So, I noticed the last couple of nights that I have been drifting closer and closer to the middle of the bed. So as I was struggling to get to sleep, I figured I had one of two problems – either the mattress was getting worn out in the middle already (not very likely) or the horizontal supports under the mattress are warping. Sure enough, the next morning, I go up and looked under the bed and noticed it is DEFINITELY warped. I also noticed there are NO vertical supports in the middle of the bed frame!
Really? How did these fundi’s think this was going to work? I wish I had noticed it when they delivered it. But, now its my little project for the day. And you’d think this would be one small little project. At home, we would just head on over to Home Depot (Go #20 Team!) or Lowes (So my Lowe’s friends are not offended), and pick up a small piece of 2×2 lumber and some screws. And any normal home handman would have a tape measure, powersaw, drill and bits. Not in Kenya!
I went to my neighbor/landlord and asked to borrow some tools. I was given a small handsaw and a drill with no bits. The handsaw is quite worn but the drill is really a quite nice hammer drill (really more than necessary for this little project) but we were not able to find any bits.
So, my next step was to get some bits, some screws and a piece of lumber. So, I went to my small local neighborhood hardware store. They don’t have a whole lot. It’s not exactly a Home Depot or Lowe’s. It’s maybe 1500sqft but its packed with stuff floor to ceiling with very little room to move. But the good news is they had some screws and a few different sizes of drill bits for drilling a pilot hole. But the only bits they had for driving the screws into the wood came in a large tool kit for more than $50. So, I decided I would drill the pilot holes and run the screws in by hand with a screwdriver. (I just added a drill bit set to our Amazon Wishlist) 😉
The bad news is my local neighborhood hardware store did not carry lumber. So I went to a couple others all to find out none of them carry lumber. Just getting a piece of wood would prove to be quite the search. You see in Kenya, they are having a large problem with deforestation and it is very difficult to get lumber. All buildings here are built out of stone or bricks- no wood studs, only for roofing trusses.
I eventually had a brainstorm, call my friend Malusi, who built our seats (living room furniture). Maybe he will have some scraps. I called him and he said come on over. I walked down to his place and found a few pieces of lumber that would work. Now I had all the materials I would need to make it happen.
I got home, measured, and started cutting. The first couple of pieces were not a big issue. They seemed to be some sort of soft pine. But THEN, I got to the mahogany piece and some other one that I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but it was HARD. And my little hand saw I borrowed was much like a butter knife in this wood. WOW! I was missing my Porter Cable skill saw at home. 🙁
After cutting the pieces, I began the installation. The drill bit I was able to get was too small and too short for the size screws I was able to get so installing the screws by hand was almost as difficult as cutting the wood. Then I had a discovery! I went to find my work gloves that I brought from the states and noticed my other screwdriver from home. Its the interchangeable kind with a nice long screwdriver bit. SCORE!
Here’s the finished project. I’m sure it will take a few nights for the boards to warp back to flat. But, it’ll do.
So, by then, I was ready for a shower and a nap. A “small” project in Kenya.