Producing webisodes in a fully functional shop comes with its own set of challenges. Set-ups happen on-the-fly and everything’s temporary. Once a project is completed, all the gear has to be dusted off, packed up and stored safely. One of my favorite “cluster bombs” to tackle during shoots is the audio capture station – a stack of high-dollar components all wired together, sitting on the shelf of a saw horse, looking like it’s begging to be bumped into and bowled over. So, with great determination I mustered the intestinal fortitude and asked The Handyman to bail me out, and create something to hold all of this gear.
“I’m on it like an Easter Bonnet,” replied The Handyman, as he began to scribble on a scrap piece of 2×4. A few minutes, measurements and chicken scratches later, we’d come up the official design of the Audio Box. Of course, I assumed he would knock this project for me in his spare time, but I was sorely mistaken.
“The best way to get somethin’ done is to be gettin’ on it,” said The Handyman. Then, waving the lid of an old paint can in my face and pointing to the wood, “I need to commence to cuttin’ this stuff, so write down this material list on this here so you won’t forget nothin’”.
“Great,” I said, even though I couldn’t help but think how silly I’d look schlepping this manky old lid around the local hardware store. He rattled off the items, I wrote them down, and he told me to skedaddle.
Little did I realize that one of the items – sheets of felt – were only available at a fabric store. Imagine, a sweaty guy dressed in overalls (yes, it’s kind of the team uniform) carrying around a schmutzy paint can lid, walking around a dainty shop full of doilies and little old ladies, searching for sheets of felt. I don’t have to imagine, because that’s exactly what I did. Also, I bought some buttons shaped like hammers … you never know when something like that might come in handy.
Later, when I got back to The Shop, all the wood was cut and prepped for assembly. I put the hardware on the table, and then started to walk over to my area to put away the audio gear, when a heavy, meaty hand seized my shoulder. “Today is your lucky day, Audio Guy! The Handyman usually doesn’t usually work with humble assistants such as yourself, but since this is your baby, I insist on your assistance”. Well, how do you say “no” to that? Both excited and mildly frightened, I became the assistant for the afternoon.
First off, The Handyman showed me how to assemble the carcass of the box, using the ol’ glue-and-screw method, while he started working the roll-out shelf. Within mere minutes, we both had our respective tasks completed.
“We might oughta wanna slap a quick coat of paint on there while we felt up the drawer”, said he. Not really knowing what any of that meant, so I asked, wincing, for a bit of clarification. He said, “Not too swift, are ya son? Well, no matter. Just paint the inside of the carcass before we put the doors on. While the paint is drying, we’ll put the felt on the roll-out shelf to keep the gear from getting all scratched up.”
Relieved, but still clutching my undies, I painted while The Handyman grabbed some scissors, the felt sheets and a can of spray glue. Next, we cut the felt to fit inside each compartment of the shelf, and spray-glued them into place. We painted the rest of the material and cleaned up the shop between each coat of paint.
“Ain’t nothin’ left but hardware, hook-up and celebrating”, bellowed The Handyman. We proceeded to mount the shelf slides, hinge up the doors and Frankenstein a handle out of bungee cords he had squirrelled away in an old coffee can. I grabbed all the gear and started putting it place, connecting each unit as I went along.
Amazed, I stood back and looked at the finished, loaded and functioning product. A great sense of accomplishment welled inside me. I had built a custom case for all of my audio gear.
Waving over a couple of crew members, I said without thinking, “Look what I built! Look what I built!”
Right then, The Handyman put his beefy arm around my neck and said, “I think Audio Guy here’s got the handy-bug, don’t ya, son?”
Suddenly, it dawned on me what The Handyman for the Common Man is all about. I think I might’ve even welled up a bit … although, in my defense, there was still a bunch of sawdust floating around in there.
“Alright everyone, let’s get back to work,” the big lug said.
Which I did, with a renewed appreciation for all of our work.