First Piece

This is my garage right now. All that stuff used to be in piles at the back of the garage.  After too many years of neglect through proactive denial, and tripping through the stack of lumber visible below the window, it is finally time to build real shelves for more efficient storage.

Easy enough, right?


Nothing but a bunch of right angles, circular saw, chop saw and and nail gun.

Easy enough, get it done in one day?  Two trips so far, one hardware store and one lumber outlet.  At least one more lumber delivery will be required because of failure to follow First Piece/Dry Fit protocols.

First piece/dry fit protocols are similar to first draft writing.  The finish product isn’t the first product.  First piece means creating a singular prototype to ensure that the finished project will prove out the concept before production commences.  I know this and didn’t do it right.

So how/why did this become this?  This is the stack of lumber (from several blended projects), become a pile of short cuts?

On the fly, ‘organic’ planning.  After all, what is a project without several shopping trips.

The first shopping trip was to a hardware store for a new circular saw blade. The one on hand had aged into dullness. Instead of cutting, it tried to burn its way through the wood, filling the garage with a haze of blue smoke. A new blade was worth the trip.

The new blade made quick work of the shelving cuts.  The chop saw chopped its way through the upright cuts and then into the shelving frame and stringers until the wood ran out. One more trip, to the lumber store.

And that is where the cutting flow was derailed.  36 inch cuts shrunk to 30 inch cuts. The adage that its been cut twice and its still to short became true, after all the cuts were made. Half of the stack of the lumber to the right is too short.  (And will be repurposed into a yet to be determined salvation project.). Fortunately, its only the short pieces.

The first dry fit run revealed the disaster. Now, a cut list will be created, more lumber ordered for delivery, and the project remains in a to be continued status.

Lesson learned, plan and test, before wasting resources – time and material.

I see said the blind man, as he got out his hammer & saw.



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