Building question

Discussion in 'Hobby/Travel Forum' started by Abiyah, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    I can no longer build things because of physical
    limitations, but I often have some input on plans,
    how things are built, safety, etc., while my husband
    does the actual building. However, we have run
    into a major snag.

    He is a minimalist, and I am an extremist. We are
    just different. For example, if something is to be
    built to support 100 pounds, he will build it so that
    it will support Up To 100 pounds, and I would build
    it to hold 300. He would use screws, while I would
    use bolts with nuts. He will use a screw gun and
    just run the screw through, while I would drill the
    hole, line it up, and set the bolt and nut, then cover
    them so that they are not seen. When using a
    bolt and nut, he will tighten them and leave them as
    they are, while I will shear the end of the bolt which
    extends from the nut off for safety reasons. I think
    you have the picture.

    The problem:
    @ 14 years ago, he built a beautiful, large picnic
    table for me of redwood. Two moves later, it now
    has unused screw holes, and the other day, as my
    son, his wife, and I sat at the table, one seat
    collapsed. I told my husband, and he fixed it, but
    not before I reminded him that he is a minimalist,
    admitting that I am an extremist. I asked him to
    go the extra mile and make it strong.

    :) He didn't. I stood on the seat in order to reach
    something, and it collapsed. I hit the cement patio
    on my tail bone, slammed back and hit my head,
    hurting my right elbow and left thumb and
    sustaining some abdominal pain. I ended up
    spending the afternoon in the hospital for x-rays
    and observation. I have a mild concussion and a
    mild whiplash, and LOTS of pain. He really is
    very sympathetic, can't do enough for me, but . . .

    You would think that would impress him, but he
    wanted to go out and put in longer screws. EEEK!
    We were having company -- six adults to sit at
    that table wtih two children. I called off the
    company, told him no, and said I would not use the
    table again until it was fixed right.

    Any advice? I could sure use some.

    [ October 12, 2003, 04:53 AM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  2. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    I presume the picnic table is the typical scissor-ended table. The strength is not in the length of the bolts or screws, but in the triangle of the legs. If the table is collapsing the fault is in the triangle itself. Make sure it is a complete triangle and fastened securely as such..so that the scissors cannot collapse. That's the best I can do without knowing more about how the table is built.

    Cheers,

    Jim

    PS. Ladders are meant for climbing and not tables.
     
  3. following-Him

    following-Him
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    Abiyah, OUCH. I am sorry to read about your accident. I hope you feel better soon.

    My husband is a retired woodwork teacher, maybe he could help you? I will show him your post when he gets back and I will pm you with my e-mail address.

    Blessings

    Sheila
     
  4. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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  5. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Our picnic table looks just like that one. I immedi-
    ately noted that they advised a nail down and one
    up for the bench. We used screws, but only down,
    and they were way too short.

    No, I should not have stood on it. The ladder was
    there, but because of physical problems, I could
    not move the table out of the way and use the
    ladder. I learn very slowly too often.

    Sheila and Rob have also given me some great
    advice. It is going to be taken completely apart
    and left to dry out until summer, at which time the
    wood will be sealed and most of it bolted with
    washers on each end. I think this will work. I do
    NOT want to lose my table. It has been wonderful
    until now.
     
  6. russell55

    russell55
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    We have a picnic table made just like that. Ours was made by my husband around 20 years ago. Put together with carraige bolts and washers.
     
  7. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    :) Yes, and in your circumstances, I'll bet it is a
    gift everytime you see it. :)
     
  8. russell55

    russell55
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    Yes, it is. Actually, there is probably some piece of furniture he made in every room of the house.
     
  9. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Not to be disrespectful (as I, too occaisionally channel the spirit of Bob Vila), but wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a premade hardwood picnic table? I've learned (the hard way) that many things are less expensive premade. I know, there's something especially rewarding about building it yourself, which I fully understand, but I also know it costs me $9 in groceries to make $6 worth of sweet & sour pork at home.
     
  10. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Hi, John.

    Not for this table. I have looked at commercially-
    made tables for sale in local stores, and they are
    just plain flimsy comparatively. The wood is an
    inch thinner, they are tiny, they are usually made of
    pine or aluminum, and they would not hold my
    family. We've priced these tables, and they
    cost about te same as the materials he put into
    ours, and they would not have worrked out.

    He has agreed to the suggestions Sheila and Rob
    gave -- well, almost all of them -- so I am satis-
    fied.

    He's built other things for me, too -- like our
    four-poster bed with stairs up to it -- and we
    could not have bought it ready-made for near
    the price he paid, plus he has the satisfaction of
    having made it. I just plain makes him feel good,
    and that is priceless. :)
     
  11. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Well, I can certainly understand the "preceless" aspect. There is, after all, something indescribable about something made with thine own hands, be it a piece of furniture, a house, or a dish of sweet & sour pork [​IMG]
     
  12. following-Him

    following-Him
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    Abiyah, I agree with you. Rob gets a great deal of satisfaction in making something himself.

    I once saw a bookcase in a shop window. The was no way we could afford the £800+ to buy it. Rob made one very similar for about £50.

    Blessings

    Sheila
     

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