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Hi there fraternity.

This posting is a cry for help.

Let me explain the dire situation I find myself in. As you know the COVID regulations in the UK are pretty extreme in that they require married couples to live 24/7 together without a break or for my, me time.

But there was a light at the end of the tunnel when we both received our call up papers to attend the surgery to be stabbed. However, I felt nothing and no side effects whatsoever, but my good wife fell into the 20% that was the recipient of every side effect imaginable. She was confined to bed for three days

Now at that time I was the proud Alpha male alpha male which I achieved with my wife’s permission. She said it was a close-run thing, which was a little disconcerting as I am the only male in the house. I asked her as Alpha male what my privileges were, which she dutifully listed for my perusal. It seemed to me many of my privileges fell far short of my expectations, and did no stack up to what David Attenborough’s Planet Earth was telling me about the Serengeti male lion.

Now at this point lads you may be feeling some form of sympathy for her. Stop right there, and perish the thought. Because as she took to her bed, I became the designated alpha female. The house husband.

I was suddenly thrust into the alien world of cleaning, cooking, vacuuming, dusting. Washing machining, and many more words like that.

Now my first task was the machine with a drum that rotates. I stood in front of it for quite some time before getting a stool. None of the words on the front meant anything to me. What is a Separate Rinse/ Starch or an Anti-Crease Finish? I couldn’t even open the door and I even considered getting a screwdriver to prize open the door. I googled a manual and got it to work, and filled it up with our clothes. How on earth was I supposed to know you don’t wash whites and colours together. Does anyone know what temperature you wash at. I thought you boil washed everything. I was ten minutes in before I realised you need to fill the washing powder drawer.

Why do I have all these male inadequacies. Not my fault. It’s society to blame for the man I am. Because we as pensioners travelled through my married life in a pre recognised system, where the man goes to work and the women is a housewife. It’s termed a traditional marriage, something that is frowned upon now. My children however embrace the modern marriage, where all work and all tasks are shared. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

My second task of the first day was to prepare a meal, luckily my patient was too ill to eat. The tv is awash with cookery channels so I decided to watch a couple of episodes of Gordon Ramsay and although my culinary expertise did not improve, I can now curse like a trooper. I ended up with a tin of soup and a sandwich from the supermarket. I felt I was really getting to grips with this domestic malarkey.

Cleaning was to my credit a partial success. We have a Dyson stick and it went well until a little light informed me it was full. It’s now hanging in the cupboard with a blue effervescent glow emitting from the gap at the bottom of the door,

Well she made a recovery and is back to her very useful self. All my tee shirts now have a pink tinge to them, and I gladly handed back my coveted alpha female title to where it belongs.

So you may be asking what’s this post about, well it’s being tidy. My workshop has a number of ugly corners etc., but one that bugs me is an open shelf area, and although it’s handy and holds many everyday items it’s definitely not tool candy. So what to do. I initially thought to strip it out and purchase or build a cabinet, but I like the concept of being able to swap the bins about and decided to just build around it and install a double door, that way it still retains its original form but is out of sight. I have a 6x2 joist I dimensioned on the table saw and constructed a frame and screwed it directly to the wall. I had a sheet of 3/8 inch ply which I cut to suit the sides, with the remaining used for the doors. Now 3/8 ply is not ideally flat and the doors had a slight curve to them. So used a 4x2 joist and dimensioned it into strips, ran them through the router table with a 1/4 round over bit, and glued them to the front of the ply doors to stiffen them up and for aesthetic purposes. Whether that is more pleasing to the eye is in the beholder. I didn’t form a rabbit where the doors meet, but used one of the slats fixed half way to one side with the other half closing on the other door. It gives a seem less look when closed. I fitted a couple of used cabinet handles and a set of magnetic catches, finishing off with a coat of teak worktop oil. The idea being I didn’t have to purchase anything and the overall cost was zero.

Finished it off with a couple of name plates we purchased while visiting the Alamo.



So that’s it. An ugly corner vanquished. And a domestic goddess created. Doesn’t get better than that.

Colin
cooking up something in Scotland.

Sent from my iPad
 

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and there is me thinking that I was the only non-domesticated guy on the planet. About eight years ago my wife went to England for a holiday and left me copious notes on how to survive, here are two of them
 

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"So you may be asking what’s this post about, well it’s being tidy. My workshop has a number of ugly corners etc., but one that bugs me is an open shelf area, and although it’s handy and holds many everyday items it’s definitely not tool candy. So what to do. I initially thought to strip it out and purchase or build a cabinet, but I like the concept of being able to swap the bins about and decided to just build around it and install a double door, that way it still retains its original form but is out of sight. I have a 6x2 joist I dimensioned on the table saw and constructed a frame and screwed it directly to the wall. I had a sheet of 3/8 inch ply which I cut to suit the sides, with the remaining used for the doors. Now 3/8 ply is not ideally flat and the doors had a slight curve to them. So used a 4x2 joist and dimensioned it into strips, ran them through the router table with a 1/4 round over bit, and glued them to the front of the ply doors to stiffen them up and for aesthetic purposes. Whether that is more pleasing to the eye is in the beholder. I didn’t form a rabbit where the doors meet, but used one of the slats fixed half way to one side with the other half closing on the other door. It gives a seem less look when closed. I fitted a couple of used cabinet handles and a set of magnetic catches, finishing off with a coat of teak worktop oil. The idea being I didn’t have to purchase anything and the overall cost was zero."

Very nice. You don't show a "before" photo (always nice to see the improvement), but I imagine that it would have looked vey much like mine. Many years ago, I built a section of shelves to hold the various screws and nails that I used (maybe collected might be a better term for most of them), sizing the (fixed , never really a good idea) shelves to hold two coffee cans stacked on top of one another. As always happens, I ran out of space - fortunately before I ran out of coffee cans as I had quit drinking coffee when I retired and no longer needed the caffeine - and, not having enough room to either increase the size of the shelf unit or add a second unit - I had to come up with a solution that didn't involve razing the shop and building a bigger one. A review of the cans stored on the shelf showed that most of them were only partially filled, and most of them barely had enough in them to cover the bottom of the can. I'd always liked the rectangular bins that they make for hanging on the wall, and a quick check showed that they could also be stacked on top of each other on a shelf. Some measurement and it was determined that I could stack the one size of bins I had used for a hardware drawer unit in the available space, four high and six across in the available space.

Shelving Shelf Gas Retail Machine
Shelving Wood Shelf Room Machine


I also didn't take a before photo, but the top shelf, which still holds coffee cans holding larger amount of various fasteners, will give you an idea of what the whole unit looked like. The size of bin selected worked out well as there is enough room at the top to lift the bins if I need to remove one of the bins in the middle of the stack. And, as wall space is at a premium, I added a pegboard door to the face of the shelving unit to give me some additional hanging space.

I've also attached a couple photos of the drawer cabinet that I made to hold smaller hardware items, which also used the same bins in the upper drawers, although with larger bins in the lower two.

. Food Yellow Ingredient Packaging and labeling Crate
Cabinetry Furniture Drawer Wood Chest of drawers
Wood Building Wood stain Hardwood Gas
 

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Well there you go. Your Mothers must of thought you'd find the perfect mate and be taken cared for. Mine on the other hand taught me to cook and sew on buttons and other minor repairs while I also took care of my own cleaning and chores. Her lack of faith in my ability to find a mate served me well teaching me independence and giving me confidence. Luckily I was able to find a mate early however that was a misfire but corrected shortly thus giving me a few years to readjust and then stumble onto the finding pure joy. These past 35 years have been the most calm and enjoyable that is actually feels like it has flown by so fast. No arguments or fights, no one making major compromises, and largely responsible for my getting back in the shop after my two knee replacements.

My wife is the drive for me to reach for new heigths and accomplish things I hadn't tried before. And in her eyes I've never had a project failure yet although we don't always quietly agree on that sometimes.
 

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- thanks Colin, I always look forward to the tales from the poor retired plumber <g>

- I like the binned shelf unit you have, sadly, mine would be a mess with or with out doors. I have some stack-able bins <like for produce in a pantry> that have lots of useful things in them. Except what I want is in the bottom under every thing else I have piled into the bin as "it was a handy place at the time" to shove something.

- ebill
 
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