Friday, June 8, 2012

Buying Boards

You might have seen Mandy's post the other day about a luggage shelf that I build for blog post fodder...I mean for our son's bedroom.  I was pretty excited to build it because I knew it would be a quick, easy project, especially since Mandy would buy the wood at Lowe's and have them rip it to the right size.  I drew it all out in my mind and had a good plan.  It would be quick, easy way to score some brownie points.

I was very particular in selecting the wood to use for the project.  I knew that the shelf had to hold heavy suitcases and potentially serve as a platform for kids from which kids would do canonballs onto the adjacent bed.  I also knew that there would be a single support in the middle for larger objects to be stored on either side. I also wanted it to look nice and last a long time; I figure if I'm going to spend time on something I might as well do it right.

With that in mind I specifically told my shopper to buy 3/4 inch plywood, oak.  It's a bit expensive at $45 per sheet, but it would be strong enough to support the required wieghts and would look good painted.  It would also retain it's straightness.

When I got home from work on the day of the project Mandy had already picked up the material and staged it in the garage for me.  I knew something was amiss.  Sure enough, she had picked up 1/2 inch pine project board instead.

Her reason for the unapproved switch:
1. It was cheaper ($35/sheet vs $45/sheet) = $10 savings

$10 Savings = Implications to the project:
1.  Thinner sheets were bowed.
2.  Surface finish was much poorer.
3.  Wood was not strong enough for a single support, so I had to add a second support.
4.  Second support meant that I did not have enough 1x2's and I had to run to Lowe's again.
5.  Thinner sheet dimension threw off the other dimensions in my plan.
6.  I had to recut the boards because the thickness affected the assembly dimensions.

I think that $10 savings went towards a $30 plastic gizmo from Pampered Chef that she brought home last night with which to make homemade potato chips in the microwave.  Unseasoned, fat-free potatoe slices really hit the spot.  If only I could do two more projects just like this one.  I'd feel much better knowing I saved enough to completely pay for the chip maker.


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