Wednesday, July 18, 2007

my first attempt at a DIY

WARNING: this will be a very image-intensive, yet boring post. Unless you're into DIY stuff, in which case this may be slightly less coma-inducing for you than for everyone else.

Anyway, we have a digital camera, which I love. I use Picasa to organize our pictures, and I love that, too. When I want to get the pictures from the camera onto my computer, I have to use a wire that plugs the camera into my computer's USB port. The most annoying thing about this whole process is that we keep the wire in here
with a whole bunch of other wires and a big pair of headphones with an extra-long wire, just for good measure. Every time I need the camera wire, I have to root through all the other junk to find it. So I decided I needed a better container with which to organize said junk.

I looked at a few different places, but couldn't find an organizing thingy that would suit my needs exactly. All the ones I found were either too small, or too shallow, or too deep, or had the wrong number or configuration of compartments in them. So I decided to make my own.

I started with a "media box" from Bed Bath and Beyond. It's basically a glorified shoebox that's intended to hold VHS tapes.
Yeah, I probably could've just used an actual shoebox, but this looks nicer and is perhaps just a tad sturdier.

I picked up a few sheets of 4" x 12" craft plywood for the interior compartments. Annoyingly, the pieces turned out to actually be only 11 7/8" long. (Annoying, because the interior of my box is 12 1/8" long.)

I had thought I might be able to cut the plywood to the sizes I needed using a heavy-duty X-acto knife, since the wood is only 1/8" thick. That turned out to be WAY too hard. A quick trip to the hardware store yielded a small handsaw.

I knew I wanted three compartments in one half of the box, and two in the other half, with a perpendicular divider in between. However, because the plywood is so thin, I couldn't really use nails or screws to fasten the pieces to each other. I had my doubts about whether wood glue alone would be sufficient to keep the pieces together, so while I was at the hardware store I tried to find some tiny L-brackets of some kind. I couldn't find any that were small enough, so I got some of these instead:

They're plastic shelf supports, and they're just the right size and shape; the only problem is the peg sticking out of the side. I cut the pegs off with the X-acto knife, and glued the resulting wee L-brackets to the wood pieces with super glue.

Once I had all the pieces glued together, I needed a way to let the glue dry without putting any pressure on the joints. This was my solution:
You can kind of see the brackets where the pieces join together.

Once the glue was dry, I put the whole thing into the media box. It fit perfectly. Yay!

And here it is with all the junk in it, neatly organized.

The headphones are still kept in the original basket, which sits amicably on the shelf next to the new storage box.

Yeah, I kind of shaved a yak. But it was really fun!


Nicole said...

you could really use a visit to the container store--it's heaven for organization freaks. i bet they would have had something that would have saved you the trouble. but nice workmanship. time well spent.

how's the thesis, by the way?

Octavia said...

"Container Store," you say? [surfs internet briefly] Oh dear. What have you done? I'm going to end up blowing all of my paychecks there for the next six months. I looooove container-y things and shelves and stuff, and I am feeling particularly OCD right now. That's a bad combination.

And shut up about my thesis. I saw your post where your thesis chair said you had a solid draft and blah blah blah, but I was too upset about my passport/conference problems to leave a nice happy congratulatory comment.

amy said...

Wow - I'm impressed. At least you get it done - I generally start a lot of projects, and then they sit there for a while until I can't stand it anymore. heheh

Octavia said...

@Amy: I usually have that problem too, but I'm really upset right now about my passport, which is something I have no control over. This is my way of feeling like I still have control over something - I organize stuff.

Heidi said...

Hmmmm... This seems like a very natural reaction. I still hope... maybe, you never know, it'll come the day before you're supposed to leave, or the morning of just in time... And then you'll not only have a passport, you'll also have done diy and organised your drawer! And you'll have lots of reasons to feel good.