I had originally thought that I would buy my materials for this project on Saturday so I could use Sunday afternoon to get the bookshelves started. The plan I was following by Ana White stated that these were smaller than a previous plan which had used one sheet of plywood for two bookcases, so I was certain that I would only need a half sheet. In fact, I was so certain that I didn’t draw it out but went right into Lowe’s like I knew what I was doing. An hour and much frustration later I left with nothing. I went to three more stores in search of wood that day and left empty-handed.
On Sunday I spent some time mapping out the size pieces I needed and, armed with knowledge, went back to Lowe’s. I had confirmed that I would only need one half sheet of plywood plus some 1x2s, and I knew that I wasn’t looking for the nicest cabinet grade wood they had. However, the salesperson told me that I would need to buy a whole sheet of plywood even if I only needed a half sheet. I left Lowe’s and went to Home Depot, where I was sure I had seen half sheets of the wood I needed the day before, but I was wrong. Eventually a kind (and only slightly exasperated) employee there told me that I really would be better off buying a whole sheet rather than piecing the project together out of other sized wood. I was beyond frustrated and eager to get started, so I took his advice and bought a full sheet of plywood. I saved money by buying furring strips instead of expensive 1x2s, though the quality wasn’t what I really wanted for my shelves. I wanted so badly to be done shopping that I bought them anyway. Slightly over budget and with some materials remaining on my list, I left the store and brought what I had to the woodshop.
Sunday evening I fired up the table saw for the first time and cut the plywood into pieces according to Ana’s plan. My first attempt was 1/4″ short, so that piece immediately became scrap. I was beginning to see the wisdom in buying more wood than I needed. When I was done that night I had a tidy pile of wood that matched Ana’s diagram, a good amount left over, and a new boost of confidence.
That boost of confidence dissipated on the drive home as I realized that I’d purchased enough plywood to dispense with the furring strips entirely (money waster #1), and without the furring strips in the plan I had cut my tops an inch and a half too narrow. Oh well. Tomorrow would be another day — one that would be filled with actual building. Onward!
Photo by Imelda at Flickr