Hot hotdesking action

I love my desk. It’s an Ikea Motiv desk, full of secret compartments and handy storage spaces. I bought it about a year before we moved aboard Hendrik, but when we moved aboard it got stowed away down in the old cargo hold. The plan was to build an office down there for working from home, but like most of our early plans we never followed through on it, so instead it became a dumping ground for all of my business post and anything else I didn’t want to throw out but couldn’t think of a good place for.

Meanwhile up in the saloon we had the good table and three cheap tables. We donated two of the cheap tables to the Arts Ark and kept the third around as a craft table. Of course with the lack of storage in the saloon that rapidly became a dumping ground too.

Last week we decided to take up arms and do something about the situation. First step was to add a small shelf in the corner to take some of the detritus off the table (we have a PowerMac G5 hiding under there so the keyboard and mouse now have a place to live when it’s not in use). At the same time I wall-mounted my beloved Harman-Kardon Soundsticks using – and I’m particularly proud of this moment of lateral thinking – four 22mm Hep20 pipe clips.

Then, on the principle of in for a penny, in for a pound, I went down and spent two hours clearing off my desk ready to bring it up into the light again. Cleaning it off wasn’t pleasant. The old cargo hold has been unheated for the last three years and everything in it is now damp, mouldy and covered in sawdust from the chopsaw living down there. But after lots of lots of Flash wipes the desk emerged unscathed and after a bit of lifting – it’s very heavy and I might have said some bad words in the process – it was swapped with the craft table. It really makes a difference to the look of this corner of the room, especially because now everything can be cleared away quickly when I finish working.

Meanwhile things weren’t over for the craft table. First, I sheared the head off one of the bolts while I was reattaching its leg and ended up having to drill right through the centre of the bolt to crush it down and pull it out of the thread. Fortunately I had some assorted bolts hanging around from an earlier project and one of them fit the thread.

Melissa was delighted to get complete custody of the table and started building a fabric cutting centre around it (this after getting an entire room to turn into her Sewing Cave… I ask you) only to find that now the table was too short to cut comfortably on. Beforehand she’d been able to stand on the stairs down from the saloon, but now she needed the table raised to about elbow height.

Luckily I was in the mood for a quick woodworking project and within a couple of hours I had a couple of simple braced benches knocked up to raise it by about a foot. They’re built out of scrap wood and look a bit rough and ready, but they do the job. I have been doing some other, rather better looking woodwork projects recently which I’ll post soon. Sorry we’ve been quiet for so long!

- posted by James O'Brien on 19 April 2010, 13:21 in