Friday, March 1, 2013

Birthday Bunks!

Have you ever gotten the feeling that a project will N.E.V.E.R. end?

That was this project!

But before I get into that, let's first take a peek at the finished product:

JBug, 10 yrs old, gets the top bunk and he's 100% Agent P up top there!
Sorry, even with my back flat against the opposite wall I couldn't get the whole set in the picture!

Down below is Missy, 4 yrs old, and she is all decked out with Minnie Mouse!
Fret not, she has another blanket coming. Until then she's borrowing big brother's Agent P blanket that you saw hanging over the footboard above.
I simply haven't managed to finish her quilt yet, but as soon as it's done I'll be showing it off. I promise!

I do still need to go back and touch up over the screws and odd places that the finish got damaged a little during assembly. Aside from that, it's finally done!

Poor thing. Waiting up until 11pm to be able to go to sleep was just not possible. She decided to cuddle up on her toddler bed in the hallway, and promptly fell fast asleep.

I bought Ana White's Handbuilt Home book at the end of last year, and the hubby and I decided upon the Classic Bunk Beds to make for our two oldest. You don't need to purchase the book as the link will take you to the free plans on her site. Thanks Ana!

But back to the issues we had.

Honestly, it's no fault of the plan or the plan's creator. I simply made several beginner mistakes along the way. Mistakes that I am still (a week later) swearing to myself I will never make again!

Like what?

Well for starters, I suggest you watch a few YouTube videos of the new tool or gadget you recently acquired, but have never used before.
For example:
Know how to properly position the depth collar on the Kreg Jig drill bit....if you don't use it, even on 1.5" thick lumber, you WILL make the holes far too deep. Which means you will get awfully stressed out and your husband will have to dash out, mid-assembly, to buy shorter pocket hole screws.
What? You didn't expect me to go out in my jammies did you?! What do you mean you don't do woodwork in your jammies?! What strange people you are!

Happy big boy during the reveal.

When you use Minwax Paste Wood Finishing Wax:
Buy the Special Dark Paste version - even if you have to order it off Amazon - especially if you stained your wood with an onyx stain. Because if you don't, when you think you've wiped it all off, it will dry in light patches anywhere there are rough sections, or knots with slight indents. This means your black finish, won't really be black all over. Oops.
On the same subject:
Do NOT attempt to coat all pieces with the wax before going back to wipe off the excess. It MUST be wiped off BEFORE it dries or it will dry with a matte finish and clumpy all over. Trust me...I know. Just do coat 1 to 2 pieces at a time, and by that time the recommended time will have passed and you can go right back to wipe off the excess and buff it nicely.

She was so happy her bed was done that she didn't even look at it, she just snuggled in!

I know what you're wondering. How did we fix that? it turns out I do not have enough "elbow grease" in my very tired (by this point) elbows to buff that dry, excess, wax off the wood. So my smart hubby suggested that I buy a hairdryer (why yes, I am a 30 yr old female without a hairdryer, lol!), use it to heat sections of the wax and then buff with some old shirts. Believe me when I say, after having to do this, just stick to following the instructions on the wax and do it right the first time! You do not want to have to do this ladies and gents. It takes A.G.E.S. I'm serious. You will be very tired and very grumpy, not to mention slightly concerned that you may possible set the wax on it flammable?? Plus, there is always that chance that the brand new hairdryer will overheat from being run for 5 hours straight! $18 or not, I'm rather relieved it didn't!

Agent P!!

Oh, and if your husband has recently had shoulder ligament / tendon surgery, and you have a possible torn ligament in your thumb. Be prepared to hurt...a lot... by the time this is all done! Especially if you're using an orbital power sander, and both of you are hurting on the right side of your body...and you're both right handed. Yes, it probably would have been funny to watch. ;)

She eventually did look around and was AMAZED her big brother was sleeping ABOVE HER! And she has Minnie Mouse all around her!! Then she snuggled down with her precious pink Hello Kitty and was happy to drift off to dreamland.

But I'm starting to ramble on. So let me finish off by saying that all in all, I recommend these plans to anyone willing to give it a go! The kids will love them!

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