#297 - Building Stuff/Aaron’s Desk

3 minute read

Motto: Mr. Handy Man Can

My grandpa was a carpenter. My dad builds stuff. It turns out I build some stuff too.

Am I great? 
Am I capable?

My whole life dad took me out to the barn to fix things, build things, and perform various types of maintenance. I don't think he thought I really learned all that much. I did, though. Possibly from his training - or, possibly just through exposure & osmosis. I learned some things you should do, some things you shouldn't do, and how to appreciate what you've done when you're done.

I used some of those things I learned to turn this desk I'm sitting at from a thing that was absolutely perfect for the circumstances which I used to have into something that is absolutely perfect for the circumstances I have now.

This is the desk I'm writing at right now:

This is that same desk four years ago:

It was perfect for me. Huge. Spartan. No annoying drawers to bump my knees on. This desk was my desk, table, entertainment center, and buffet. Times change, though. Now, instead of walls on both sides, I've got a Melissa to my left. She's literally sitting there right now. It felt weird having my desk form an penetrable barrier between us. So I cut a hole in the wall, made us a shelf we can both access:

Pretty cool - but I wasn't satisfied yet. The filing cabinet doesn't really fit well in the same spot it used to. It's off in the closet. But I used to use the top drawer of it for desk-related storage. I missed having that drawer. So I decided I wanted to add a drawer to the other side of the "L":

When that drawer shuts, it nests underneath the corner of the desk, recessed about an inch. It's subtle, yet fits the "BIG, SPARTAN" aesthetic this desk has always had going for it. It's not perfect, but I like it the way it is.

I keep the desktop stored under the desk and plug stuff into it all the time. This gets annoying really quickly. So I added one last small feature:

Those USB cables are permanently plugged into the back of my computer. They sit in holders nested in that hole, ready for me to pull them out when I need them. The cable you see running off the bottom right is attached to my phone, which took the photo. This feature has been incredibly handy. One of the three cables I have sticking up, always ready is a USB extender... even flash drives I can plug in without having to get down under the desk. Sweet.

I really enjoy this stuff. I've enjoyed this stuff for years. Before I ever even bought this desk. Before I got a job at all - back when I lived with mom and dad, I decided to install a desk into a wall in their basement:

There used to be a Foosball table sitting there. The desk was much more useful.

Making stuff makes up for some of man points I lost by not being interested in cars, football*, and/or barbecue*. It makes me feel like this:

 *until recently

Oh and I hung that fan from the first photo. So that's cool.

Top 5: Things I'll be Working On Soonish
5. Hanging lights up over my workbench in the garage.
4. Hanging a pullup bar in the room that will eventually be a home gym.
3. Building dumbbell stands for my adjustable dumbbells.
2. Building some organization systems into my workbench.
1. Raising my workbench 4-6 inches.

"Dad jokes, building stuff. Next is mustache, then children."
- Josh -