The Six-Tripper

You saw what happened to my studio a couple of weeks ago. I got advice from a construction buddy of mine about how to re-hang the shelves so they would be sturdy, to hopefully avoid ever having them fall down again.  As you can see from the above photo, everything is back in order, but it’s a good thing I like the folks at my local hardware store.  It was an epic number of times stopping by before I was done.

  • Trip #1: Bought the new shelf brackets and toggle screws
  • Trip #2: Bought the correct drill bit since I apparently didn’t have that size after all
  • Trip #3: Bought the little washers when it turned out the screws were a teeny bit too small for the holes in the brackets.
  • Trip #4: Bought longer screws when it turned out the first screws weren’t long enough to push the toggles all the way through the plaster and wood
  • Trip #5: Bought 3 more toggle screws to replace the ones that fell down behind the wall when I put the first bracket on upside down.
  • Trip #6: Bought the spackle to fill in the spots where the old shelves had been attached.

I’ve never had a 6-trips-to-the-hardware-store project before. I’ve had lots of 2-trippers and a few 3-trippers, but never more than that.  The worst part of this 6-trip debacle is that each and every step was a different day;  I was working on this at night and every time I realized I needed to go back to the hardware store, they were closed for the night!

If you’ve seen photos of my studio before, it probably doesn’t look any different to you but it feels different to me – all put back together as well as nice and clean now. And I doubt anything will bring those shelves down again – fingers crossed!

When have you had a frustrating project?

51 thoughts on “The Six-Tripper”

  1. hardware stores on the corner exist for the likes of this job
    how much did you pay for the washers? can you imagine a factory where they make washers? someone has to do it. there is a company that ill bet you never will have a need to go into. its called fastenall and it is like the sherwin williams paint stores you see but never have need to stop into. they exist simply because they can charge outrageous prices for stuff we need everyday and act smug about it. those washers are probably $.05 each at the store. the screws are a dime or $.15 isn’t it surprising how little difference the cost makes to you? the hardware store owners know this. fastenall knows you will pay anything to get this damn job done.
    each trip to the hardware store was only a couple bucks but…
    bracket and toggle screws. bracket $3.38 x 5 and 10 toggle screws at $1.29 each

    correct drill bit $3.29 (expensive when you only buy 1)

    10 washers @ $.05

    10 screws at .32 each

    3 more toggle screws … the individual screws are $1.29 each

    spackle.. did you buy the bag of powder that will last you the rest of your life for 4.99 or the little 1/2 cup of premixed spackle for 2.99 that will dry out 3 weeks after you open the jar? (for little holes tooth paste is my spackle of choice)

    so do a recap and its about $40.00 total. everyday people come into the hardware store and buy a bag full of stuff. and give you money for not thinking about how much it costs to really make the stuff. the total cost of the stuff purchased at the store was likely about $5.00-$7.00 with maybe another dollar or two if the brackets are the heavy ones the building and the lights and the worlers need to be paid but the charge of the hardware store of $4 for the bracker and $1.29 for the toggle screw is excessive.

    the cost of a washer is likely 100 for a dime. so 1/10th of a cent is the cost. then you pack them up and ship them in little boxes to chicago where the warehouse send them out to the hardware store to be put in little bins and picked out 1 by 1 by the shelf fixers of the world. it is a model as old as time but the black smith used to make the nail in his shop and hammer it into shape after heating the steel in the fire over in the corner. he would make nails to pound into the wall and his anvil heat hammer and sweat made the dollar he would charge a value that felt like a fair exchange. the kid at the hardware store or the 3 old men who gather in the back corner and talk about whatever it is men discuss when left to their own means in the corners of hardware stores around the world.
    my mom needed a different thing coming out of the wall that her shower head screwed into to get it to aim down at the correct angle and when i went to the hardware store and explained to them what i needed they lit tup. oh yes they had it… a piece of pipe with a bend in it. threads on each end 4 inches long with a crome finish on it.. that will be 7.49. i was furious. 7.47 for that .30 worth of pipe. $2.00 would be on 3 would be sticking it to me but 7.49 is laughing at me for needing to come into the hardware store and buy their stuff at whatever price they decide to screw me out of. amazon is going to bury them all but fdirst they wil need to have the you tube videos of the how to stuff on file. instead of the warehouse in chicago sending the little boxes to the hardware store on the corner and paying for the lights and the heat and the workers it will be amazon with a giant shelf full of them at a price thats ok delivered tomorrow along with the other stuff you think of before the 5x a week delivery for the stuff you need shows up. as long as you think of it and can wait until tomorrow when they will put it in the amazon delivery box on the porch. and relock it after they deliver it.
    my most recent project will be to begin putting the assembly instructions for each product on a youtube channel and the idea of how to do at home projects like this one are candidates for the channel also. here is the order from the amazon store. it will be on the prich tomorrow when you get hope from work

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t remember exactly what all of these trips cost, although except for the first one I think they were all less than $2. The first one had the metal shelf brackets so that was higher. And I probably didn’t say so on this piece but I love my local hardware store.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A repair that sticks in my mind was 2 midnight runs to Walmart for the water line to a toilet. I dislike going to Wallyworld in the first place but this was sort of critical. And then I bought the wrong one. The second trip to Wartmart was terribly unpleasant simply from the mood I was in.

    Good job on the office; it looks great! You got your moneys worth on those shelves!
    What was that song TLGMS used to play about home repair?

    I’ve never heard this song before:

    Liked by 2 people

        1. It’s a very funny song. I remember him saying how fast the power tools were because he “could make twice as many mistakes.” And he “saved hundreds of dollars every week” at the hardware store.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. I’m rather annoyed I can’t listen to online and will have to purchase a CD if I want to hear it again.


  3. Husband is on the rez this morning scrambling to find someone to jump his pick up. It is only -45 wind chill this morning. I don’t know why it won’t start!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Rise and Scream in Frustration Baboons,

    The last three weeks have been frustrating, and a multi step repair at the condo, the sick dog, and the colds Lou and I caught, all added to the feeling of needing a cathartic scream.

    1. No hot water just as we leave for Quartzsite
    2. Get home from Quartzsite, call the plumber
    3. It is a switch on the water heater that is not activating. Easy Peasy. And there is a reset button in case you need it.
    4. Get a sore throat. By the end of the day running a fever and have no voice
    4. Hot water heater works once, then dies again. Learn to use reset button.
    5. Hot steamy shower helps cold, but water heater not working right—need reset button.
    6. Run out of Pepcid for Lucky the dog, buy generic CVS brand. Hit reset button on water heater
    7. Call plumber again on Monday. Hit reset button
    8. Plumber comes Tuesday—need new water heater. Hit reset button.
    9. Go to Dr because I have signs of sinus infection—get meds in preparation for trip home with sightseeing detour to Taos. I don’t want to be in remote parts of New Mexico, Colorado, or Nebraska and need a Dr.
    10. Wednesday—water heater crew arrives. Yeah. Takes 4 hours to install. Very noisy on my last day of telehealth work (yes, finally got my voice back).
    11. Rejoice. We have new heater and reliable hot water for renters arriving Friday.
    12. Thursday 4 am. Dog is very, very sick. Get broth, make rice for her diet on way home.
    13. Cancel trip to Taos—not taking sick dog there.
    14. Head for home through Arizona and New Mexico.
    15. Arrive home Saturday Evening through dense fog in Iowa and MN.
    16. Ice storm.
    17. Take dog to vet on ice and through first snow storm. Diagnosis—Bileous vomiting (see Tuesday blog). Getting probiotics, real Pepcid. She is fine.
    18. We get word that condo renters are fine, enjoy the beautiful weather in AZ, biking a lot.
    19. I just hate them right now.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. lou doesn’t do plumbing

      a water heater is the easiest install there is
      you come back to minnesota feb 2 and talk about catching a cold?
      remember baking soda for the dog in a pinch


  5. When have I NOT had a frustrating project? I may have mentioned my handyman’s (or woman’s) Rule of Seven before. It simply states that if I take on a home repair or improvement project, I estimate the amount of time and money a normally handy guy would need to successfully complete the project, then I multiply those numbers by seven. Sure as shootin’, said project will take at least seven times longer than I expected or cost seven times what I originally thought it should cost. On rare occasions, both might occur. *Ouch!*

    Usually the time needed is multiplied by seven, but if I factor in the “free” projects that ended up costing me a bundle (like rotating my tires and stripping a lug nut) the overall cost factor might equal out with the extra time factors.

    Thankfully, I’m in a position now where it usually makes economic sense for me to pay an expert to do a project rather than take the chance that it might cost me twice what I’d pay the pro to “screw-it-up” myself.

    Chris in O-town (glad for winter and no outdoor projects on the agenda. 🙂 )

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have decided lately that it is absolutely worth it to pay someone else to do some jobs. Because our time is worth something too and it doesn’t take much before paying someone else makes economical sense.

      I’m still working on the hardwood flooring in our house. It stopped back before Christmas and one day I said to myself ‘Why isn’t this done yet?’ And the answer was ‘Because it’s 5 degree’s in the garage’ (where I cut the boards). That worked for me; I’m fine waiting until it warms up.
      A very fine line between “warming up”,and spring fieldwork which will mean another delay.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. The last DIY project I remember taking on was assembly of a computer desk from IKEA. I did my best, then hit a wall. Finally gave up and hired a handyman on Craigslist who turned out to be a refugee from Cuba (but since he was the real thing, he called his homeland Kooba.) We got along pretty well because he didn’t point out that he spent the first half of his time undoing the dumb things I had gotten wrong. My rent-a-Kooban didn’t say anything about the sad spectacle of someone (me) who couldn’t even follow an IKEA instruction sheet, but I could tell he was thinking it.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. No outdoor projects on your agenda? You don’t shovel your own snow? Today we’re faced with the task of undoing the compacted mound of snow deposited in front of our house by last night’s snow emergency plows.


  6. Probably OT: Keeping the sidewalk and driveways has been a frustrating project lately, partly because the blowing snow means doing it twice each time it snows, and partly because I have foot and low back pain, but want to keep doing my part. I realize I am not alone, and many of you have these same issues. The folks next door have a snow blower but work, long hours so often don’t get to their show till almost dark. I was considering offering them a swap – if we could use their snow blower we’d do their sidewalks…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bir, you should absolutely make this swap. In my neighborhood we have a similar situation since I don’t currently have a snow blower. And even luckier for me is that often they will sometimes just do my snow-blowing for me. Like yesterday.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have always thought being the ‘cart boy’ at any store would be about the most frustrating job ever.
    Bringing those carts back and they never STAY THERE. An hour later they have to get them again.
    That there is an exercise in frustration…

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I think I have mentioned it on here before, but that quarter is an effective tool, not just for having the carts returned to their corral. Many shoppers will hand off their cart to another shopper in return for the quarter. From time to time someone will start a paying it forward chain by simply handing off their cart to the next shopper for free. From time to time I’ll run into a shopper, typically an older person, who has no idea of what I want when I offer to take their cart after they have emptied it. I hand them my quarter, and the light bulb comes on. Big grins all around. It’s interesting to see how even such a small gesture often will brighten the day for a stranger. People exchanging greetings and smiles with fellow shoppers. I love it.

          Liked by 2 people

  8. I make a point of avoiding what I know will be frustrating projects. We rent a townhome, so no homeowner projects or repairs to do, thank goodness. However, they are stupendously bad at shoving sidewalks. They wait until all snow has fallen and wait 24 hours after that. It’s ridiculous. All the sidewalks are pure ice — I’m afraid to walk to the mailbox (which is farthest from our townhouse) for fear of slipping.

    But the same is true of my walk to the Bus station across the street every day. Most of the walks have been pure ice for the past week.

    I had some pants that needed alteration or repair. I don’t have a sewing machine and knew it would be difficult to try and hand sew them. So I found a local seamstress, and she did an absolutely beautiful job on the repairs/alterations. You can’t even see where she did them. Not cheap, but not really expensive either. It’s worth it for me!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Husband has made several trips with others today. They got a new battery for his truck, but that wasn’t the problem, so they got an electric magnetic heater to put under the hood and warm up the apparently frozen oil. We she see if that works. The next trip will be one made by me this afternoon to go retrieve him.


  10. Not exactly a project, but I had to pay sales tax due to the state of MN. I started a business (nature photography products) in May, shortly before I got too sick to do much of anything (I have such great timing) – despite that, I managed to sell enough stuff to owe sales tax to the state. The deadline was Feb. 1. I have an irrational fear of these sorts of things – finances and legal requirements, but managed to fill out the form online on Jan. 24, choosing the option to pay later. A few days later, I realized that I had forgotten to record a big sale in my records. So on 2/1, I filed an amended return and filled in credit union routing number and acct number to pay the entire amt of sales tax. Except I managed to get my account number wrong. A few days later, got an email saying the payment wasn’t made. So I logged into my account again to try to correct the error, but the state now showed the payment was made…but it hadn’t cleared through my credit union. So I was confused and left it. (I had been assured when I had called previously that I wouldn’t have a penalty for paying late because the amount I owed was small potatoes.) Finally, I went back today, logged in, and saw that the amount was still owing – I filled in the routing # and the correct acct # and submitted it. Now I’m crossing my fingers that the payment will go through, should show up in a few days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It probably only a matter of time before you’re behind bars again. Such a scofflaw!

      OT – Don’t know what plans for tomorrow night various baboons in the Twin Cities may have, but thought I’d let you know “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” the critically acclaimed documentary about the public television kids-show host Mister Rogers, will be shown on Twin Cities Public Television at 7 p.m. Saturday. People I know who have seen it advise to have a few Cleenex handy, but every last one of them say its wonderful. (If I recall correctly, ljb isn’t enamored of Mr. Rogers, so please disregard this message.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. February 5th, and I filed before then, but – assuming this last attempt is successful – didn’t pay until Feb. 8th.


  11. I’ve probably told these stories before, but I once replaced a garbage disposal and it didn’t come with a power cord. The instructions directed you to cut the power cord off your old garbage disposal and attach it to the new one. I found that completely bizarre.

    Another project that was more than I had bargained for was the storm door I ordered for the front door. I expected a door I would just hang by the hinges, but I had to drill the holes to attach the hinges, and drill the holes to attach the handle, and cut off the bottom of the door with a hacksaw to fit the opening. It was a like a kit you had to assemble, but nothing was predrilled. I had to borrow a hacksaw from my neighbor.

    Come to think of it, most of my home improvement projects have been a bit more than I bargained for.

    Liked by 4 people

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