If you’re just joining me for the first time, or if you have other things going on and can’t remember what my last blog post on this topic was about, I will give you a bit of a refresher before I continue with my progress.
For my Master’s program, we were assigned the Networked Learning Project (NLP). The point of this project is to pick something that you don’t know how to do, do some research on how to do it, and record your progress along the way. I decided to create Industrial Pipe Shelves for the new condo that I am purchasing. I was originally inspired by this picture from Joanna Gaines’ blog, At Home, and wanted to recreate the shelving unit.
Now that you’re up to speed on what I’m doing, I’ll bring you up to speed on how it’s going.
With my Joanna Gaines photo and supply list in hand, I went to Lowe’s earlier this week to do some supply shopping. When I got to the plumbing aisle to pick out my pipes, my vision changed very quickly.
I marched right up to the black pipes, just like in the picture, and stopped in my tracks when I saw the price of ONE pipe. My jaw just about hit the floor when I saw that I would have to pay $9.58 for one of the pipes I needed, and the supply list called for about 12 different sizes of pipes. Not to mention all of the connectors and flanges I’d need in order to put the unit together. I’m sure it’s no surprise, but a teacher that just finished up her second year of teaching is not working with an unlimited budget. When I did a quick estimation in my head, all of supplies would probably cost me about $350. I just couldn’t rationalize spending that amount of money.
I’m not even going to act like I had a good attitude about my findings. I was frustrated and didn’t know what I was going to do. I felt defeated and considered just scrapping this whole idea, emailing my instructors, and telling them that I was going to start over with a whole new idea.
I knew that starting over would probably be worse than finding some other materials to use. So, I dragged my feet over to the next aisle, where I found some PVC pipes that cost $2.10 each. After looking at some of the pipes and coming up with a new plan, I decided to load up my cart with PVC supplies. Still not thrilled with my Plan B, I decided to buy some metallic black spray paint that looks very similar to the color of the pipes I was originally looking at. Even as I’m sitting here writing this now, I’m not totally convinced that my shelves will look as good with my spray-painted PVC pipes, but I’m going to give it my best try.
After I found my pipes, I had to go to the lumber section to find some wood for the actual shelves. I found a 96-inch-long piece of wood that I decided I would cut into three shelves. Since it didn’t make sense to purchase two of the 96-inch-long pieces of wood to get the four shelves like in the picture, I decided to modify my design again, and create a shelving unit with three shelves.
When all was said and done, I spent about $50 on all my supplies. To me, much better than the projected $350.
The biggest challenge for me thus far, has been the planning process of this project. I’m doing something I’ve never done before, so the fact that the supplies didn’t work out the way I had originally planned really threw me off. After I calmed my frustrations and sat down to think it through, I created a plan and feel better with going forward.
Resources and Next Steps
I have been using the Joanna Gaines, At Home, as a guide for modifying my design. I drew up a new plan for myself, and feel confident in what I’m doing now that I have measurements to go off of.
I watched a YouTube video called How to cut PVC piping using a miter saw. My dad has a miter saw that he let me use, so I learned how to cut my pipes into the sizes I needed.
I’ve also come up with my next steps:
- Assemble the PVC pipes into the unit
- Spray paint the pipes
- Stain the wood shelves
- Put the wood onto the pipes and attach to the wall
My nerves have calmed now that I know what’s coming next. I feel ready to get my hands dirty and to learn from this experience. “The newcomer has an action to take in the experience, has clear goals, and has a clear sense of what counts as success” (Gee, 2013). My goals are clear and completing each step is a success. I can’t wait see what else I learn.
Gee, J. P. (2013). Digital Media and Learning: A Prospective Retrospective. Retrieved July 27, 2017, from http://jamespaulgee.com/pdfs/Digital%20Media%20and%20Learning.pdf
All photos on this page were taken by me.