Friday, 8 September 2017

08:43 – It was 46.4F (8C) when I took Colin out at 0620, partly cloudy and breezy. The sun wasn’t up yet, and it was still dark enough that the nearly full moon cast a distinct shadow as I walked out to the mailbox to pick up the newspaper. Barbara is headed for the gym and supermarket this morning, after which we’ll be doing science kit stuff.

Barbara spent most of yesterday working out in the garage, cleaning up, organizing, and discarding stuff. She hauled most of a Trooper load of old cardboard boxes to the dump.

She also grabbed an old D-cell fluorescent lantern to take to Alleghany Cares, our local equivalent of Goodwill. It doesn’t eat batteries nearly as badly as an incandescent lantern, and someone may have a use for it. We’re 100% LED now when it comes to battery-powered lanterns, flashlights, and other lights, and probably 75% or more on lights powered by mains electricity.

As a matter of fact, Barbara mentioned a couple of days ago that she’d like to replace all the exterior coach lights on the house. We have seven of them, five on the front porch and at the garage doors, and two on the back deck. When we do eventually replace them, I want to install LED versions. While we’re at it, I want to replace the flood lights with LEDs as well.

It’s time to get started on the shelving project. That’s actually four separate projects.

First, we have a now-cleared wall in the downstairs food storage room, wide enough to install some 10-foot shelves. We’re going to install track-mount shelving brackets on that wall. The track screws into the wall, and the shelf supports snap into the track. There’s a chair rail on that wall, but it wouldn’t prevent installing floor-to-ceiling shelving just by mounting two lengths of bracket, one above and one below the chair rail. That’s what I originally intended to do, but Barbara suggested leaving the area below the chair rail free of shelves. That way, we can stack plastic bins, cases of #10 cans, buckets of rice, etc. on the floor below the actual shelves. Good idea.

Second, I want to put two or three 10” or 12” shelves the length of one side of the guest-bedroom closet—what Barbara calls the water closet—and perhaps on the end wall as well. Again, we’ll leave the floor under the shelves clear for three or four vertical feet to allow us to stack cases of bottled water. We don’t need adjustable shelves in the closet, so I’ll just use cheap steel shelf brackets screwed into the studs.

Third, we have some unused wall space in the utility/laundry room upstairs. I want to install shelving there, again leaving some free vertical space below it. We don’t need adjustable shelves there, either, so we’ll use cheap steel shelf brackets screwed into the studs.

Finally, I want to install more shelving in the unfinished basement lab/work area. One of the first things we did when we moved into the house was install a woodstove in that area. There are already built-in wooden floor to ceiling shelves on part of that wall. To the left of the stove area is shelving 8+ feet wide by 18 inches deep, with 4+ feet of empty wall space between the shelving and the woodstove. The right corner of that wall has a 2.5-foot corner area occupied by the well pressure tank, then built-in shelving about 5 feet wide by 18 inches deep, and then roughly 6+ feet of empty wall space between the shelving and the woodstove.

I ordered a pair of these 48″W x 24″D x 72″H 5-Shelf steel shelving units from Walmart. Incredibly, although the shipping weight of each shelving unit is more than 100 pounds, Walmart ships them for free.

Barbara gave me a hard time about ordering them from Walmart, because stuff tends to get damaged in shipping. As I told her, several of the bad reviews of this product on the Walmart site mentioned damaged product even when they were picked up at the store, but I don’t really care. The shelves are particle board, which is pretty useless for shelving because it has so little strength. If one or more of the shelves have the corners crunched, I don’t really care. Worst case, I’ll replace them with actual plywood but they’ll probably be fine as-is for what I plan to do with them. These shelves will hold bins of bottled chemicals, which aren’t very heavy. We have a couple hundred SKUs of bottled chemicals, most of which we keep in rectangular plastic bins ranging in size from 1.5 gallons (5.7 L) to twice that.

I’ll keep heavier stuff (e.g., 20-kilo buckets of sodium hydroxide, gallon/4L jugs of made-up chemical solutions, etc.) on the bottom shelf, bottled chemical bins on the middle shelves, and light stuff like cases of toilet paper and paper towels on the top shelf. The shelf structure is rated to support 800 pounds per shelf, 4,000 pounds total, and I doubt we’d have even 20% that much weight on them.