Thursday, May 23, 2013

A la {piano} Carte

I dawned on me months ago that my piano studio would really benefit from a small desk that could sit next to  the piano where I sit teaching.  Shelves would be great to hold baskets for the games and flashcards I use.  A pencil holder would be superb to have nearby as well as a different place for my clock (it was in a spot that my students couldn't help but look at every five minutes, but a spot that I couldn't see at all if their books were placed just right.)  I also wanted to get my glass of water off the floor because I knew that was an accident waiting to happen

Once I started thinking about this I realized it would also be beneficial if I could get something on wheels.  My desk is huge, but it has huge stuff on it, and that leaves very little "working space" for me.  Being able to roll this perfect cart over to the desk area would give me just the extra space I might need.

So, last fall I started my search.  As the months progressed it intensified.  I dragged my mom into my search and she went with me to numerous stores in hopes that we'd finally find the perfect cart.  I had pretty exacting dimensions and wants/needs so that perfect cart eluded us each time.  I was finally dragging my dad into things when I realized I just might have to build my own version.

Yesterday I emailed my mom from Target with a picture of a kitchen cart that I had been studying the construction of.  I was pretty sure that I could put it together leaving off the wine rack and the towel bar and it would still look decent.  The only caveat was that it was about 2 inches taller than I originally hoped for, but I thought it would still work.  A phone call to her later and she agreed that this just might be what I was looking for.

Enter the building stage.  Just me and my handy directions and the Allen wrench Target so nicely included.

I had a problem at step #1 - the first screw I picked up didn't fit my screwdriver (which I didn't know I'd needed and had already made the first trip to the garage).  It also didn't fit the second or third screwdriver.  Then I realized the inside was malformed.  A fourth trip to the garage and I had two hammers and two pliers and a drill (to save a trip).  The hammer didn't work, but the needle-nose pliers pulled that out and I found a new screw in Mike's stash to work.  At this point I was frustrated and went to lunch with my parents and sister.

Upon returning I set to work.  I was teaching in a little over two hours and there was no way my students could get to the piano.  Here's how it all worked out:

1.  I carefully assembled the next biggest pieces trying to determine from the minuscule sketch which part faced which direction.  I got as far as the picture above and realized one of the pieces had been placed incorrectly.  The entire thing had to come apart.
2.  I was thrilled when I could skip steps 2 and 10 - the wine rack and towel bar.
3.  I was a little dismayed when I realized one screw for the magnet was missing and Mike didn't have a similar size.
4.  Step 9 produced some bad words when I couldn't get one of the bolts tightened in the least.  I could barely see the hole so I decided to turn the cart over so I was working down instead of up.  The whole piece came off and I started again.
5.  I'm pretty sure I assembled the drawer correctly, but it's a bit wobbly.  That might be from the missing bolt that I finally gave up on in #4 above.
6.  In cleaning up and shaking things out I found the missing magnet screw.  The door stays much nicer now!

The result?

 Eight extra tools and one leftover bolt later, I had this.

I did have a slight moment of panic when I sat admiring it then looked behind me to see two big black pieces sitting there.  I realized quickly they were the shelves that I hadn't installed yet.  In my defense - they were not included in the directions.

When Mike has a chance perhaps he can help me figure out how to attach this bolt.  It might help the drawer, but I really don't think so.

I finished up with about 45 minutes to go before lessons began.  The $5 baskets I purchased 9 months ago fit PERFECTLY on the shelves and I lined some granola bar boxes this morning to use as drawer separators.  The height really isn't too bad at all and I'm super happy with this purchase.

I think though I might be writing a "be prepared" comment on Target's website for this purchase.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Looks great and it fits perfectly. I'm so impressed you put things together, you take after your Dad.