November 13, 2010

Do it yourself...

I have been the grateful recipient of many handmade things for my home, as have my children, being born into a family of do-it-yourselfers.  Making things with your own two hands can be very gratifying as well as inexpensive, if planned and executed carefully.

A dollhouse my grandfather made for me,
now handed down to my daughter



A coffee table my dad created from pieces
he and each of my grandfathers had,
including legs off of an old piano

A play kitchen my dad made
for my daughter, similar to one
he made for me when I was little

A coat and shoe rack my dad built for us

Yes, that's a bucket on my son's head -
he was pretending it was a helmet
There are vastly many more examples from my grandfather and father than I could fit here.  Even my husband Joe, not a woodworker by nature, got the do-it-yourself bug and built us that deck to the left at our old house.  My dad helped him out, as did a friend, but it was really Joe's project.  It was beautiful and functional, a great place for us to relax and a safe place for Evil Knievel and his siblings to ride tricycles and play.

Now Joe is moving into a new territory of do-it-yourself projects.  He is about to begin building an airplane.  No, I’m not kidding.  And no, not a model.  An airplane.  He has his private pilot’s license, and not being the Rockefellers and able to just buy a plane, we have rented one anytime he flies.  That is pricy and doesn’t get us closer to the goal of being able to fly anytime we want.  Thus the idea to build it ourselves was born.  He will be purchasing the components piece by piece, saving up for the next one to be ordered as he works on each that comes in.  This is slightly more affordable than buying a plane, and more manageable than buying the kit to build one all at once, since we are taking our time and not going into debt for such a non-necessity.  That being said, expect to see us at Walmart even more often, saving a buck or two where we can to fund this project.
The do-it-yourself benefits are great in this new venture.  As I said, it’s a lot less expensive (although I don’t think owning your own airplane could ever really end up in the category of cheap.)  It will also allow my husband to learn every square inch of the plane, enabling him to do the required maintenance himself in the future rather than some hired mechanic who doesn’t love us and put our safety first like he will.  But the best part of this by far is that it’s a family project.  Our kids will be able to help with it every step of the way, as will yours truly.  If you’re saying to yourself, ‘That settles it.  I’m never going for a ride in that,’ please don’t worry, our work will be monitored and checked by the project manager.  It will likely take us at least a few years to complete.  Sometimes having others do things for you saves you time, but not money.  This do-it-yourself adventure will be the opposite, but we believe it will all be worth it in the end.  The experience of building it will be almost as much fun as flying in it when we’re done.
A small fringe benefit to this is that we will finally clean up the garage, since that’s where the building will take place, at least in the beginning.  In addition, the plane will need to be painted, and if you’ve been reading this little blog, you know how that excites me.  I wonder if Joe’s thoughts on pink blankets apply to airplanes…

1 comment:

  1. HAHAHAHA! Landing in the future at Rochester International Airport - We'll know you're in town when your pink plane circles overhead!! ;-)
    This sounds like a super exciting project, and reminds me of Jeff and Jillena Hand building their from-scratch log home.