Author Topic: So completely lazy lately  (Read 1764 times)

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Offline Cochese

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So completely lazy lately
« on: June 24, 2016, 09:52 AM »
I've been a bad woodworker, some might say. It's the hottest time of the year, and while I did just get A/C added to the shop, it still doesn't beat being inside the house. We've also been doing a major non-structural remodel of some rooms, and there just hasn't been time or want to build the things I needed to. I had ideas of building myself a new dresser, but bought one. I needed a new bookcase that day, so I went and bought one. I was feeling guilty, but then found a good resource as to make decisions about building vs buying, and felt a bit better. I needed those things long before I could build them, and for cheaper. They don't have to last forever, and they aren't in a public area of the house.

Now though, it's time to replace a bookcase in the main part of our house. The bookcase now is a standard one, and what I'll need going forward is one that has quite a great many shelves all of different heights. Better storage of video games has been long overdue. But now the question again comes down to building vs buying, and I just don't know. I feel guilty about not using my tools, even though I do need one other tool to make things a lot easier - a very long rail. My shop will also be very cramped in all three dimensions doing something large, and there's not a lot I can do about that.

Thought process was this: wife wants a white bookcase and use the walls for color, so buying the white Billy bookcase from Ikea, then  adding additional shelves would be simple and easy. Figure about $110+tax for what I need. If I build, then it's $50 for the plywood, $xx in pine/poplar if I do solid edging (call it $20 to be safe), $20 to rent the truck to get the plywood home. I'm nearly at cost and I haven't made anything, much less painted it. I did put this as a project I was looking forward to, but now can't decide if that excitement was making it, or the end result of having things around the house look nicer. I was able to transform my bedroom in the course of a week by buying and assembling two pieces of furniture, and the subsequent moving stuff around. It's made an absolute difference in our lives, and I'm a bit addicted to getting the whole house in that sort of order.

Summer is usually when I get into a funk anyway, due to my shop and the weather. The A/C has been one of the biggest upgrades I've ever done, and I do have the tools available. The 8' cuts can be made on the table saw, so I don't have to run out and buy a 3000 rail or parallel guides. I spent the last two years back in school, and I was looking forward to doing more stuff in the shop, but now my desire to live in nicer conditions might be superseding that.

Put yourself in my shoes for a minute and tell me what you would do. A hobbyist, I have a 12x12 shop, well fitted out but not much assembly space. It would probably take you about two weeks to complete the project, or you can take a trip down to the Swedish LEGO shop and be stocking your shelves in about three hours. Cost would be roughly the same, but your effort would be better built at the cost of not looking quite as nice. You'd gain pleasure using your tools, at the cost of not being able to spend time doing other things.

Our house breaks down into roughly thirds: hand-me-downs, Ikea, and stuff I've made, so any option would fly. Projects tend to take me much longer than most people would for some reason, so while I have been proud of the stuff I've made, it's not by any set schedule.

Offline HarveyWildes

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Re: So completely lazy lately
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2016, 10:14 AM »
If you're a hobbyist, do the kinds of projects that you enjoy, that provide challenge and interest, that play to your creative strengths.  If you find the bookcase is that kind of project, build it, otherwise buy it.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: So completely lazy lately
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2016, 10:21 AM »
Not sure what other projects you have in mind after the shelf but, .......

      I often find that getting something accomplished pulls me out of a funk. So maybe doing the buy and modify bookcase would be a  positive boost to spur you on.  [smile]

Seth

Offline jobsworth

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Re: So completely lazy lately
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2016, 11:47 AM »
Since Im not home and living in a rental, I can't do the projects I normally do. So I do other things, Ive gotten real good at picture framing, and small project like that paper towel holder, coat/shoe rack , the college book case and desk..

I also view as a time to learn new skill play with the tools learning new things about them making jigs

lots you can do.

My next one is repairing a Cross for my Church. The Pastor asked last week. I repaired another one for another pastor.

Lots of things to do. Plus with these type of projects if ya don't feel like doing them that day, don't relax... go for a walk etc...

Offline Cochese

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Re: So completely lazy lately
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2016, 05:26 PM »
Oh, I have no shortage of things I'd like to work on. A few shop projects, and innumerable projects for the house. The motivation issue would exist on pretty much any of these.

Tonight I'm working on how many shelves I need, how the shelves would work out with the 32mm system, where the fixed shelf would go, the whole lot. I'll then look at the project in total and decide if I'll bite the bullet and just head down to the meatball and particle board store. One of the issues that is always at the front for me is that getting things home from the lumber yard isn't the easiest task. Those flat-pack boxes are the truth.

Offline PreferrablyWood

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Re: So completely lazy lately
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2016, 06:55 PM »
I think a bookcase is pretty straight forward to make, so if your feeling lazy, it's the summer and hot, save your energi, and money and find a bookshelf on the used market, or buy one at ikea, at the same time make plans for making something that would be more of a challenge..

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Offline Steve-Rice

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Re: So completely lazy lately
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2016, 07:12 PM »
Several weeks ago I finally finished a year long project to redecorate our living room.  Two matching credenzas, a glass top curved side table, a small Z shaped end table and two Z shaped plant stands. When it was all done, I had this feeling of emptiness because I had no new projects waiting for me.  It was really wierd for the last few weeks not to have anything to do in the shop. 

Then, just this morning, my 15 year old daughter came into my office with a drawing of her room and the new pieces of furniture she wants me to build for her. Can't tell you how thrilled I am to have new pieces to create. I just love building furniture, but that's just me...
« Last Edit: June 24, 2016, 10:38 PM by Steve-Rice »

Online bdiemer

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Re: So completely lazy lately
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2016, 08:19 PM »
Speaking for myself, anything is easier than dealing with the bags of bolts that come in the Ikea box. Building furniture is fun. Assembling furniture is frustrating with zero reward. In any event, don't deprive yourself of the Swedish meatballs from the Ikea basement store.
 

Offline Cochese

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Re: So completely lazy lately
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2016, 08:23 PM »
Several weeks ago I finally finished a year long project to redecorate our living room.  Two matching credenzas, a glass top curved side table, a small Z shaped end table and two Z shaped plant stands. When it was all done, I had this feeling of emtiness because I had no new projects waiting for me.  It was really wierd for the last few weeks not to have anything to do in the shop. 

Then, just this morning, my 15 year old daughter came into my office with a drawing of her room and the new pieces of furniture she wants me to build for her. Can't tell you how thrilled I am to have new pieces to create. I just love building furniture, but that's just me...

I saw your credenza a bit ago and was very impressed. I haven't attained that skill level, which would be a vote both for and against building this bookcase.

I did the math, and could do it with seven shelves, but eight is probably the best scenario. That would be $90+tax to buy. Cutlist shows that I could not make the sides and shelves out of one sheet of ply, so I think this means I will buy for this, and focus my energy elsewhere.

Re: So completely lazy lately
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2016, 08:08 AM »
I'm a relative beginner, like you. In my opinion it is a mistake to start doing the math on building vs. buying. If that is the only factor, and you are willing to live with Ikea shelves, I think you'll find it's rarely worth building.

For me, I got tired of looking a melamine furniture. I got to a period in my life where I want fewer things of higher quality instead of a ton of cheap mass-market stuff. There's nothing wrong with Ikea shelves if they feel good to you in your living room. But people who are driven to build their own furniture get a lot more enjoyment out of looking at custom pieces. (Now, if you could find a great old  hardwood shelf cheap that's another story. But I find it's harder and harder to find good vintage furniture at reasonable prices.)

But the main reason I build furniture is that it is my hobby. It brings me joy. It is my therapy. Is eases my mind after a stressful week at the day job. That is worth a lot more than the price of wood and tools.

Do what feels good to you. If you enjoy building furniture, do it. It doesn't matter if it ends up costing more than Ikea (it will). If you need a shelf and don't want to build that now then just buy it. All your tools are sunk costs. Build a project that brings you joy.





Online Peter Halle

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Re: So completely lazy lately
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2016, 08:12 AM »
@brooklyngohardwood  -  [welcome] to the FOG!

Peter

Offline Steve-Rice

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Re: So completely lazy lately
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2016, 11:00 AM »
@brooklyngohardwood - Well said.  I couldn't agree with you more...

Plus, I was born and raised in Brooklyn  [big grin]

"But the main reason I build furniture is that it is my hobby. It brings me joy. It is my therapy. Is eases my mind after a stressful week at the day job. That is worth a lot more than the price of wood and tools. But the main reason I build furniture is that it is my hobby. It brings me joy. It is my therapy. Is eases my mind after a stressful week at the day job. That is worth a lot more than the price of wood and tools."

Offline Cochese

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Re: So completely lazy lately
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2016, 03:46 PM »
The biggest modifier for me as to why I would choose to buy is my shop. I don't have room to keep stock on hand, and if I had a few sheets ready to go for something, there's no question I would have already made both bookcases and more.

It's a situation not unique to me, but it does play a role in what I choose to build or not build. Even if I was ready to build my dresser, it would have been frustrating in my space. Since I was basically copying the Billy design, and the price estimate was creeping over $200 after supplies, paint and transport, it just seemed dumb to use that money to recreate a simple bookcase.

One day I'll have a shop that will allow for material stockpiles and room to assemble. Not for this project, though. I'll spend that money toward projects that need customization.

Edit - I will say that something that could swing the decision to build would be if it could be shallower and fit on one sheet. The games aren't as deep as books are.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 01:27 PM by Cochese »