Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stop the Vacation - I Need Some Rest!

We had been looking for a Cash Wrap for Joyce's store.  A year ago I didn't even know what a Cash Wrap was, but in the world of store fixtures, it's a simple two-level checkout counter, with a little work table on the clerk's side, and a higher level on the customer side.  The Cash Wrap is very hard to come by as a used fixture - the ones available are very beat-up or very expensive.

So, we decided - how hard could it be?  Joyce got a few estimates from contractors, who wanted thousands of dollars, many of these dollars in advance to build us one.  Well, how hard it could be? 

This week I've been off of work all week from the day job, just a relaxing vacation in Milwaukee, weekend was kinda busy with a simultaneous musical engagement and class reunion, but the rest of the week was gloriously free!.  But, within hours of my arrival on Friday night, Joyce had a brilliant idea - "Let's get some components from Ikea, and make our own Cash Wrap".  So, first thing Monday morning the three of us headed off to Schaumburg, Illinois.  The three of us -  me, Joyce, and the GPS.  Joyce and the GPS lady argued most of the way there, and I was ready to turn around and come back home, but by then I'd already paid my first tollbooth, so I decided to stick it out.  Recalculating...
The short version - we found the components and returned after dark with sore feet, and exactly 63 packages of parts.  Count 'em!

I spent every day on the floor assembling, and trying to decipher the various manuals, which are written in a remote dialect of Idiot.  There are hardly any words in the manuals, only pictures.  In our home-made assembly are two base cabinets, two wall cabinets modified into base cabinets, leg assemblies, drawer assemblies, door and hinge assemblies, and two counter-top slabs.

Our grand project has over 40 hours in it already, not counting the night I spent helping the Chinese move their freezer, but the materials cost us less than a third of our lowest contractor estimate.

So, now it's late Friday night, my fingers are full of tiny infected micro-slivers from forming and drilling 3rd-world particle board, my vacation is gone, and I'm exhausted.  But almost done.  I think it will look grand..

Thanks for listening and contributing. I'd love to hear from you.

1 comment:

leslie (crookedstamper) said...

Um, don't those things come pre-drilled? Oooooh, you were "repurposing" them. Never mind.

And next time remember what your hourly rate is times 24 hours times 6 days. Compare THAT to the contractor who could deliver it in a weekend. :)