Thank you to BLACK+DECKER for sponsoring today’s project! You know the drill (pun totally intended): I’m committed to only sharing products and companies I really truly love, and the AutoSense Drill/Driver* fits the bill perfectly!
(*This post contains affiliate links.)
Warning: this post is going to have more plotlines than a Guy Ritchie film.
It involves a time machine (what good plotline doesn’t?), so lets hop on in, spin some oversized and overly-complicated dials, and take a little trip back to the beginning of 2012 amidst puffs of steam and ominous rumbles…
We arrive at my favorite thrift store of all time, tucked into the corner of Washington Ave and Live Oak Street in Dallas (and we blend in very well with the people of the time because I guess fashion hasn’t changed all that much in two and a half years). We see 2012 Brynne slowly ambling through the aisles of the store until suddenly – something catches her eye.
Now knowing Brynne as we do, we might suppose the flash of brass or the figuring of burl commanded her attention, but no – it’s nothing so obvious. Two pieces of wood are propped in the corner. Two gorgeous, thick, chunky, rustic, industrial, blackened beams.
An internal debate rages. Space vs. budget vs. skill vs. dreams all clash in an epic melee.
We know this, not only because I’m here narrating for you now at this moment, but also because anything that happens in Brynne’s head automatically and without filter also passes across her face.
The mental battle won, however, she purchases the rough wood beams and brings them home to her little apartment with the intention of turning them into shelves.
Flash forward over two years and three moves later and it’s 2014 once more. Not quite the present, just yet. Apparently chevron refuses to die and industrial is still in thank goodness, and there those same wooden beams sit in the garage, unused, lonely, and forgotten. Haunting music. A wisp of dry leaves blows over their forlorn bulk.
The time machine surges forward suddenly, to this past weekend, to a burst of bright light and a triumphant orchestral flourish, to the BLACK+DECKER AutoSense Drill/Driver and to the exultation of destinies realized…
It was time.
I called in reinforcements.
If you think I was about to put a million holes in the walls and then put screws in those holes and then trust those huge old beams to those little bitty screws… Well. Bless your heart!
I called my dad.
Lured by the promise of a shiny new power tool toy to come try out and simply the reward of spending time with his darling oldest daughter, my dad arrived carrying a canvas tool bag that I can only compare to Mary Poppins’ marvelous carpet bag… Whatever we needed, he simply reached in and fished out. I apparently don’t own a pencil or a ruler, but there was one in the bag! I’m thinking of adopting one as my new purse in the hopes that the magical properties carry over.
One of the reasons I was hesitant to hang the shelves on my own was figuring out how to hang the brackets either on wall studs or with toggle anchors. Within two minutes flat, my dad had figured out a way we could screw all the brackets into studs and still have them symmetrically distributed beneath the shelves.
The green tape marked the height of the three shelves, and the blue tape (besides being an elegant abstract wall decoration) marked the placement of the studs (except for that one little guy on the end, representing the length of the shelf), which we found using this handy dandy little tool:
Besides having my shelves sitting and waiting quietly for long periods of time, I also believe in having my brackets ready and waiting. They are cheap little metal brackets spray painted copper. Glam in a bottle:
With our bracket placement carefully mapped out on the wall by dint of much measuring and pencil-marking, we began hanging the brackets on the wall.
And by we, I mean my dad hung the brackets and I was an exceedingly helpful spotlight adjuster (by this time it was getting dark and the pencil markings were difficult to see on the dark walls) and screw hander and general gofer. I was not a very good photojournalist. You are going to have to take my word that things went down like I say they did.
My dad really liked the AutoSense technology. He used the “drive” setting to send those 2.5” wood screws into the studs like butter! The automatic clutch stops itself when the screw is flush and prevents over-torqueing (which, I am told, is a big faux pas in the DIY community – Just say “no” to stripped screws!). Getting all those brackets hung up was by far the easiest step of the entire process.
He liked just about everything about the drill actually – it’s balance, weight, cordless-ness, handy built in bit-holder, battery life display, and the simple switch from drill to driver. These things all make it very intuitive to use for a power tool novice like me (choose drill or drive, pull trigger, reap rewards), but they were all details he really appreciated as a life-long DIY enthusiast always in search of the perfect drill. Do I smell the perfect Father’s Day present?!
Then we added the shelves.
I’ve never questioned my sanity so much as when I looked up at the obviously, self-evidently, morbidly crooked shelves and heard Bryan say from the back of the room – “They’re straight.”
I absolutely did not believe him. I absolutely refused to believe the level.
Until I stepped back and saw that the angled ceiling had completely skewed my brain’s expectation of horizontality. Mind = blown.
There’s an object lesson on perspective in there somewhere.
I’ll let you find it.
Now, you know I can’t leave you with pictures of empty shelves. If a shelf doesn’t have anything on it, can it really be a shelf? Is it just a board on the wall? If a tree falls in the forest… Can I make rough-hewn rustic wall shelves out of it?
Here is some back story:
Instead of climbing into our magic time machine once more, I’m going to break the cardinal rule of authorship and “tell” instead of “show.”
My husband Bryan is a huge craft beer fan. And that’s a slight understatement. He’s also somewhat of a packrat. Which is even more of an understatement.
This has led to boxes and boxes and boxes of hoarded empty beer bottles.
I know as décor-lovers our first reaction can be “Ew! A beer bottle collection!?” As if our husband just told us he wants to start making toe-nail clipping collages…
But here is where I make a confession: I don’t really mind. Have you guys seen some of the fantastic graphic design on craft beer these days?
I’m a sucker for pretty labels.
I do judge a book by its cover… or a beer by its bottle.
And Bryan, as a 50% resident of this home and 99% user of the office, deserves to have his interests represented as well. No decoration without representation!
So these shelves have been ear-marked for Bryan’s bottle collection for the last two-and-a-half years (I guess we discovered the gestation period of bottle-bearing-beams) and I’m so happy he finally has his long-awaited display over his desk.
Sidebar: Bryan just made me count all the bottles pictured to see if we did in fact have 99 bottles of beer on the wall. So close: 83!