mount in place made sense; and it covered up all the holes too!

Well that lasted for a whole couple weeks!

That's when, without much conscious thought or deliberation on my part,  projectitus kicked in and I found myself unmounting the fridge and sliding it out far enough to remove the top vent-cover

so I could reach in there and unbolt the TV mount.

By the way, looking at this photo I just realized what great place that was to put a consumable like a fuse! My own fault for paying other people to build The Van instead of just doing it myself. . . Oh no!! (You can't see me, but I'm holding my fingers up in the form of a vampire-repelling cross.) Not another project!!!!

Of course removing the TV mounting plate and tie-down hardware left some holes behind, so now I had to move my picture-frame to cover them up. Thankfully the frame is mounted with non-marring Combat brand strips.

Moving the frame also required going through my stash of prints and deciding which one to display now.

When it strikes, I never know just how long it's going to take me to recover from projectitus, and this time it wasn't done with me yet.

Once I removed the TV mount that kind of shredded my logic for leaving the former microwave shelf unaltered for easy re-installation of said microwave. So the next thing I know I'm removing the partitions to make the shelf one big space, telling myself that makes it more usable. (Fortunately the cheap spring-rods easily expanded to fit the new, wider opening.)

In keeping with the just-in-case-plan-on-returning-it-to-original theme, I carefully wrapped all the removed bits, including the screws, with shrink-wrap and safely stored them away.

(But only for a couple of hours as you will see. . .)

As long as I was messing around in there I figured it was as good a time as any to box in the vulnerable fridge-outlet and the exposed wiring hanging out there in the back corner of my newly supersized shelf.

Need an accurate inside measurement??

Start with a pair of sticks. (Pointing one end of each helps improves the accuracy.)

Hold the sticks back to back then, making sure they stay parallel with each other, slide them apart until they touch both sides of whatever you're measuring,

freeze them there with a couple spring-clips

then remove and measure.

With this measurement I built a simple two-sided shield from some scraps. Using paints I had on hand I primed the shield with grey then lightly sprayed white over the grey.

Even though this will be pretty much out of sight I was trying to somewhat match the light grey melamine of the cabinets without having to go buy new paint. It's not perfect, but close enough.

While the paint was drying I installed a couple simple mounting blocks

then, "inspired" by projectitus, used some craft paper to make a template of the shelf.

which I used to cut a shelf liner from a scrap piece of linoleum flooring I had laying around.

Because I removed the partitions that were in there originally, the shelf was peppered with left over holes which are now hidden by the new hard-wearing shelf liner.

Finally with only two screws for easy removal, I screwed in the shield I just built to protect the outlet and wires.

The sharp-eyed will note that the shelf liner is actually a half inch short of coming all the way to the front of the shelf. That's because as I was working my way through this stuff I had - you guessed it -  yet another attack of projectitus and already knew I was going to need that half inch.

Remember that partition I so carefully removed and stored for later?? Well that didn't last!

I had reached out to Sportsmobile Texas, which is within a day-trip of us, just after removing the microwave to see if they would sell me a little bit of the 1/2 inch melamine coated ply they used to build my cabinets but, somewhat surprising considering the service I've had from them in the past, I got no response. So now, driven by this irresistible compulsion riding my back like the proverbial monkey, I was forced to cannibalize that partition to get the pieces I needed for the next project(itus).

The two vertical pieces will go up either side of the shelf opening then the longer horizontal piece will be carefully trimmed to fit across between them. Careful planning of the cuts meant I was able to preserve the existing pocket holes in the new horizontal piece so I only had to mill the four pockets in the vertical pieces and re-purpose a couple of the L-brackets I had removed along with the original partitions.

I have a whole bag full of the T-trim that used to be wrapped around the original cabinet doors.

When I made the new doors 5 years ago I foolishly discarded the originals (If I hadn't then I wouldn't have had to cut up that partition.) but for some reason I did save all the T-trim that was around those doors.

So after I installed the butchered pieces of the original partition around the opening of the former microwave shelf, I was able to trim them up with original equipment so the new work blends right in with the old.

And finally I was able to buck that nasty little monkey off my back and this particular bout of projectitus had pretty much run it's course.

Yes, I know, that new opening there is just begging for a door, and I do have some of that figured maple I used for all the other doors still sitting there on the lumber rack, but I actually have something a little more ambitious in mind. . .

Dammit! I knew that monkey hadn't gone very far!!

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