Saturday, I drove my friend’s Honda CRV to Sellersburg, Ind., to pick up a 210-square-foot overrun of 5″-wide white oak flooring for my kitchen rehab project. (Yes, I’m too poor to pay the $200 shipping fee – feeding a horde of feral cats is expensive – and I’m too cheap to pay full price at a flooring store.)
The plan was to let the long pieces hang out the back window by 10″ or so (tied down properly, red flag attached, of course). My Subaru Outback doesn’t have a rear window that opens, hence the loaner car (and it already was crying out for new shocks and struts, so what’s another 200 miles on the old ones?).
But right when I pulled up to the gate of Pennington Hardwoods, the skies opened. I’ve stood under a waterfall; this was worse. After checking the weather radar on my phone, I realized I had two choices. 1) Get all the wood inside the CRV, window closed. 2) Make another four-hour round-trip next weekend. I opted for choice 1.
The guys at the loading dock said it couldn’t be done; they were so wrong. With the longest flooring packets going from corner to corner, top to bottom, we were able to shove all but one plastic-wrapped packet into the car and shut the back gate and back window. For that final packet, I cut it open to pile the flooring lengths into the front passenger seat, across the foot areas in the back – wherever it would fit. Sure, I needed only 190 square feet for my kitchen, but you never know when that last 20 feet will come in handy. And anyway, I’d already paid for it.
The drive home was harrowing. In my haste to get everything loaded and get back on the road before the hail started, I hadn’t secured everything properly. OK. I didn’t secure it at all. So every time the CRV started hydroplaning in the deluge, I had to steer into it whilst praying the wood wouldn’t shift and decapitate me. And I was fearful for the entire drive that all four tires would simultaneously burst; they were seriously overtaxed. And visibility was maybe 50′ for much of the return trip.
So about that headline…
I made it home safely (if shaking) and got all the wood into my dining room, and I starting cutting the packets apart to sticker the flooring, only to find that thanks to an ill-timed (and quite rare) cleaning frenzy two weeks back, I’d throw out all the “useless” narrow sticks of wood in my basement. Sigh.
So in the shop today, I was dumpster-diving for suitable sticker stock when someone said I was wasting my time, and to simply leave the flooring in the plastic until I’m ready to use it (which won’t be, I should mention, for at least a month or two). And another someone concurred with the first he-who-shall-not-be-named. I grabbed the moisture meter to test a piece I’d brought in (I need to try a couple finishes on it) and found it was at 14 percent. I say sticker.
So I cut a bunch of scrap to length, went home and got to work. But I ran out of stickers again. So tomorrow, whilst I scrounge for more, the debate will no doubt arise again. I need some backup, gentle readers…sticker, or no: what say you?
p.s. I should note that the first thing I did when I started thinking about this massive (and insane) undertaking was to read – no, study – Bob Lang’s “The Complete Kitchen Cabinetmaker.” If you’re also crazy enough to want to build your own cabinets, I can’t recommend this book highly enough.