Finishing the entryway, or, Adventures with power tools

So, a couple of weeks ago I blogged here on making progress in my entryway. I've got more good stuff to show you now.

For quite a while now, I've wanted some kind of 'hook central' to put by the door. In the old house, we had this old mail sorter that wasn't very pretty but it worked just fine. In the apartment, though, the mail sorter landed in my office-y area (which is really more of a built-in desk between the kitchen and living room).

My temporary eyesore solution was to stick a bunch of those 3M hooks by the door, and then hang a random extra mirror for some kind of 'form' to go with all the function. That's where our dog leashes lived, but nothing of any substance or weight could go there.

WELL. The row of hooks was really bugging me. It was ugly. And I visited it several, if not a dozen or two, times a day. After finishing the trunk area, the hooks became my tip-top priority. Obviously.

I had this old board for a project from like 2 years ago that was clearly never going to happen. Good start. I decided I wanted to attach some cool wrought iron hooks to it - not realizing that cool wrought iron hooks, at least the kind I had in mind, were prohibitively expensive. Especially online, and especially out here where people are really into that kind of stuff. So I started trolling ebay.

Eventually, after enough trolling, I found some good stuff. I got two gargantuan iron hooks from an honest-to-goodness blacksmith, and I got a set of antique porcelain knobs. With that, my new project was born. What follows is a step-by-step, photos included, of my adventure. I have two words to describe the joy that was this project: power tools.

How Ashley Made Her Cool (in her eyes) Entryway Thinger

Step 1: Assemble all the parts. For me, this meant the board, the knobs, the hooks, the screws, and the picture hanger things.

Step 2: Measure the length of the board (24in.) and make marks where each of the 5 things will hang. I put them at 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 inches. Nice and even.

Step 3: Get one of your husband's 5 toolboxes, the one most likely to have the screwdriver set. Tinker around until you find the right screwdriver thingie to fit the screw. Screw in the hooks where they go. Note how the hooks aren't exactly identical and aren't exactly straight either. Consider just how fun and awesome handmade stuff is.

Step 4: Realize you have no idea how to get the knobs into the wood, on account of they aren't pointy like screws. Consult your woodworking brother Marcus on iChat, because he's really good at that stuff. (PS He is a wood craftsman. If you have a project in mind or if you saw something on Etsy you want but can't afford, you should totally get up with my brother. He can do just about anything. I'll send you his info if you ask...we are in the process of building him a website.)

Step 5: Grapple with the knowledge that to complete this project, you have to play with the power drill. Get really excited about this. Try to figure out where the power drill lives, and remember that it lives in the deepest, darkest recesses of the garage. Get really bummed about this, because right now the garage isn't a happy place to be. Perform precarious acrobatic stunts that would really upset your husband, had he known you were doing them. Try not to scratch the car up in the process.

Step 6: Pick the drill bit that looks closes in size to the bolt on the knob. Lay out a garbage bag on the kitchen floor (what, go outside? Outside is like 20 feet away. No way you're going that far. Besides, you're not entirely sure power tools are allowed at your apartment complex and you'd rather not put them on display, just in case.) Try to stick the drill bit into the drill and realize you have NO idea what how this whole 'drill bit' thing works anyway.

Step 7: Google 'how to use a power drill.' Follow the steps. Congratulate yourself, because it really isn't that hard and you can TOTALLY do this. Consider the likelihood of convincing your husband that maybe you need your own power drill, in a nice shade of pink or maybe Carolina blue. Decide that this orange one is probably good enough. Apologize to your nervous papillon for what you are about to do.

Step 8: Don your most fashion-forward set of ear plugs. Consider safety goggles, remember you don't have any, and opt for nothing in the way of protective eyewear. You'll just drill really slowly. Plug in the drill, assume the drilling position of choice, making sure that nothing sharp or moving is neither near nor angled toward any body part. Drill your 3 holes.

Step 9: Do the dance of joy.

Step 10: Try to put the bolts of the knob through the holes you just drilled. Decide that you need to drill bigger holes.

Step 11: Drill the bigger holes, and attach the knobs to the board.


Step 13: Decide that the bolts are too long and sticking out too far in the back, and maybe you should saw the ends off since it's unlikely you might find a bolt cutter anywhere in any of your husband's 5 tool boxes. Perform acrobatics similar to those of Step 5, only more carefully because you have a freaking saw in your hand.

Step 14: Attempt to saw the end of the first bolt off. Decide that maybe it's ok that the bolts are so long. Mumble something about added stability against the wall or something else that sounds equally convincing.

Step 15: Attach the picture hanger thingies to the back. Since I figured this would get kinda heavy what with the wrought iron and the porcelain, I attached 2. Plan for this to take WAY longer than you expected. In fact, this is the longest step of them all.

Step 16: REMOVE THE ROW OF 3M HOOKS FROM YOUR ENTRYWAY and banish them to the bathroom, where you'll deal with them later.

Step 17: Hang up your new entryway thinger. Take lots of pictures. Maybe even do the dance of joy a third time. Exercise, after all!!

Step 18: Bask in the glory of it all, until you panic and remember you still haven't made those biscuits and you have to leave for the potluck in like an hour. Stick everything back in the right slot in the right toolbox, toss the trash bag with the sawdust all over it, and get to baking. Because you are a woman and your rightful place is in the kitchen making biscuits, not playing with power tools. Scoff at this notion.

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