The shelving that I erected last time around was proving to be not quite enough for Chantelle’s growing business, meaning that it was time to initiate the Project Shelving: Phase 2 initiative – in other words, time for more shelves… a lot more shelves.
Like a true professional I tackled the task by first whipping out my notepad, pen, calculator and measuring tape, setting about making notes and diagrams of what I needed done. Armed with this information I missioned off to Builder’s Warehouse in Somerset West, where I was promptly told I had completely miscalculated the size of the board – which I then realised I had. Oops. Nevertheless, after playing around on their board cutting software, I managed to squeeze out six decent sized melamine chipboard shelves, with a couple of smaller ones thrown in for good measure, the cutting and material cost of which was only about R400, not too bad at all.
However, having done this last time around I knew the real price of the exercise lies in the railings and brackets – and rightfully so, they rang in at about R1,300! Because of the changes to my initial plans (basically I ended up getting a lot more shelves than originally bargained for), I spent a couple of hours in Builder’s Warehouse recalculating the amount of fasteners, railings sizes and brackets, but eventually I managed to get everything together and joined the super lengthy queue waiting to be served on what turned out to be a particularly busy Saturday afternoon for Builder’s Warehouse.
Back home I set about emptying the braai room, and then carefully took apart my previous shelving attempt, basically replacing it with a much longer set of rails which were more conveniently spaces and now holds five shelves, with the bottom shelf being a nice big work surface positioned right next to the oven for easy use.
Then I moved the old brackets across the room to above the work table, giving Chantelle an extra three shelves, the top most being a super large shelf, perfect for packaging material.
Finally, I slotted in the smaller shelves onto the existing corner shelf increasing it’s count to four, thereby completing Chantelle’s new look workspace/braai room!
I did the first set of five shelves and the small shelves on Saturday afternoon, and then completed the rest of the shelving on Sunday morning, and just because I could (in other words, my drill was already out), I then finished up by fixing a flat wall mount bracket in the office (R75), perfect for holding my monitor at the required height while I stand and work!
All in all, I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with how everything came out, especially if you consider that this was my first time putting everything up without the aid of a laser level!
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Last weekend was a good mixture of DIY and family time, with the week having ended off on a particularly good note, what with a successful SPI audit demonstration of my Kinetica project at Touchwork, followed by the fixing of my car’s central locking (finally) by Hyundai Helderberg. As it was, Friday had I worked from home, meaning that I got to spend the early evening with Jessica, and after she was in bed, spend a little time with Chantelle as we gobbled down some KFC so that she could get back to work on an emergency birthday cake for a client, meaning I was free to tinker away the rest of the evening on the PC.
Saturday morning we did a bit of tidying up around the house, before I got out my notepad, measuring tape and pen, and started making calculations for the shelving job that I was about to tackle. All of these plans culminated in a 3 hour long trip to Builder’s Warehouse where I secured all the boards, railings, brackets, fasteners, etc., which obviously then meant then that the rest of my Saturday was spent putting up shelves all over the braai room!
With Jessica finally in bed, Chantelle and I snuggled up on the couch to watch He’s Just Not That Into You, before heading for a rather well deserved evening’s rest.
Sunday morning saw me pick up my tools and complete the final bit of the shelving project left over from Saturday, before shifting focus to put up a bracket on the wall of my office in order to wall-mount my second monitor. By this stage Monty, Cheryl and Rob had arrived, and so we all hopped into our cars and drove off for a afternoon of markets, first popping in at the vibey (well, they were doing a Christmas in July theme after all) Blaauwklippen market to observe their new giant marquee tent that provides shelter for the traders (and visitors!), before popping down the road to introduce (meaning of course browsing followed by beer and food!) the Montgomery Clan to the big Root 44 market at Audacia.
Rushing back home, we made it just in time for the arrival of Mom, Dad and Ryan, who joined us for a big combined family braai, which was capped off with a hilarious round of 30 Seconds for good measure! After bidding everyone farewell (fitting because in a couple of days Mom and Dad were to embark on their a couple of weeks’ long safari trip to the Serengeti!), Chantelle and I set about tidying up, before I unfortunately had to hole myself up in my office and tackle some outstanding Touchwork work.
Still, a pretty enjoyable – and productive – weekend after all! :)
The continued slipping away of my manly braai room into the all-encompassing clutches of Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes venture went a step further this weekend, as I finally got Project Shelving off the ground and installed what I’ll refer to as Phase 1 shelving for now.
And following the acquisition of yet another medium duty mixer (a nifty Russell Hobbs mixer from Game) for the kitchen, the only real missing piece of the Cookies and Cakes puzzle is now the second oven, something we’ve already identified but just need a little time to save up for – and of course give us time to get a little bit of electrical work done…
Anyway, back to the shelving. With Chantelle not available I needed to factor Jess into my calculations and so came up with the length of 140 centimeters, the longest length of a board that my car could load taking into account both Jessica and I occupying front seats. I decided to use Builders Warehouse in Somerset West as my supplier of choice, mainly because I could get everything under one roof, including getting the boards cut, and after a fairly hassle free process, I walked out with brackets, two full length chipboard shelves, two pieces of off-cuts (which I would later decide to turn into shelves as well) and a variety of fasteners and drill bits.
After a bit of discussion with Chantelle we selected the area next to the indoor braai as the ideal hanging spot and after a bit of manual effort, my shelves were up and ready for loading. As per usual Dad’s tripod and auto-levelling laser came in super useful in getting everything lined up nicely and I have to admit, I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. The only change I think that I’ll still make is to introduce a third bracket down the middle, just to provide extra support and allow us to load heavier packaging and ingredients on the shelves without causing too much warping.
As an added bonus, I noticed that the off-cuts that I had received slotted in perfectly next to the linen cupboard currently serving as Chantelle’s main smaller ingredients holding space, and so after another visit to Builders Warehouse (where I was forced to purchase a different bracketing system thanks to them being sold out of the one I had just bought the previous day), I set up a smaller single purpose stack of shelves, perfect for carrying the weight of all Chantelle’s flour and sugar. (The new brackets are rated to hold up to 55 kilograms).
So a job well done and one step further along the path of never using my indoor braai ever again. Sigh.
I must just note though, shelving is certainly not cheap. With the wood costing about R350 and the metal brackets all together weighing in with another R500-R600, not to mention all the other little extras, the whole project still ended up costing me just short of a R1,000 – certainly not pocket change then. Still, a small price to pay for Chantelle’s rapidly expanding empire! :)
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I finally gave in and agreed with Chantelle that it was time to spruce up the look and feel of our home here in Country Mews – in other words it needed a new coat of paint and definitely some new varnish on the window frames!
Chantelle managed to make contact with the guy who recently painted the house across the road from us (Oom Boeta), and after accepting his initial quote we were all set to go! Picking a colour turned out to be a lot easier than normal thanks to both Chantelle and I keen on the same idea, and in the end we sourced a wonderful colour named “Cyclone” from Builder’s Warehouse’s house brand Fired Earth’s Severe Weather range. Coming in at R460 for a 20 litre can meant that it wasn’t too horrible in terms of price, which was just as well because by the time the boys had finished, we had used up 60 litres of paint on the house!
There were a few problems with Oom Boeta and his boys, and eventually we did end up forking over more money that what was initially agreed upon, but we did get a lot extra thrown in, like the painting of the gate, the re-waterproofing of the roof’s spine as well as the painting of the braai chimney and the fixing of a minor hole in the roof!
The job did take a couple of days longer than originally planned for, but this was mainly due to weather – in other words Gordon’s Bay’s famous wind (as well as a little rain) decided to come and play.
We did come up a little short by virtue of the fact that we were unable to source paint of the same batch number (in the end we had to settle for three different batch numbers, never a good thing if you ask any building painter), the end result being that we do have some discolouration where Boeta unfortunately chose to do touch up work, and to be honest, the end result of the work in general isn’t quite up to our perfectionist standard – BUT, and it is a big but, given the price we paid and the people we used, we can’t actually complain (for labour we only paid R2,750!) and quite frankly – the house DOES looks pretty damn good now, especially at dusk where the colour really brings out the green of the garden!
To compare, here’s the old colour:
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Versus the new colour:
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With the transformation of our house from light to dark well under way now, this weekend was a bit of a bust in terms of being able to go anywhere thanks to having painters over for all of Saturday and pretty much a huge chunk of Sunday.
Friday evening was a bit disappointing in terms of finishing off Army of Two with Ryan, thanks to spotty Internet connection (which culminated in having no connection for pretty much the whole Sunday evening!), and with Chantelle busy with her baking, I was left to fend for myself in terms of entertainment. That said, Saturday evening was even more of the same, with Chantelle off for her sushi, cocktails and soppy DVDs girls’ night out with Trish and the rest of the bunch in Bellville, and Jess (who was really in a difficult mood on the day) off chilling with Oupa and Ouma! Still, nothing that an evening of pizza and the awesome Dredd movie couldn’t fix!
Saturday also saw me make an unscheduled trip through to Stellenbosch, thanks to learning on our morning supply run to Builder’s Warehouse, that they had run out of stock of the Severe Weather Cyclone colour paint that we desperately needed in order for the team to continue with the paint job. (That sounds pretty awesome written down, but in case you are wondering “Severe Weather” is Builder’s Warehouse paint brand and “Cyclone” is the gorgeous gray colour we’re covering the house with). The trip was fairly successful, but I must admit, locating Builder’s Express in Stellenbosch not so much. Still, I managed to get another 20 litres of the necessary paint back to the boys so it was all good.
The only other thing I managed to achieve on Saturday then was the total rearrangement of our house, basically removing the last remaining ‘leisure’ section of the braai room and redistributing it to the rest of the house (my tiny office now even has a 40 inch television crammed into it!). This allowed us to open a ton of space for Chantelle’s work area to expand into, which needless to say does not bode well for my wallet in the coming weeks!
So the house looks a little bit strange at the moment with things a little out of place, but with the rocking chair sofa already relocated back to Bellville and one of our couches being advertised on GumTree, things should get back to normal as space starts to open up again!
Sunday kicked off another round of DIY for me as with the painter busy outside, I got busy inside playing with my new jigsaw and pretending to be a carpenter, building what will hopefully result in my first ever shelf with bookend combination. My highschool wood work teacher would have been proud! :P
(Note to Dad. I need to bring over some planks which I need you to rescue for me with your circular saw. Don’t ask.)
Chantelle and Jess arrived home in the afternoon and after a nice lazy afternoon of playing with a much more cheerful than Saturday Jess and in general just soaking up some sun, we capped the day off with a family trip to Pick ‘n Pay, bath and bedtime routine for Jess, and then some ostrich burgers in front of Big Bang Theory (finally, we’ve made it to season 6!).
And with Chantelle once again picking up her baking tools, I passed the rest of the night (remember, no internet), by playing some solo FIFA 13 – which didn’t go so well.
I enjoy the small, self-contained DIY jobs around the house, and my toolbox was called into action a couple of weeks ago, when inexplicably the lock on our metal front door security gate seized, leaving us with no way of opening the gate, meaning no access via the front door and therefore a bit of an inconvenience (though probably not so much when one considers just how much we make use of the front sliding door to gain access to our abode).
Anyway, we phoned up some locksmiths to get a couple of quotes, recoiled at the prices given, and then stepped back to ponder how we were going to proceed.
A day or two into this saga, I received an excited call from Chantelle telling me that a) I need to take her out for an expensive meal or b) I need to feel less manly about myself, as she had managed to get the gate open after lots of patience, prodding and Q20 lubricant, super convinced that she had now fixed the lock as it appeared to be operating smoothly once more.
Sadly for her though, on my arrival home and subsequent test, the lock once again seized, this time with the key stuck in the lock, but thankfully with the gate open, meaning we now had access to the lock mechanism.
Deciding that it would be far cheaper to just replace the lock ourselves, I set about freeing the trapped keys with a set of pliers. As it turned out, I could apply just enough pressure with the extra leverage afforded by the pliers, freeing the key without the extra hassle of breaking it off.
Anyway, next on the agenda was the removal of the pop rivets which hold the lock in place within the metal gate. Some Googling plus a conversation with Monty led me down a path where I combined two of the primary methods used in removing pop rivets, first taking off the heads of the pop rivets with a few hard bashes to the back of a well placed, good quality paint scraper, followed by drilling out the remaining stem of the pop rivet through the use of a metal drill bit just wider than the pop rivet body. (You’ll note that pop rivets come in standard sizes, in my case the ones in use were 4.8 mm pop rivets, meaning I needed to purchase a 5 mm metal drill bit to get the job done.)
Of course, I didn’t have the necessary tools on hand, and so a trip through to Builder’s Warehouse was in order, where of course I spent far longer than intended, and walked out with a whole lot more for my toolbox than intended!
With the rivets removed, I then needed to purchase a similar lock for the security gate, and taking the old lock with me, I returned to Builders Warehouse and purchased a nice middle of the range, well priced 7 lever lock which best fitted the old lock’s dimensions. (Again, the locks are fairly standardized in size, though it is always best to take the old one with for comparison purposes!)
Of course, life doesn’t make things easy for one, and the joy of discovering that these locks are fairly inexpensive turned sour when I discovered that some small differences in rounded ends meant that the new lock couldn’t simply slide into the hole that used to accommodate the old lock – no it was back to Builders Warehouse for a third time in order to purchase a round metal file, needed to make the slot bigger so that the new lock would fit.
So with my new round file and a borrowed straight file from Monty, I set about rasping away at the gate, taking away enough of the messy weld work so that my new lock could smoothly slide in, after which I grabbed my sparkly new pop rivet tool and secured it in place.
Yay, success (and a working security gate) at last!
(And yes, I know the lock is upside down, but only because the original lock was in upside down as well. What, you didn’t think I was going to take off the whole bloody security gate just so that I could flip it the right side up did you?!)
What a pleasant weekend this past weekend was, what with it being our first “normal” weekend in literally months! Our new schedule of doing three markets in a month, two of those being handled by Cheryl and myself on Chantelle’s work weekends, meant that this weekend was a proper weekend off for the Gordon’s Bay Lotter clan, and so we tried to make the most of it by spending time together as a family.
Friday evening kicked off with Chantelle’s folks making the trip through to our house in order to spend some quality time with Jessica, followed by a delectable pork chop meal that Chantelle whipped up using her shiny new Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals recipe book! It was a laid back, enjoyable visit, Jessica was as cute as a button, and at the end of it all (i.e. after Monty and Cheryl’s departure), Chantelle and I rewarded ourselves with a good night’s sleep! :)
Saturday morning I darted out to get the preliminary tools needed in order to break out and replace the expired lock mechanism on our front door security gate, though I opted to hold back on buying an actual replacement lock on this initial trip, just so that I could make sure of the exact dimensions of the old lock after successfully removing it first.
After a lengthy (but successful – yay, for birthday money, so many shiny new things for my toolbox!) trip to Builders’ Warehouse, I arrived back home to tag with Chantelle as she hit Pick ‘n Pay and Spar in order to secure the ingredients necessary for making our afternoon bring and braai with the friends a success, while I stayed at home to look after Jessie (who decided that this was the perfect time for a nap anyway).
Of course, when I say friends, I mean only Trish and Karl, as it turned out that this was a particularly bad weekend to invite the buddies over – Damen, Michelle and Logan were sick and in hospital, Evan, Natasha and Evalynne were sick (plus one trip to the hospital), Ryan was away in Mossel Bay on a golf tour with Dad, and Dean was at work, while Zania was back home with a sick Zandea! (And of course, Terrance remains firmly planted in Japan).
Regardless of this though, we went ahead with the braai, which turned out to be a really enjoyable afternoon visit, with Jessica being on her cutest behaviour, Karl and Trish happily entertaining her while the indoor braai kept everything nice and toasty, and for a change, all of the food turning out pretty damn delicious – i.e. Karl took over the braai from me!
We finished up the visit with some heated four-man Blur racing battles (thanks for the loan of the extra controllers Ryan), the result of which was Trish wanting to murder me more than once, Jessica doing her best to distract Karl at every twist and turn, and Chantelle biting back her lip in order to keep her ultra competitive nature in check! :)
(And yes, I made sure that I stayed up the whole night to watch the Champions League finally run its course, thought truthfully I was a bit disappointed at Chelsea stealing the title on the night).
Sunday was just the three of us, and with the weather being as gloomy as it was, we headed out to Builders’ Warehouse to get the replacement lock (drilled out the broken one just fine, but damn it, now I need to lay my hands on a metal file in order to widen the slot by a millimetre or so for the new one!), followed by some winter clothes shopping at the Mall for young Jessica. We looked around for a new DVD rack (our old one is filled to the brim), and eventually decided to pop in for an early lunch at the always kid-friendly Spur – though I don’t think Jessie could quite make out what to do with the big bunch of crayons our waitress handed over to her!
Afternoon was filled with chores and a well-timed nap for the three of us, before we made another mini-excursion out to Strand, to point and babble at each passing seagull unlucky enough to find itself in Jessica’s visual range, and also to partake in the Belgium Waffle House’s menu that Chantelle had been so keen to give a spin.
The evening was finally capped off with Jessica and I watching the Madagascar DVD that I had just received from Claire and Ryan (one of the six DVDs in my birthday pack from the two of them!), while Chantelle slaved away in the kitchen, cleaning up and baking shortbread and Turkish Delight for the orders going out this week.
Soup for supper, more baking while watching first Idols and then X-Factor for Chantelle, while I set about tidying up after the weekend, and knocking a couple of blog posts out before the sultry, seductive song of Club Pillow struck again…