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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Furniture Rearrangement!

I decided I can't live with the Big Screen TV in the living room. I had the old regular TV in the dining room where I could see it from the kitchen while I was preparing food. But the guidelines said I would see the new HD TV best from at least 8' away and that required the living room. So I had it installed there on a good solid TV table.

A year later I just can't stand it. I am LISTENING to more TV than I actually watch, so that needs to change. I measured how far away it would be if I moved it and sat there for a few hours. It looks just fine. So I am going to move it to the dining room. (very carefully)

Of course, there is furniture that has to be moved. The first thing that had to be moved was the upright bar. That's a neat piece of work my Dad made decades ago. Basically, its a 30" door built into a frame 8" deep and 38" wide. It has glass shelves and a fold out bar shelf 10" wide for mixing drinks on. It is a real wonder of construction. From the back, it is a nightmare of boards and pieces of scrap plywood, but it is as solid a a rock. Typical engineer construction. The outside surfaces are are highly varnished pine and oak. Visitors marvel when they see it. I love it!

But it was where I needed to move chairs to watch the TV, so it needed to be moved. It is "solid" because it is very heavy. I can't even lift it up an inch, for example. I'm not the strongest guy, but I'm not weak either. Moving it takes 2 guys minimum. So I had to think about where to move it and how to move it by myself.

I have lived alone for 40 years, so I've gotten used to figuring out how to move large awkward heavy objects by myself. I decided to put it in the guest bedroom. First, I had to figure out if I could even get it into that room. Obviously, I couldn't just carry it there (it must weigh 200 pounds). And at 7' tall, I couldn't get it through any doors upright. It had to be moved on it's side.

I tried to visualize moving it on the side through the house and into the guest bedroom. I decided I needed a piece of something the same height to practice. I looked through the house for something that length. I could have cut an 8' pine stud to 7', but I kept looking around. I finally realized I had a 7' fishing rod.

I took that upstairs and carefully manuvered it through the rooms, hallways, into bedrooms, etc until I was certain that there was sufficient manuvering room. By about an inch! Then there was the carpet to consider in the guest room. The bar door is flush with the bottom of the frame. The frame would sink into the carpet and prevent the door from opening. The entire weight of the frame sits on the 2 outside ends. I cut two 5"x8"pieces of wood to sit the frame on to lift it enough for the door to open easily.

So, how to actually move it? I had a 2' square wheeled support I made years ago. After taking out all the various bar glassware out (wine glasses of several types, beer glasses, steins, etc), I detached the bar from the wall leaving the door open 90 degrees for surrort. It will fall down if not attached to the wall into a stud. From there I "walked it around carefully until I could pull it over on a corner to lay it down on it's side of the wheeled support. It was heavy, but I was careful.

I managed to keep it from tipping over as I wheeled it out of the dining room, into the living room, and slowly into the hallway. Near the guest room, I realized I had it oriented backwards, so I had to push it back ito the living room and slowly turn it around. Then back through the hallway!

To get it into the guest bedroom, I needed to angle it into the master bedroom then into the guest bedroom. It wouldn't make the turns. Not because of the length of the bar, but because the wheeled suooprt was too wide. I stopped and had a beer.

Well, I had some small 3-caster support things. Not very supportive, but they were narrow. It took 30 minutes to get the bar off the large wheeled support and onto the smaller 3 caster supports. The hard part was getting the large wheeled support out from under the bar. I could lift one end AND remove the large wheeled support at the same time. I finally tied twine to the support, looped it around a foot, and yanked one foot while lifting the end of the bar. It took many tries.

That wasn't the end of the problems. The bar kept wanting to fall sideways when I moved it on the narrow casters. And they slipped out several times as they were pushed and pulled from the wood hallway to the carpeted bedrooms.

But I did manage it eventually. I had the bar in the room and the back to the wall. I was finally able to rise the bar upright. I had to open the door to prevent it from falling forward. But then, the door had to be open so that I could drive a couple of screws throuth the back panel and into the wall studs to hold it in place anyway.

There were, of course, some problems I hadn't accounted for. There was an elecrical outlet I didn't want to block, there was a closet door molding I couldn't be up against because it is not plumb, and there was only a few inches of distance to the fully opened door. Fortunately, it turned out that I could expose the entire electric outlet inside the bar by moving it 3" from the closet molding and that left enough space for the room door to open fully. But knowing how awkward access to the electrical outlet was, I put a short extention cord out one side just over the baseboard cutout in the bar.

I had used a stud finder on the walls before I started, so I knew where to attach the bar's back boards to the walls. I missed one somehow, but I got one spot on, so the bar will stay in place. I even pulled on it a bit roughly just to be sure.

So I made dinner and had a whole bottle of wine in celebration! Afterwards, I cleaned all the glass shelves (very carefully) and interior wood and replaced all the glassware. I am quite pleased.


Next, I dare try to move the heavy Flat Screen TV and table myself!

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