Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Particle Board Woes

I teach a crocheting class during the school day twice a week because my school is an Innovation School.   Our innovation is an extended student day which allows us to have Enrichment classes at the end of the student day.  This is when band, chorus and orchestra meet but it's also when about 40 other classes happen to help kids find creativity and explore their passions.

Crocheting has become a very popular class among the girls (I have yet to have a single boy do it!) so this year, I'm adding another crocheting class during enrichment.  I also do an after school class. All totaled, I will have had about 50-75 kids by the end of the year.

That's a lot of crocheters!

It's also a lot of yarn and project storage.

My classroom has no built in storage space and after just about sobbing through my first few weeks of school the first year I moved because I had NOWHERE to put ANYTHING, I have finally accumulated a few storage cabinets, but yarn was my biggest mess last year.

This is about the best I could do.  Their projects are stored in bags and the bags go in baskets and the baskets go in a bookshelf, but the yarn was just one huge pile of knots.  Which also led to random people occasionally touching the yarn if they were near that side of the room and slightly unsupervised (I say slightly because, as we know, teachers see EVERYTHING, you just might not realize what we are seeing).

I've been looking for a storage cubby system, and by looking, I mean waiting for someone to donate one to me.  But that never happened.  School starts in 2 weeks and I want to start off clean and neat because I can't deal with that yarnfest anymore, so I bit the bullet and decided to buy one.

You might be familiar with it.  It's a 12 cube bookcase that you assemble yourself, from that store with the big target on it.

I was tickled that it has 12 cubicles because I want to organize the yarn by colors and the standard 9 cubicle bookcase wasn't doing it for me.  I firmly believe that when things look organized, they stay organized.

But, as we all know, particle board is particle board.  That means it's heavy but not really heavy duty.  It peels at the slightest touch and crumbles and breaks if you blink at it.

I didn't realize it was that unsubstantial when I ordered it or I might have thought about a different solution.  But, I was desperate and wanted this all situated before school starts.  And I didn't want to pay anything that much for it, so I got what I paid for.

I chose one of the hottest and most humid days we have had to put it together.  I knew I'd get sweaty anyway, so I didn't care at that point.  I also approached it with the most patience I could muster, knowing once I saw the particle board-ness that it was, I had to be really careful so I didn't screw up the whole thing from the beginning.

I debated building it at home vs. at school.  On the outside, it didn't say which tools were needed and nothing is more frustrating than being at school without the tools I need to complete a project.  I'm glad I built this at school because it might not have survived a moved across town.  It's that rickety.

All went really well until I went to put the 2nd side on and as I went to turn the whole thing over, it started falling apart, the dowels that connect the cubes started breaking and there was a lot of pending disaster.

I got it together, gave myself an excellent particle board scratch on my stomach, didn't swear out loud or cry and managed to only actually break one dowel.  They give extra, so that was a plus.

I had brought a drill and I found a hammer, but using pliers to get the dowels out to start over was a must.  The janitor didn't know if he had pliers, so I ended up using a staple remover which was perfect!  Sad because that shows how soft and cheap the dowels were.

As I took it apart and assembled it in the order that made more sense to me, I managed to get one piece backwards.  It didn't affect the assembly but now it looks ridiculous with one piece showing the non-finished side and everything else looking finished.

But, because particle board is the devil, I had already had an issue with one of the screws splitting the laminate, so I didn't dare take out the screws to turn the board around and start over.

Disappointing, but I would rather run a strip of white paint on that one little side than ruin the entire thing.

I wasn't going to bother with those ridiculous pieces of cardboard on the back, but then I realized that the yarn will just fall out the back and if I don't.  That heater doesn't work because there's a newer blower right next to it, so that's not a problem.

I hammered on all of the cardboard pieces but SURPRISE there are only 6.  That means only some of the yarn can fall out....  I will put some colored paper or something on the other spaces later, probably with glue, but I didn't have that kind of patience at that point.

I was THRILLED that it fit so perfectly in this spot.  This has been one of the many dead spots in my room where weird things used to collect and look messy.  I had a table that didn't quite fit in, so it added to the weirdness and it kind of stuck out into the room and made a traffic jam.  This is just right and the baskets on top are for the projects.

It turns out I need just one more cubby.  We have no orange yarn, so I took away the slot for orange, and it bugs me that the rainbow isn't complete, but at least I have storage.

By October, the bottom strip will be all scuffed up and I'm sure there will be lots of dings in this.  I have no hope that when it gets moved over the summer for cleaning, it will return in one piece.  And once particle board falls apart, it's just a mess of duct tape and prayers.

That should be the name of my new blog:  Duct Tape and Prayers.  It's certainly the motto in my teacher brain!

Linking here:


1 comment:

  1. Haha I have extra of those backing things cause I didn't want the six that came with mine. Do you want them at thanksgiving? I'm not even joking.


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