There's rarely any real trash in our home...Z can usually find a use for most trash in his "workshop." Now, I obviously don't allow all the trash to go there, but occasionally I will give in and let him reuse clean items. It really makes him happy and he focuses for hours on creating things in his workshop..."battery packs" made from duct tape with "wires" made with colored twine...double stick tape to make it all stick to the refrigerator to power it up! The thought and focus that goes into the creations is priceless and who am I to squash a future engineer or architect's dreams, right?!
So last Friday, the last day of fall break, we were driving around town running a few errands when from out of the backseat comes a squeal when we pass Lowe's "MOMMY, stop at Lowe's!!!" Thankfully I didn't wreck the car with the sudden shriek. I asked why and he simply said "I HAVE to make a box and I can get my stuff there!!"
Since we weren't really on a big schedule that day, I stopped. We went inside and he told me he needed wood, a hammer, nails and pinges (later figured out it was hinges) and paint. I have no idea how to build such things, but Z was convinced we could do it so to the lumber area we went. Z began to explain his design to one of the associates. He was talking wildly with his hands about this awesome box that would now also have a tube coming out one side to get the marbles in the box...ah oh, so we're making a marble box...but not just any ordinary one. The associate told Z he was probably going to be the next Frank Lloyd Wright, linked here for those who aren't sure who that was, basically an extraordinary architect and designer. Z had no idea who that was...but hey, he could be an architect!
The associate took Z to pick out his wood, we figured out how many pieces and what size he needed. Even with recommendations, Z pretty much had in his head what kind of wood he needed and even talked the guys into sawing it all up for him. We found the hinges and came across an "essential" knob to put on the lid...then we picked a custom stain and Z asked the guys to mix it up for him. Then it was off to the plumbing section to find the right curved pipe. He settled on some white PVC pipe because the clear tubing he originally wanted, wasn't strong enough to stand up and the diameter wasn't wide enough for his biggest marble. And oh, we can always add more PVC pipe to add to the design later, he said. (as a side note...if you've never been to the science center in Louisville, you need to go...we spent the majority of our time rearranging PVC pipe and joints to change water directions in the plumbing exhibit there).
So we had everything we needed but I couldn't figure out how we would get a hole in the side of the box. We went back to the lumber section. I told Z if he asked, maybe they would do it since they seemed to do everything else he wanted if HE asked! They said they didn't have the capability to do it there...but didn't offer an alternative to how I could do it myself, so we left and Z was very unhappy about it. I told him I would call some local carpenters and see what they could do or post a question on facebook. W
ell, posting on facebook got a good answer in just minutes of course. Our good friend Nick Rhodes (who I also claim as an adopted little brother) introduced me to the hole saw...WOW, can't believe the guy's at Lowe's didn't direct me to this gem. It was fairly inexpensive and fit right on David's DeWalt drill! But choosing a size was not so easy. Z explained to the associate he wanted the hole to be the diameter of the PVC joint, not the pipe...but there was not a bit for that size. He assured the guy that the marbles would get stuck if he had to use the small pipe to connect the box to the joint...this little argument went on for a good 10 minutes with the associate telling him it would be fine; it would not get stuck...and Z telling him he was wrong...vehemently shaking his head no no no lol.
Well we had to settle on the smaller bit and just vow to make it work. It was the only option at that point. We went back home and Z stained all the
boards, sanded the rough edges, even pushed the drill button for the screws (drill was way to heavy for me to just let him go at it alone haha). It was about two hours of completely focused work on both our parts. Turns out you can't make a perfect box with six equal-sized boards, so Z's box has "feet," but he's fine with that. And you know know what? Those marbles did stick on the hump created inside the joint by the smaller pipe :)