I think this post is not so much a “how-to” but more of a “how-not-to”.
You see, I have too many projects. I don’t really know how I ended up down this cul-de-sac of never-ending DIY tasks, but I always learn something.
The same thing.
Over. And over.
And over. Again.
DON’T TAKE ON SO MANY PROJECTS.
It’s like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, only Bill’s role is more like a cross between Bob Vila and Jimmy Shine. And instead of Punxsutawney Phil popping out to see his shadow, it’s me, popping out to see the immense shadow from the pile of DIY projects I have whole-heartedly, or reluctantly, committed to.
Here’s some highlights from the pile, with a short description, in order of priority:
“Florida Room” Renovation
A few months back, I discovered a family of raccoons made their home in the rafters above our Florida room. (For those of you that don’t call this sweltering peninsula home, a Florida room is basically like a second living room, only there’s more windows. So you can “enjoy” Florida. I guess.) I could hear their little claws scratching at the drywall, and most likely eating at my electrical wires along with the usual urination and defecation.
So the ceiling needs to come out, along with the insulation, then attend to any wiring repairs, drywall, texture…and onto the soffit at the back of the house that they customized to gain access to said varmint breeding space.
It will probably be as ugly and dirty as Pete’s bat cave covered over at @Merrypad.
1956 Ford F-100
“Cars, cars, cars…” – My wife
Ohhhh, me and my cars.
Yup. I bought this pick ‘em up truck seven years ago. One of those, “I’ll drive it while I fix it up.”
It was torn down in a matter of two weeks.
In all fairness, I bought this to replace my little VW squareback, that was 98% completed, but a drunk driver killed it one weekend while temporarily moved outside the shop. It stayed inside 24hrs. a day, but the one time it gets put in the parking lot for a couple of hours, a crack-smoking guy in a F-150 jumps a ravine, over a 6 foot barbed wire fence, does a Dukes of Hazzard-style horizontal rotation in mid-air, between two trees and lands upside down on top of it. Saving his life.
Do you need to ask if he was insured? Nah. Don’t ask.
Was all that for real? Yes. Every detail. See below.
Soooooo anyway, I’m in the “never-ending paint stage” of the restoration of the Effie. If you’ve ever painted a car, then you know this is the most labor intensive part, and often the time many just throw in the towel and sell off everything in pieces.
If you’ve never painted your own car, then give me a call when you give up on that ’40 Ford or Merc and I’ll make you a good deal on all those pieces. And add one more project to this list.
2000 Viking Tent Trailer
Somehow I thought it would be a good idea to buy a popup camper to take the family on some camping trips.
Y’know. Making memories.
Well, I think it’s a good idea, but maybe the idea of a camper “that needs some TLC” was not so great.
I got a good deal, but it needs more than TLC, it needs AWDNR.
And tires, and service panels, and a countertop…
Actually it’s not so bad. It just looks it.
I predict this will take me about two months to complete. Just like my F-100 was going to be done in about six months.
So six months…give or take seven years.
Oh, forgot to mention that this project spawned even more sub-projects. Hitch on the tow vehicle? Wiring? Brake controller?
Easy though. I use to work at U-Haul.
1936 Philco Console Radio
I got this thing for $25 from a co-worker. It’s really a work of art.
All art-deco and stuff.
Real wood. Real vacuum tubes.
And a real long time to complete since I got it in 1998.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but you’ll have to rely on the last 20 or so, ’cause I don’t have a photo right now.
Late 30’s-Early 40’s Desk Fan
I got this thing for $6 at a flea market. It’s cast iron with an aluminum inset, aluminum blade. I had this vision…I could just see it, painted bright yellow and a polished blade.
I mean this thing has got to take, at most, a lazy afternoon to complete. About all I’ve done is take it off the shelf, look at it, mumble something about how cool it will be someday, then repack it in newspaper and replace the degrading Home Depot bag it resides in.
So does everyone do this? I mean, like…all at the same time?
Okay, so I don’t have all of these projects running concurrently. But in my head they do. They’re all there. I am working on the first three fairly consistently. The rest just make my mental checklist. Because I haven’t given up on them.
So I guess my problem is that I can’t say no. Or that I just think it will be one of those weekend proejcts things with a new part here or there and a spit shine and she’ll be as good as new.
Wait, another project…this blog.
When Pete asked if I wanted to do this, I was really excited. Then a friend of mine said “how do you find the time?” And I got scared. But still really excited.
I’m trying to dedicate more time to this than I have had lately. Some of it behind the scenes. We’re working on the Dadand.com brand, and applying some strategic advertising stuff that we do during our day jobs.
Y’know, this cobbler is going to have some freaking shoes.
Oh, and if you’re new here, I have 4 more projects—ages one, four, four and eight.
I work on those all the time.
Let me hear about what you are working on. Please? Maybe something you’ve actually finished. For inspiration. Please?