Friday, July 28, 2006

The Project Journal

To prepare the house for the sale I finally finished our french doors. As you may know this took me over two years to complete. Not because the job was hard but ... well, I don't know why. I guess I was kinda making things up as I went along. When I put in the doors I expected to BUY sidelights not MAKE them. Then somewhere along the line I got the bright idea of making my own. What was I thinking?

Building my own skylights proved to be a challenge because I changed several of my design ideas along the way. First, it was going to be a simple routing job. Using a plunge router I thought I'd just punch a few holes in some MDF, pop in some glass and air nail it in place. That proved to be naive. Use the plunge router to punch through three-quarters of an inch of MDF? How does the glass sit in the frame? What genius thought of this?

Then I decided that I ought to do it right. Build the frames like a stile and rail cabinet door. This took more thinking than my brain cells could handle. It got tricky real fast. I had to build two sets of sidelights. One set for the city dump and the final set for the office. (Apprentice to boss: "I cut it twice but it's STILL too short!")

Enter the Project Journal. Only after drawing what I really wanted did I succeed. Since I'm just a weekend tinkerer this really worked. Imagine, drawing what I wanted to build before turing on the saw and router. Why didn't I think of that before?

Even after the sketch, I made a few changes, but in the end it's fairly close to what I sketched.

It just took the sale of the house to complete it. Too bad. It would have been nice to enjoy it for a few years and show it off to a few of my visiting friends.

"There are two ways of constructing a software design; one way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult." - C. A. R. Hoare