I took Friday off to finish moving out of my old place, renew my resident parking sticker, register my change of address with the post office, talk to the Sprint guys (that's detailed in the next post), pick up a new mattress, and then pick up all the building materials we needed to build the bed frame. My roommate had to save us at Home Depot because the plywood (which was cut into small sections) was too big to fit in my car. It was a long day and I was pretty tired.
Then on Saturday, we started assembling the bed frame from the plans I had drawn up a few days beforehand. We discovered we'd need another beam down the center of the bed and that I had miscalculated the number of board feet required for the legs of the bed (I forgot beds have four legs and not two). Then due to a lack of mitre saw or other right-angle-maker (in retrospect, I should have bought one), I spent some time trying to make right angles out of the cuts I had made. We did a trip to Home Depot to pick up another board and some joist pieces to afix the board to the head and foot pieces. Even with the delays and minor issues, we got one of the sides assembled and we were pretty happy with it. After a full day of working in 90 degree 150% humidity in the sun trying to overcome our minor issues, I was pretty tired.
On Sunday, I woke up and finished putting together the second side. Then I attached the head and foot pieces and had a completely assembled bed. My girlfriend came home from church and we ate some food and then did a round of staining with a 2-in-1 poly-urethane/stain. After staining, we discovered our hands and brushes were really sticky and we didn't have any mineral spirits (which is a solvent). I rushed over to Home Depot driving with my elbows and picked some up.
Now we have a lovely bed frame that I designed with lots of insight from my girlfriend and her dad and that we built together. Right angles on the bed are pretty short in number--but we can fix some of that later on if it becomes an issue.
Now I'm just super tired. Not to mention that my allergies went beserk this weekend whilst all this other stuff was happening.
So that brings me to the interesting part. Here's my list of things to keep in mind on building projects:
beds have four legs--not two
get a mitre saw to do right angle cuts (or alternatively you could get a table saw or even just build a guide for a circular saw)
ratchet sets make dealing with bolts and nuts a lot easier
it's all about a great set of clamps
measure, measure, cut
you can approximate right angle cuts after the fact by sanding the end of the board while making sure to flip the board over every 15-20 seconds of sanding--I find I must be putting more pressure on my right side than my left because that's the part that gets more sanding
know where your nearest hardware stores are and the times that they are open just in case you find yourself in a "predicament"