Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Last Wednesday the lumber company brought out my 12 foot 1 X 12 boards. The rest of the materials I buy in 8 foot lengths and haul them in the van. I started my built-in bookshelves on Friday. After 5 days I am almost through with the construction and ready to start the stain and finishing on the job.

Several things I have noted in the construction of the project.

First, I have changed the size and the design I'd drawn in my mind before I started. The room I'd chosen for my office is adequate but small, so I downsized, and the adjustments I made caused less cutting and fitting.

Secondly, I noticed that the boards were not free of company's stamped labels and, on some, the evidence of surface stains and dirt I'd have to sand. I was in a hurry to get the job done, so I opted, now with regret, to wait until the job was finished to do the sanding. WRONG! Live and learn!

Thirdly, if you realize our house's layout, you know that my workshop (in the place Virginia has named "the HOLE" - actually a very nice 6'8" high insulated "crawl space" with concrete floor) has only an outside access, which is out the front door, down the steps and around to the rear of the house. Imagine sawing each piece of lumber and making that trip back and forth for the slightest adjustments. I should have put my mileage meter on to measure how many miles it takes to build a bookcase. Whew, a lot!

Fourthly, if you have just moved prior to construction, you know that the most basic of tools is hidden somewhere in the bottom of the pyramid pile of boxes in the garage. Hence the reason when I sift through in ages to come, I will end up with no less than half a dozen very good tape measures. Like the proverbial scissors, we will have one for each room.

Fifthly, when construction and workshop are separated so far, invariably the precise tool you need is in the other place, and it usually happens when you are holding a board precisely where you want it with no way to let go without remeasuring and readjusting after making the trek to one place or the other. You may ask, why not do all of the work of cutting, etc., in the room. Well, my office already has all of my PC equipment set up and shoved to the side, so I can use it and still have room to work. All of the dust, etc., I am trying to avoid as much as possible. I know, I know, I've created my own problems! Tell me something I don't already know!

Sixthly, regardless of how many screws you buy, you never have enough. Oh, I have enough, but they, too, are keeping company in a box somewhere with the other tape measures.

Seventhly, getting 10 foot, 11 1/2 inch boards into a 10 foot, 11 3/4 inch length room (one not with perfectly distanced walls) takes two people to maneuver through the halls, and when it takes two additional cuts to fit, that's a lot of miles and scrapes for later repair. Virginia remains patient and helpful.

Eightly, as I told her the other day, after getting up from a low-down or down-low position, it seems as though it is harder to get up from the floor than it used to be. I did not need to hear it was "old-age" for I am certain that some other malady is responsible for the slowing of my getting-upper parts. You'd think that since my first "getting arounds" as a child were on the floor, that that would be where I'd be at my best, but I suppose being closer in age to "that place" higher up makes you less agile in the lower quarters! There's good and bad in all, I guess.

Ninthly, when I commented on how tiring each day from daylight to after dark on the project is, she asked if I was frustrated in the task. I thought about it and realized in spite of all the above eightlies, I was truly enjoying the job. It was the first time I really have had a place and the time to give consistently to building something with my hands. I do love to imagine and then try to duplicate what my mind has conjured up!

Tenthly, to round it out, I've been thinking a lot about how God must have felt when He first created the universe, the earth, its resources, and then His crowning work, man!
1. His design was perfect, no need to change. Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
2. His materials were just right and His brand is permantly and beautifully stamped in all He did. Romans 1:20 "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead!"
3. His workshop and the place of building were in close harmony - His Mind. He created the miles. Genesis 1:26 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion..."
4. His tools all perfectly in place - His Word. Genesis 1:3 "And God said, Let there be...and there was..."
5. The dust He made for a purpose - to form His crowning touch - man! Genesis 2:7 "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
6. His Spirit is a sufficent anchoring screw for all He did and does. Romans 8:11 "But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."
7. Everything He did fits exactly - not even 1/4 inch of variance. Genesis 1:31 "And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good."
8. Because He is everywhere, no place is hard for Him to work. Psalm 139:8-10 "If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me."
9. Now I just know by experience with this construction and with Him that He loved and loves what He made. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
10. Well, now I've got new energy and drive to finish my job! Be encouraged, my friend, to know Him and finish yours, too!


Jo said...

Great post, Brother!

The progress pics show what you can do with a little imagination, determination and hard work.

I can't wait to see your task all finished and beautiful!

I loved your comparisons with the Creation, too.

Well done!


Mich said...

Welcome back to blog world! Now I know what has kept you busy! Can't wait to see the new house!

Love ya!

Amber said...

Those are some pretty spiffy bookshelves and a pretty spiffy carpenter! You look like a true professional!

Can't wait to see the house!

Love you guys,

Ray Edwards said...

It is amazing. The Creator created, and now His crowning creation( this case you) is taking parts of the other things He created to form something that still has the finger prints of God, but now reflects a human touch. There is always the tension between the Creator and the creation. Your shelves could not have been, without the creativity of God, but God allows and even demands that we use the creativity He placed within us to shape something new.

Wow! I did not start out to be so philosophic but even the ability to be philosophic comes from God. I do hope this little homily helps you finish your shelves.

Broco Ray