The Back Yard Part 4

It’s about time that I finished this series off since I finished the back yard fire pit several weeks ago.

So far we’ve had people over to use it about a dozen times. We’ve done bush cooks, campfire guitar jam sessions, and approximately 40,000 toasted marshmallows.

Last time I left off at the part where I was working out how I wanted to build the benches. Mission: Accomplished.

So first off I went to the hardware store and picked up a few lengths of wood. It was a little tricky to work out what sizes were available. Typically the way that wood is sold here is with the assurance that they can cut whatever size you would like and whatever type of wood you want and right away. After you tell them what you would like, they hem and haw and tell you that they actually don’t have any raw lumber ready to cut or that they’re behind schedule. Then a very long and painful discussion ensues on what they actually can provide. It usually goes something like this:

DISCLAIMER: THIS DIALOGUE MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME READERS. COMMON REACTIONS INCLUDE FRUSTRATION, LOSS OF APPETITE, HEADACHES, AND FEELINGS OF UNENJOYMENT. DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING DIALOGUE UNLESS YOU HAVE AN EARNEST DESIRE TO KNOW HOW PAINFUL TRANSACTIONS CAN BE IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

Me: “I’d like to get some wood for a little project I’m working on. I would like to start this afternoon so if you have anything in stock that would be perfect.”

Shopkeeper: “Of course! I can get you anything you need. Everything we have is cut to whatever size you want. And you can have any type of wood that you prefer. We can have it ready muy pronto.”

Me: “Ok, I’m just wanting to make some outdoor benches. Do you have anything not too expensive that’s 25cm x 3cm by 2 meters long? I’ll need 8 lengths. The sizes aren’t too important as long as they’re somewhere in that range and they’re all consistent.”

Shopkeeper: “Of course! I’ll call the workers.”

*picks up phone, dials the yard across the street, waits while phone rings. Asks for some specific worker. Man who picked up phone goes to look for him. Meanwhile other customers walk in and the shopkeeper helps them. Man on other end of the line audibly saying “Hola? Hallo? Hola?” Finally shopkeeper finishes with other customer and resumes phone conversation. Man on other end of the line says he can’t find his coworker. Shopkeeper asks for another employee. Man on the phone goes to look for him. Meanwhile other customers walk in and the shopkeeper helps them. Man on other end of the line audibly saying “Hola? Hallo? Hola?” Finally shopkeeper finishes with other customers and resumes phone conversation. Man on other end of the line says he can’t find that coworker either. Shopkeeper decides to just ask the man on the line the question about inventory. Man replies. Shopkeeper hangs up*

Shopkeeper: “No, we don’t have any.”

*silence*

Me: “You don’t have any wood?”

Shopkeeper: “No, we have lots of wood. The whole yard is full of wood. Look across the street and see all the wood!”

*silence*

Me: “So do you have anything close to what I’m looking for?”

Shopkeeper: “Probably. I would imagine.”

Me: “So how would I go about discovering what you have?”

Shopkeeper: “You tell me what you want, and I’ll get it.”

*silence*

Me: “Ok, I want 8 boards that are 2 to 3 cm thick. 20 to 30 cm wide. I’d like them to be at least 2 meters long.”

Shopkeeper: “Ok. Let me check.”

*picks up phone, dials the yard across the street, waits while phone rings. Asks for some specific worker. Man who picked up phone goes to look for him. Meanwhile other customers walk in and the shopkeeper helps them. Man on other end of the line audibly saying “Hola? Hallo? Hola?” Finally shopkeeper finishes with other customer and resumes phone conversation. Man on other end of the line says he can’t find his coworker. Shopkeeper asks for another employee. Man on the phone goes to look for him. Meanwhile other customers walk in and the shopkeeper helps them. Man on other end of the line audibly saying “Hola? Hallo? Hola?” Finally shopkeeper finishes with other customers and resumes phone conversation. Man on other end of the line says he can’t find that coworker either. Shopkeeper decides to just ask the man on the line the question about inventory. Man replies. Shopkeeper hangs up*
Shopkeeper: “We don’t have anything like that.”

*silence*

Me: “I thought you said you could cut to any size? How long would it take to get it cut?”

Shopkeeper: “Right now we are very busy.”

Me: “So how long until you’re not busy and you can cut a couple of boards for me?”

Shopkeeper: “Hard to say. Maybe one week. Maybe two. Maybe three.”

Me: “That’s a really long time. I wanted to have this project done this weekend”

I look across the yard and see piles and piles of boards.

Me: “So all that wood is already spoken for?”

Shopkeeper: “No, it’s for sale.”

Me: “Well what size is that wood is that leaning up against the east wall? That looks about right to me.”

Shopkeeper: “That’s table board.”

Me: “What size is it?”

Shopkeeper: “2 cm by 25 cm by 2.5 meters long.”

Me: “Is it good for making benches?”

Shopkeeper: “Yes. People use it to make all kinds of furniture.”

*silence*

Me: “I’ll take 8 boards, please.”

Shopkeeper: “Ok, just let me finish helping these other customers first.”

NOTE: THIS CONCLUDES THE EXCRUCIATING DIALOGUE.

Anyway, I got the wood.

From there I used a hand plane and a hand saw to make 4 benches for around the fire pit. 3 normal sized ones that can fit 3 people each, and 1 little one for the girls. They turned out pretty decent considering I wasn’t using power tools.

Since then we’ve had several dozen people over on several different occasions and had a series of blasts roasting marshmallows and cooking all sorts of wonderful things in our back yard fire pit.

One Reply to “The Back Yard Part 4”

  1. This is a great read. So happy you were able to successfully complete your benches for the firepit. The girls look so happy and sweet. Thank you for your insights into the workings of completing your project. Will remember to pack an extra measure of patience .

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