Friday, May 20, 2011

Lessons learned the hard way

Today has been one of those Murphy's Law kind of days.  I finally gave up on completing any projects and decided to blog about it.  Hopefully someone will gain helpful knowledge from my fails.

#1 - Wood Putty is not the same as Wood Filler.

I reached this epiphany a few weeks ago but was holding onto that tidbit of info to post until the appropriate time.  Wood putty comes in all different shades.  The furniture I needed it for was painted white, so I thought it would be great to fill the holes and easily cover with paint if necessary.  I spent a fair amount of time stuffing said holes full of putty.  At that time we were not yet moved in the house, so I came back a week later to sand the spots down I had patched and see if they needed reapplication or could be painted.  It was all still soft like play-doh.  At this point I took a moment to read the directions which state at the very end:  Will not harden to a sand-able surface.  I can't quite think of a purpose for which I would want to fill holes in wood and not desire it to harden, but I'm sure there is one or they wouldn't sell this stuff in dozens of colors.  I scraped all the putty out with a screwdriver (the holes were all the way through drawer fronts where old hardware had been) and headed back to the store.

#2 - If hardware does not come with a template for drilling holes, make one.

I was only off by about 1/4", but its pretty obvious.  Now I have to fill another hole.  A template is not that hard to make.  I even had graph paper available.   After this foul up, making a template was as easy as cutting a piece of graph paper the same height as the drawer front.  Then I centered the handle on the page by counting the lines and poked holes through the paper into the screw holes in the handle with a pencil.  I laid the paper template on the drawer front and only had to measure to make sure the edges were even from both ends so that it was centered vertically and horizontally.  I marked where to drill through the holes I poked in the paper.  The template took about 3 minutes to make, but it saved me an hour in correcting screw up time.

#3 - This is a multi-part lesson. 

A.  When you are moving, if you disassemble anything, label all the parts and if possible, put any screws bolts etc in a ziplock bag and tape it to the item they were removed from.  If you don't do this, you will lose them and you will have to contact the manufacturer to purchase more or get specifications so you can find them in your hardware store.

B.  If you have reassembled an item with working parts, or the item has been sitting unused for a long period of time, ensure it is working properly before you expect to use it.  If not your kitchen might look like this for an indefinite period of time.

We learned both of these with our refrigerator.  Mr. Backwoods had to remove the doors to get it though the door to the house.  He was in a hurry that day to get somewhere else after delivering the appliances, so the doors were left laying in the living room floor and who knows where the screws went.  Over  a month and a search for hardware later, he put the doors back on.  I still had some heavy duty cleaning to do on the shelves of the doors where they had mildewed while in storage, so we didn't yet plug it in.   I cleaned it all up and left it open overnight.  The next day I bought milk and a few other necessities.  I packed them in and plugged in the fridge only to realize a few hours later that even though it was running, it wasn't getting cold.  I didn't have a cooler nor do we live anywhere near a store that sells ice, so at 2am I cooked up 2 lbs of smoked sausage.  Here are some of the casualties of the faulty fridge the next day.

Two people can only eat so much smoked sausage before bedtime.  I'm really glad I am not opposed to drinking black coffee.  Mr Backwoods risked it by using the creamer that had been out all night.  He seemed ok when he left for work, hopefully that decision didn't turn into another lesson learned the hard way later in the day.


  1. Oh, no!
    I hope things go better today :)

  2. Oh yeah, I learned the screws lesson awhile back. Now I stick them in a ziplock bag and tape the bag to whatever the screws go to.

    I'm glad the creamer was ok! I'm always a little more willing to chance it with milk products than I am with meat or fish...for whatever reason.