Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Next Career Probably Won't Be Carpentry

In an attempt to bring order into my chaotic life (and why exactly do I still not have a personal assistant?) I decided to put together the second dresser that has been in pieces on my bedroom floor for the last... six months? nine months? some embarrassingly long amount of time anyhow.

The dresser has four drawers, three of which are the same size. So while I continued my "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" marathon (don't judge), I put together the first two. I even used wood glue this time, because the front of the large drawer fell off on the one that I built last year (or whenever it was).

I got to the third identical drawer and ran into a snag. No matter which way I turned the pieces there were two right sides and no left. (I'm guessing that this was why it was still in pieces on my bedroom floor although quite possibly I hadn't noticed and it was just due to pure laziness.)

A more organized person would still have the receipt, original packaging, and inclination to return the dresser to the place I bought it. I, on the other hand, remember how heavy the damn thing is, and I have no desire to try to explain why I let it sit for a year without returning it. Besides, I'm an engineer (more or less) and my belief is that I can fix anything. (I have a lot of broken things in pieces around my house and garage that belie this idea, but I'm strong in the power of denial.)

Really, though, how hard can it be to turn a right panel into a left panel? Remember, everything I know about carpentry I learned in orthopedic surgery, so you know I must be good at it.*

I drilled some holes for the dowels and a few screw hole guides. It was all good until I got to the doohicky that ties into some sort of toggle bolt that is supposed to hold the front of the drawer on. (We didn't use toggle bolts in any of my surgeries, so I have no idea what this thing is called. I do know it doesn't work very well, which is why the front of the big drawer fell off.)

Anyhow, it required me to drill a large-bore hole halfway through the wood. The hole was bigger than any of my drill bits. I almost got it, but then it turned out something was a fraction off, so I finally gave up and decided that the wood glue was just going to need to do double duty on this drawer.

So... all of the drawers are together now. They might even stay together. We'll just have to see how things go when the glue dries.

* Just as a note, my very last orthopedic surgery was on a barn owl with a fractured humerus. I put in an intramedulary pin with an external tie-in. The post-op x-rays were beautiful. The six week checkup was great. I pulled the pins and then the freaking owl got his wing caught in the corner of the flight cage just before being released and the whole wing shattered into a bazillion pieces and I euthanized him. There's your feel-good story of the day.

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