A. has been knocking off projects with the speed of the roadrunners I see darting through the desert — he’s made three pieces of furniture in the past few months. He made a bench — that could be used in a mudroom someday — to organize the toys in what we call the “front room.” We still need to sew a cushion for the top — and lucky for us, a Jo-Ann Fabric opened in our desert town at the end of August.
He made an Amish-style bookshelf — meaning he didn’t use any nails or glue, just rustic joints — for the boys.
And, his most recent project: A modern desk with metal legs (my favorite).
I just love peeking into CM’s room (which will eventually be both boys’ room) and seeing that almost everything in there — including the bunkbed — was handmade by their papa in his tiny workshop in the garage. Oh, and our neighbor gave us his miter saw two weeks ago because he sees A. working late into the evening: “You’ll get more use out of it than I do,” he says.
For more than two years, I’ve had a stack of books under my windowsill that just kept on growing. After deciding that I didn’t want to live like a college student anymore, I started to look online for a bookshelf that would fit in a narrow space next to my closet. But I couldn’t find anything that I liked that fit the specifications and was affordable. And then one night, A. suggested we build one.
Excited to work on a project, I sent him photos of four bookcases I found online — and he noted they all had a “panel” theme. I also liked the idea of reclaimed wood, so I looked for a place in the area to buy it, but was having trouble (it seems that reclaimed wood is expensive).
So in May, we took a trip to Home Depot. We calculated the size of the bookcase (17.5 inches wide) and bought enough slabs of poplar to make it. We bought screws, a power sander and stain. And then we went at it. We measured and cut the wood with A.’s circular saw on the balcony of his Virginia apartment. (A. made me wear safety glasses whenever I used a power tool.) We sanded the wood and tested the stain on scraps. Then we stained the slabs — I slathered it on, and A. wiped it off. And on Labor Day, we drilled holes in the right spots, screwed and nailed it all together — to make this! A beauty, if I do say so myself. And now completely full of books.