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Monday, February 1, 2010

Ikea's got nothing on Teenagers, Tools, and Two-by-Fours

I learned from my Grandpa that when you do something yourself, you get more satisfaction out of it than when you just buy it. Well, this weekend we decided to put that to the test by building beds. It all started when the decision was made for Topher to move in with us (which also happened this weekend...look for more about that later). That left us a bed short. Add to that the fact that my bed had mostly fallen apart, and we had our weekend projects cut out for us.

The Projects:

My wife and I had picked up a gorgeous dark walnut king sized water bed frame at a garage sale over the summer for the right price (haul it away and it's yours), and it's been sitting in storage ever since (insert “honey-do” excuse here). I had 2 big issues to solve. First, we sleep on a regular mattress with springs so the dimensions were slightly different. Second, neither my wife nor I are small people, so we needed to have the bed frame be freestanding built around a support structure that could handle the weight of two large adults who aren’t exactly laying still (insert and ignore teenage groans about adults being too gross here).

Topher wanted a bed of his own, and envisioned taking out an old set of built-in shelving in the room he’s sharing with Ethan (which is fine, they were just clutter magnets anyway), and building a sort of half-on half-off overhanging bunk bed over the existing double mattress … definitely custom.

The Work:

Saturday morning found Topher and I off to Home Depot for lumber and screws, with Christina, Jory, and Adam took my old bed apart and worked at cleaning out the inevitable clutter that gathers under the bed like I was still 12 years old. Don’t ask me how some of that stuff got there, let alone where it came from?!?

While building, I endured much whining about “I don’t know how to do this” and “I’m afraid of saws, they’re sharp”. Topher endured much cursing about “nothing ever seems to fit” and “Why isn’t this going any faster”. Christina endured a house full of testosterone powered grunting, yelling, and chest beating.  Julian, Ethan, and Douglas joined in helping, too.  Sylvia and Annika discreetly left for Bammy's house.  Overall I think we had a great time: nothing went perfect, but nothing was so bad to stop us from moving forward. Topher learned to use the saw (see the photo, ignore the messy garage), we got the jobs done (although there’s always more to be done), and we had beds to sleep on every night.

The Results:

My bed is gorgeous, rock solid, and level all the way across. Last night was the most comfortable night I’ve had in a long time. Never mind that my mattress is as old as the bed frame that just fell apart. Never mind that the new frame isn’t “New” and had to be cut, shimmed, and otherwise modified to get it to fit. We built it together as a family, and that made everything perfect.

I’m not posting a picture of Topher’s bed, because I’m trying to give my new young man a modicum of privacy. I can say that he was so happy when he saw it that he hugged Adam and Julian for their help in building it. He commented to me at one point over the weekend that he’s never had brothers before, let alone brother that cared that much.

When I woke him up for school this morning, it showed that we were both refreshed and happy with our weekend endeavors. Grandpa was right…we did it ourselves, and that made it much better!

So, sleep being necessary for survival, I’d say we had a very successful weekend!

1 comment:

michael said...

Sounds like the makings of a very happy family....