Date: 4 December 2014. Building a Locker (Part
week I opened a kitty litter container (one of the plastic ones that
are so great for storage in the bilge) and discovered it wasn't
working out quite as well as I'd anticipated. You see, I kept four dozen
canning jars in there and condensation bit me on the can tops.
Fortunately nothing broke, but one jar lost it's seal.
The jars are
everywhere, and a real m-e-s-s. Which is fine motivation to solve
the problem, eh?
I'm rapidly losing the Christmas spirit in the chaos
of the project.
thing to do was remove all the jars and dry them. Many of the rings
had rusted so they were unscrewed and thrown away. All jars were wiped
down and inspected. Still, it was a disheartening moment. I rely on
the jars I process for sustenance and to have even one fail...
course I don't want more problems. Now I know that the plastic
container I'd used allowed condensation and that is the point of
failure. Frankly though I wasn't impressed with the method in the
first place. It
didn't allow me to easily see what I had on hand.
Side Note to
Self: Add ventilation when storing jars with lids that can rust.
to open the bilge, pull out a box and go through it looking for a jar with a
stuffed green pepper? It's too difficult. This has been an
ongoing problem and it's time to have a permanent solution.
irritations make for major thorns if not resolved quickly.
considering adding a locker beneath my dinette for the jars. It
wouldn't be super easy to get to but it would be an improvement over
the current chaotic conglomeration. What I have now is:
litter box in the pilothouse bilge.
of jars stored in a small locker under the reefer.
And a milk
crate in the bilge with extra supplies including my pressure cooker
it's a mess. It's not tidy and getting to anything is a pain in the
transom. I want a locker.
So for the
past few days I've had out my tape rule and have been plotting
destruction and construction. It's been fun.
measured the jars three deep so I'd be able to make maximum use of
the space. That becomes problematic because I use both wide mouthed
and standard jars. That meant two different diameters and heights to contend
I'd decided that nine inches would be sufficient depth. Each shelf will be
designed to hold two jars stacked. Side Note: the jars do not sit
well when three high. Two works a-okay.
"Seaweed" is written in permanent marker on anything
that could easily grow legs.
with the sides (supporting the shelves) and how to attach to the
bulkhead/dinette benches. Lots of thinking was involved. Don't
worry: no animals were injured in the exercise though my brain did
require multiple doses of caffeine.
I'd opted for a 9" deep locker, then upped it to ten inches. That is
because tens are easier to work with for me. And the extra would allow
a fiddle at the front of the shelf to keep jars from sliding out
when the doors are opened.
I had the brilliant idea that I should store ALL the canning goods
together -- including the pressure cooker. Well, of course. You'd
have thought that would have been a first consideration. Sometimes
though the obvious escapes me.
Paralyzed by Perfection.
I've noticed over the years is I tend to complicate projects to the
point where they become too difficult for me to accomplish by
myself. I become paralyzed by the desire for perfection.
aware of this tendency, I re-think and sleep on stuff. That time
delay usually allows me to catch some critical component I might
have missed initially.
helps me to simplify and streamline projects.
Also, I know that my results
on things like this won't be perfect. It will be good enough. When I
first owned Seaweed often I didn't do things because I feared the
finished product would not
be nice enough. Now I've come to accept that done is better
than waiting for perfection.
do learn and with experience improve my results. In the
meantime however, I'll do what I can and "call it good".
So I got out
the pressure cooker and measured across. It's just less than 11" so
my carefully designed and mapped out 10" deep locker won't work.
Now, three days into this mess, I've decided the locker will be 12"
deep. One sheet of 3/8" thick plywood should do it.
money were no object I'd opt for better quality wood. It would be
lovely to build this out of something beautiful but I know that with
a bit of tweaking it will look a-okay. Below is a peek at a DVD shelf
in my cabin. The rough edges are hidden behind that wood that looks
like rope. It's pretty, and functional.
Stained, the trim covers the icky edges of the plywood.
(My VHF is tuned to weather channel.)
(Marsha on Freebird) gifted me the
red oak stain
I used to get the color
just right on the trim. Marsha was quite a gal. She and her husband lived on
a Freedom30. That's a particular type of sailboat with an *unstayed
there are no wires holding it from side to side nor fore and
aft. The masts are generally much larger in diameter at the
base too. They can be adapted to a junk rig and are sought
after by some sailors.
The photo was taken in a
house on the St. John's River in Florida. Freebird was tied to a
dock out back.
For friends: we lost our
ball-of-fire earlier this year after that stroke. Still, Marsha and her Ken had a life afloat filled with
love and laughter.
Kenny still lives on S/V Freebird in
I miss my dear friend.
Thrift-store shopping with Marsha was always fun. With her
little orange VW bug, we were quite the sight no doubt. The koi curtain rod holders in my galley
are a much treasured gift from her.
I've rambled... I tend to do that. Kidlet calls them Bunny Trails.
So, back to
the canning jar locker. One sheet of 3/8" plywood will suffice. I'll
see if the local hardware store will whack it into 12" strips which
would make transport much simpler. If I'm very fortunate they might
even cross cut them to the exact lengths. Then all I'll have to do
is screw 'em together.
see -- tomorrow. Or the next day. When the project is complete I'll
do a follow-up. As my favorite local is busy until after the new year I've got
time to tinker. I'd rather tinker with him though, truth be told.
It's doggone cold here in Carrabelle and I miss the fellow.
follow-up article can be found here:
Building a Locker (Part 2)
Have you ever built from scratch a locker?
Do you have any advice or things I should look out for during the process?
Dallas and the Pelican ~
Previous Post ...
... Next Post
Whew! Engine O-U-T