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Friday, March 5, 2010

What Kept Me From Riding on a Decent Day to Ride

Other than the typical things that keep me off the bike, like baby sitting and the weather, there are often times that other passions rise above the love for jetting along on 2 wheels.

My wife compared me to the father on the classic "Honey I Shrunk the Kids." I can't imagine that the comparison is devoid of negative connotations, but she insists that it is purely complimentary. I think her point was that I get frustrated by things that should be much simpler, and I go about to "create" an alternative to the problem - most often employing the raw materials at hand. Unfortunately I also go at such projects with a severe tenacity, giving them undeserved yet unalterable priority.

So, this past week, I was again confronted with a dilemma. I have recently built a desk to facilitate the home office, since the old office is now occupied by daughter #1, and her old room is occupied by daughter #2, and we are thus bereft of extra rooms to accommodate an office. The desk landed in our bedroom, which is now divided between the office end, and the bedroom end. (Yes, to my chagrin clothes do get hung on the filing cabinet doors, but in general the division works fairly well.)

My goal was to provide the home office with a 2nd monitor without compromising the function and appearance of the new desk. We already owned the 15” monitor, but the new desk was designed by Bec without giving thought to a second monitor. I let this slide during plan review.

I have pondered this for many months and last Saturday finally became motivated to address the problem.


Must retract completely out of the way and “disappear”

Must be either directly above or beside the laptop monitor

Must take no special skill, tool, or knowledge to set up or retract.

Must be basically free. (I ended up spending $11.50 on a magnet, mounting screws, washers and spacers.)

The full extension drawer slides came out of a filing cabinet that has been collecting dust in the shop for several years.

Each of the rails on all of the slides had to be modified and cut to length – some on one end, and some on the other, even within one slide. 2” hinges were laying around – mismatched pair. Plywood side wall – scrap.

I spent probably twice as much time pondering every pivot and slide as I did welding and fabricating. Nothing went on paper, just brained through every step till I knew exactly how I was going to lay it out (I didn’t have extra rails, so no mistakes allowed.) It has to slide not only out of the shelf and then swing free, but then also sideways across the desk to line up with the center of the desk directly over the laptop display.

Approx. 12 hours in construction (to date).

The book binding was the final step (to date).

Yeah, I’m pretty proud of it. It worked like it was supposed to, so I’m a little surprised too.

Unintended result…

We can swing the monitor all the way out and see it from laying on our bed. May come in handy.

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