Simple Projects (there's no such thing)

I'd rather reclaim or repurpose some piece of junk than buy the brightest, shiniest new thing.

Simple Projects (there's no such thing)

It's a standing joke among a couple of my people that, no matter how quick and easy you think a job is going to be, you might as well get out every tool you own, before you even start, because you'll need them all by the time you're done. Believe me. Just plan on it. Expect to have to buy or borrow some, too. There is no such thing as a simple project.

Some of the tools I used for this project. Even the paper, the scrap material and the wire. Not shown: table saw, radial arm saw.

I've set a summer goal for myself to use up as much existing material that I have lying around the shop as I possibly can. And that's a lot, because I'm a scavenger and a scrounger and I love to find interesting things that, "I'll use for something someday." I'd rather reclaim or repurpose some piece of junk than buy the brightest, shiniest new thing. So, very often, a good part of my project time is spent cleaning and prepping some old, dirty, stuff to get ready to start to begin actually making something.

A couple of years ago, I bought a truckload of treasure from a yard sale, some of which included a sleigh bedframe, a big box of assorted chair legs and rails, and eight Early American bed posts, still packaged two to a box. I wiped the dust off the sleigh bed and put it on Marketplace. It sold that day for the same price as I had paid for all my loot, so I was feeling pretty good about the rest of it.

Coming back to the shop after the winter, it was in pretty sorry shape. I decided a clean-up was a first priority. A real clean-up. Not just sweeping the open spots, but actually sorting, organizing, purging, and upgrading a huge assortment of tools that I had accumulated. And those boxes of bed posts were right in the way of where I needed to start. What to do with them? I opened up a box and took them out, hoping for inspiration.

Meanwhile, I had an ugly spot I needed to hide. My back deck is halfway through an enlargement and renovation, and it’ll get finished if lumber prices ever go down, or I win the lottery. But I’m tired of waiting for that to happen, so I added a couple of plants and some red mulch in front of the eyesore to provide some relief. Better, but still ugly.

The plants weren't growing fast enough.
Prep your work area. I tried to set the fence in place before I noticed the big nails. It wasn't heavy but not light either, and the elephant ear plant was at risk!

Those bedposts! They would look really cute if I fastened some boards across them and nailed some 1 x 4’s to them to look like a picket fence. How hard could it be? I didn’t have quite enough 1 x 4 material to do it all (it took a lot more than I thought it would), but I tore through all my ‘stuff’ and cut down some bigger pieces. They weren’t all the same type of wood but who cares? I’m going to paint it, anyway.

I’m not going to bore you with step-by-step details, it’ll suffice to say that before I was done, I had used an astounding number of tools and a fair amount of time to end up with a simple fake picket fence. But one box of bedposts is out of my way. Only three more to go!

I ended up not painting it.