There’s a junk drawer in my kitchen that’s stuffed to capacity and it just might jam when I really, really need a mint, which has probably been rolling around in Canadian coins and pencil dust for several months. The thought of this junk drawer sometimes keeps me up at night. However, the thing that really keeps me up at night is the closet. It’s not that I need to clean out the closet or participate in spring-cleaning of any kind. I already sprung forward and it nearly threw my back out. (Too much springing.) No. What the closet really needs is a chin-up bar. In fact, I opened the closet door one day and said,
“Hmm. Not bad. But it could use a chin-up bar. What do you think, Nate?”
“Well, Alex would like to practice pull-ups at home and we do have a chin-up bar in the garage so . . .”
“So let’s go,” I said. “Let’s get that chin-up bar out of the garage!”
It took Nate a lot longer to find that chin-up bar than I had expected. I heard him say, “It was right here! I just saw it!” a LOT before he suddenly appeared before me with a bright red chin-up bar—waving it like a victory torch. He also found his drill.
“Ooh! I’ve never used a drill. I should learn how.”
“Really? Alex already knows.”
“Is this a competition? To see who’s the first in the family to learn to use the drill?”
“Yeah, Mom. I know how to use a drill. Want to see?” Alex asked.
“No. I won’t learn that way. I’ll just make you do everything.”
“Good point,” Alex said as he returned to texting his friends.
Nate and I left him to his texting as we climbed the stairs to the bedroom/workout room, which is where we decided to install the bar. We would place it behind the doorframe in the closet for that room. The bar came with brackets and screws, so we didn’t have to buy or make those things, thank goodness because we’d need a lot more tools and I didn’t feel like learning to use everything at Home Depot all in one day.
Mostly, I observed and took notes, but I did get to use the drill, and it was everything I’d hoped it would be. However, I would recommend goggles. Pieces of wood flew into my eyes, which meant that Nate had to take over. This also meant that I had to hear him grumble and complain because the drill bit didn’t want to enter the doorframe in a precise and straight manner. However, we did get the chin-up bar in and it didn’t take very long at all. So, as I review my notes, here are a few tips I’d like to pass along:
1) Leave about a foot of room above the bar. In this way, you might avoid hitting your head when you do chin-ups with the bar, but you will still need to lean backwards a little bit on the way up and down. (So I’ve been told. I can’t actually do a chin-up. My plan is to hang from the bar every once in a while–just because.)
2) Trace the brackets and places for the holes first. Then, measure precisely so that the brackets are level. For example, our precise measurement was “one funny mark less than 73 inches.”
3) Pre-drill the holes, based on the outline you’ve just traced. (Use goggles!)
4) Use the drill to start putting the screws in place, but don’t drill them all the way in first. That way, you can make adjustments if needed.
5) Slide the bar into the brackets.
6) Grab a mint from the junk drawer. You deserve it!
Your turn: Have you or will you participate in spring-cleaning this year? What will you clean?