On what I learned from building a bookcase this weekend

* There’s a lot to be said for getting wood cut professionally – the corners were square and it didn’t wobble when we joined it together.

* There’s also a lot to be said for measuring properly. Which we didn’t. There’s a lot of difference between 1370 and 1365mm. Especially when that’s the measurement all the rest are based on. (If one shelf is too long, the rest will be too).

* The plan worked brilliantly, apart from the measuring mistake. CAD really is good in real life after all.

* Mistakes sometimes lead to better results. We cut the corners off the too-long-planks so they fit flush against the wall instead of square to each other. I think it looks better that way – I’d originally planned for them to be sloped, but been talked out of it because it’s more complicated…. :).

* Arguing with old men about how to line things up isn’t worth it, even if you have to live with the wonky consequences.

* You can get a lot done in a very short time, if there’s a promise of good food ahead (and the fear of the wrath of a woman left waiting if you turn up late to lunch!).

* Concentration levels sink drastically at about 5pm, as do patience thresholds.

* Frequent loo breaks are a must.

* 90 degree clamps are a Godsend..


* …as are drill templates 🙂

* Woodworking ability is genetic. If your uncle was a carpenter, it stands to reason that you are equally capable 🙂 obvious when you think about it.

* Oak is HEAVY!!

* You can wash pencil lines off. Biro lines are a whole lot tougher.

* Old men are incapable of drilling at anything other than 90 degrees to the wood they’re drilling. (What looks more like 80 degrees is an optical illusion).

* Sometimes you have to rethink your plans.

* Sometimes you have to think in multiple directions.

* Sometimes you have to drill in multiple directions.



* Pencils have a tendency to wander. Make sure you have more than one…

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