Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Beauty of Doing It Yourself

I was just reading some recent family-member blogs and came across Russell's discussion about the negatives associated with doing projects yourself rather than paying someone else to do it.  I fully understand his viewpoint, but, I will still continue to do the projects myself whenever I can.

Each time I attempt something new and successfully complete the project I reinforce the thinking, "I can do anything."  This can carry over into all aspects of life.  Just yesterday, Kathy asked me to make a lightbox-type thingy that she could use for tracing quilting patterns.  She wanted a sheet of Plexiglass supported in such a way they she could slide her OTT-LITE underneath to illuminate the pattern.  Here is the final product:

The hardest part was figuring out what to use to support the Plexiglass.  We thought about just screwing on some pegs cut from 2X4s at each corner, but Kathy said she would prefer to be able to disassemble the lightbox in case she ever takes it somewhere.  So I walked up and down aisles at Home Depot hoping for inspiration.  Then I thought about the beauty of wing nuts.  I had considered cutting up a long L-shaped aluminum threshold for the sides.  I could use wing nuts for easy assembly and dis-assembly.  But I ran into a problem with my idea.  The threshold would only raise the Plexiglass 2 3/4" off the table and the OTT-LITE was 3 1/2" thick.  So I went over to the wood aisle and found a 1" X 1" square dowel that was 36" long.  By placing this dowel between the Plexiglass and the threshold, I was able to raise the whole thing enough that the lite would fit under it.

This project only required two trips to Home Depot.  Most of mine require at least three.  It took about 2 hours to drill the holes, cut the threshold and wooden dowel, and assemble everything.  The Plexiglass sheet was $20.  The threshold was $9.  The wooden dowel was $2.  The screws, washers, and wing nuts were $8.  Total cost, $39.  We probably could have found something to buy pre-made for $20.  I don't think I saved time or money.  But I did have fun solving the problems and creating the product.  I can do anything!