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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Installing a Microwave Oven in 210 Days: Part 6

Ah...a happy sight.

I’ve drawn up a list of resolutions.  Hopefully, on those occasions I break the following resolutions, it will be for sound reasons. 

Rule #1: I pledge to never again believe any of the salespeople’s assurances.  They don’t know about my old appliances, or how they were installed. 

Rule #2: I will research all appliance purchases.  My new microwave’s exhaust fan is much louder than I had anticipated.  (This is not a huge issue, but it’s not like I can return the item now, either).

Rule #3: I will never again buy anything that I’m not going to use immediately.  Whether it’s an art project, installing a microwave, or something else, I pledge not to buy the item (and other associated parts, materials, etc.) and consequently let it clutter up our home until I get around to finishing doing, making, or installing said item.  In other words, don’t plan life too far ahead.  (This may be the hardest rule to follow through on).

Rule #4: I will anticipate problems, and look forward to solving them.  Even when reading the seemingly simple instructions for the wall frame, I felt as if I needed one of those cryptographic decoding machines James Bond was trying to get in “From Russia With Love.”  Or, as Kenneth Johnson said about writing his “Bionic Woman” scripts, obstacles define character.  Hungering for an easy life leads to procrastination and perfectionism.  I want to be more like Terrance Dicks, tough enough to overcome whatever problems that life throws my way.

Rule #5: I refuse to feel ashamed for choosing inelegant fixes.  Increasing the width of the dado on each cabinet, and gluing-in a strip of ¼” Oak below the shelf, might have been more elegant, but that would have taken more effort, precision, and time.  I will remember how ineffective Drax and Dran (or Perfectionism and Procrastination) were in Roger Zelazny’s story “The Slow Kings.”  After all, the brackets were inexpensive (parts and materials only cost us $19.25), and saved us lots of hassle and labor. 

(Note: if the microwave comes crashing down on the stove later, rethink Rule #5).

Well, there you have it: my five resolutions for the future.  As for the current project, I still have to decide whether to raise the doors above the microwave or affix some kind of hardware (such as pull-knobs).  I also need to reposition the upright supports.  This time I’ll drill pilot holes first so as not to bend the shelf unnecessarily.  Completing these last few details will go a long way toward making my project not only look more professional, but more serviceable.  Before, we didn’t use the area above the microwave for anything more than storing the broiler pan we never use in our gas oven.  Hopefully, when I’m finished, I’ll have more storage space above, and use it daily for storing the pans we use most. 

Installing our new over-the-counter microwave may have taken us 210 days, but no doubt saved us several hundred dollars in labor.  We can put that money toward our next vacation.  (Even if, unlike Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s classic novel, we only travel halfway around the world). 

Exhausted, but satisfied,
Dragon Dave

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