A water pipe burst inside the wall of my kid’s bedroom a week ago, so it has been a stressful and expensive week of sleeping at a friend’s house, cleaning stuff and waiting for stuff to dry. So much waiting.
However, the whole fiasco did give me the push I needed to finally build the loft bed I had been promising the kid for at least a year. After drawing out the plans with my friend Danny (who knows a lot more about carpentry than I do), we headed to Dunn Lumber to acquire the materials: One sheet of dry wall, two sheets of 3/4″ plywood and five 2x4s. When the salesperson asked what vehicle I drove so the lumber yard person could find me, I said, “A bicycle trailer.”
I love hauling stuff by bike. Not only is it fun, it’s also often easier than using many motor vehicles. A lot of cars can’t fit a full 8×4 sheet inside, so your only option is to try to strap it to the top. And driving with stuff on top of a car isn’t fun, it’s stressful. A pickup truck or large van can fit lumber just fine, but where’s the adventure in that?
I brought the trusty Haulin’ Colin trailer (made in Seattle by Cyclefab), which I’ve used to haul bookshelves and queen size beds and all kinds of large, awkward objects. It’s also what I use when doing weekly food rescue for Byrd Barr Place as part of a Pedaling Relief Project team. It’s a very heavy duty trailer with rails that form a level surface on top, perfect for laying sheets of lumber flat. Just plop them on, secure them with a strap or two and it’s good to go.
I biked it all about a mile uphill to my friends’ house, where they graciously let us utilize their garage wood shop for most of the cutting and painting work.
After cutting and painting the pieces (and waiting for the wall to dry, then the drywall patch to dry, then the paint on the patch to dry), it was time to haul them the short distance to our house for final install. This time, the kiddo rode along.
I would describe my carpentry style as “amateur with a shaky jigsaw.” I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I enjoy doing it. And the finished product usually ends up functional, very over-built and a bit rough around the edges. This project was no different. After a few last-minute redesigns to get everything to fit right, I’m happy with how it turned out. And the kid slept through the night, so that’s a good sign.
Big thanks to Danny, Adam, Robyn, Christina and Rob for helping us out so much this past week.