HiR:tb Toots (@warwalker)

Zombies, Melamine and the Home Depot

One project that needs to get done soon is the augmentation of certain shelving in our kitchen.  One of our cupboards, specifically the one that is chock full o’ tumblers, has only three shelves (including the bottom surface of the cabinet) inside, though it is more than 40 inches tall.  My mission, and I had no choice but to accept it, was to obtain additional matching melamine shelves, either cut or have them cut to the proper width, and hunt down the hardware (nickel posts) necessary to put them up.

Should be easy, no? Just head off to Home Depot…

Several hours later, I was one of the several dozen zombies shambling around the local Home Depot each desperately trying to locate his personal needle in the giant orange haystack.  When I fell to the floor in a fetal position and began wailing uncontrollably, one of the “associates” shrewdly determined that I needed some assistance and directed me to the appropriate section.  I had made the idiotic error of attempting to look for shelving for kitchen cabinets in the “kitchen cabinets” section.   Idiot!  The shelving is obviously in the “lumber” section.

Turns out they didn’t have any pre-cut melamine in the “maple” finish we have in our cupboards.  Result?  Junior needs to purchase a $50 4 foot by 8 foot sheet of melamine in order to acquire two 9 and 3/4 inch deep by 22 3/16 inch shelves.  Oh, and I needed to pick up a circular saw – happily, there was a sale on a nice DeWalt model in the power tool section – and some finishing veneer (in a tape-like roll) for fancying up the front edge of my shelves (gotta circle back to the lumber section for that);  better get some safety glasses to minimize the vocalized concern at home (back to the power tool section) and….the hardware, the posts, the things on which the shelves rest, the ones that stick in the holes in the side of the cabinet – where are they?

Well, there’s a special “shelving hardware” section.  It’s nowhere near either the section marked “shelving”, the “kitchen cabinets” section or the “lumber aisle.  In fact, I swear I had to wander down a dark alley, leap a 6 foot concete block wall, scale a downspout, enter through an open second storey window and give the large man guarding the door a password before I was permitted to enter the inner sanctum of shelving whatsits.

Two hundred and sixty bucks later, I had my shelves (in raw, uncut and unassembled form) shoved in the back of the Probe and I headed back to Juniorvania.  I’ll spare you the suspense, the cuts were plotted and executed with little or no finger loss, though Spouse received a generous coating of sawdust as a result of being pressed into service as the human clamp holding my sheet of melamine still on the “sawhorses”, otherwise known as folding chairs and recycle bins.  Note to self:  purchase a “Workmate”, tout-de-suite.

Once the cuts were made, it was time to attempt to apply the finishing veneer.   First, a space needed to be cleared in the workshop….and several hours later, I was too tired to wrestle with the boards and a hot iron (needed to heat the glue on the rear of the veneer roll) with any confidence;  certain that I’d be ironing my fingers at least as often as the boards, I decided to demur until tomorrow.

I did spend some time, while at the Depot (and in the course of an earlier unsuccessful trip to Rona)  lurking among the pre-assembled sheds and wondering about their suitability and adaptability as a rehearsal/recording studio.  I have come to the conclusion that they are just a bit too small, and – if I am to achieve my dream of a stand-alone little haven for music and musicians – I am going to have to do a design/build job.   Time to learn what I can from Doug about framing walls and designing trusses.

7 comments to Zombies, Melamine and the Home Depot

  • I’m beginning to suspect that the folks at the Home Depot are hired on the basis of how surly and unhelpful they can get. Case in point: when buying the slate for figgy’s room (fifteen cases at 50 pounds — roughly 20 kilos — per) I found the nearest sales associate and proudly announced that we’d take some slate. He pointed out the pallet jack and warned us not to hurt ourselves.

    I’ve been to our local Depot frequently enough to know where most of the items are, but just to punish me, they have a knack for rearranging the precise item that I need whenever I go (again, it goes back to hiring the correct talent, probably). When looking for garage spring hardware, I went to the place I saw it last and found … door hinges. They were lurking just around the corner, which only took me another ten minutes to find, of course.

    theVet doesn’t trust me with power tools. Hell, I don’t trust me with power tools. In a pinch, some cheap c-clamps will do (and are generally harder to cut than, say, fingers would be).

  • […]       « Zombies, Melamine and the Home Depot Once More, With […]

  • Oh so helpful HD associates, they are trained in mockery too!

    When I went back to the Big Orange Box today (shelf brackets – need to be 5mm diameter, not 7mm), in circumstances where I knew exactly where I was going and exactly what I needed, I was approached, greeted and offered assistance by no less than 4 associates between the door and the shelving hardware section; as I did not (now) need their assistance, they were essentially only delaying me from accomplishing my intended purpose. Oh, the cruel vicissitudes of the Home Depot!

  • Doug

    I find that what makes visits to the HD (or other big box stores for that matter)so incredibly frustrating and annoying (to the level of homicidal maniac) is the incessant use of the in store paging system every 2 seconds. It is not just the constant use of it that is so annoying. It is the volume at which the system is placed combined with the yelling into the microphone causing massive distortion to whatever is being said. If I am in one of these places for more than 15 minutes I start to twitch and feel stabby! It is confounded more by having to wait in line for 25 minutes just to purchase one or two items. Thank God for the self check-out for the small items. And the fact that most customers are still afraid of the self check out technology makes the process of paying for my pain a little easier. The purchase of new tools always helps to soothe the stabby side too!

  • @ Doug: it helps to at least carry, if not purchase, a new keyhole saw, if not to soothe the stabby urges, at least facilitate them.

  • […] saw the commencement of my no doubt lengthy career as a zombie shambling along the aisles of Home Depot, and the beginning of a  too-long period of silence hereabouts that continued into […]

  • […] Rona store.  Careful and attentive readers may remember this store making a cameo appearance in a home improvement saga related to the making of shelves from last year. I think I went in to that store the day I was looking for the melamine to finish up […]