Saturday, August 5, 2017

Getting Organized

Craft fair season is approaching and I need to replenish several of my regular items, such as the hot mitts, and then generate a few new items to keep things fresh for my past customers and interesting for me, too. Before I started digging through fabrics I thought I needed to finish up some organization projects. We bought a 48 drawer unit off of Craigslist to store the sewing machine repair parts. This was an older hand-made item that had been painted at least twice, labels taped and re-taped in various positions on the drawers so I decided to start over:
Cabinet framework
This thing took up a whole bunch of space in our garage and we are getting ready for a garage sale so I was on a push to get it done and relocated to my basement workroom. All of the drawers came out, label and knob hardware removed, cleaned, holes filled and sanded. Choosing the paint color and drawer hardware was agonizing because I was only going to do this once so I better like it! Looking online for drawer pulls that would have a place for a label was a bit tricky: too big? too small? too pricey? color? I finally made up a few paper templates to see if they were in proportion to the drawers and then ordered 48 from China. This was supposed to take three weeks but they were here in about 10 days and by then I was done with all of the painting:
48 drawers with new paint
I decided to prime with Kilz so there would be no bleed through of old marks or things that only got sanded down but not off. Then they got three coats of paint because once this was in place it wasn't going to get painted again.

Adding the pulls was going to be tedious and I wanted them to be even so I made up a template to use on each one:
Outline of hardware
Red dots for screw placement
Hardware in place and screwed down
And repeat for all 48 drawers. Yes, it was tedious but the end result was excellent:
Ready for the basement
All of the drawers came back out and we put the framework on a two wheeled cart to carefully move down the steps. We went really slow with only a bit of the paint chipping off the bottom edge that I can just touch up with extra paint. So how was this going to sit on the floor? We decided to put down a cushion so the wood wasn't directly on the floor, cutting up an old bath mat:
Pieces of rubber mat were sewn together
I hope this doesn't turn out to be a nightmare if we get water in the basement, but there's always a downside to any decision. Cabinet in place, drawers were organized and filled over several days, and then I made up the labels:
Labels made in MSWord
I just made up a three column table in MSWord, practiced with font size, and filled in the correct names. I also needed a master list so I don't have to peer at the labels down in the back corner. There were three boxes of things that were too large to fit in the drawers so they are going to sit on top but not until that paint has a few months to cure. All in all, it's been a relief to have gone through everything, throwing out some broken parts, put like items together, and lighten the load on a few other places where I had miscellaneous parts.

This organization isn't going to make me a better technician but it will save me time and money when I don't have to search for items in three places and buy something I already own. At the end of the day I just have to say: anyone want a sewing machine motor? I think I've got a dozen.

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