MUSHY'S MOOCHINGS: Down In the BaseMENT - Part 2

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Down In the BaseMENT - Part 2

I wrote "baseMENT" like that because I wanted to emphasize the "MENT" like my granddaughter Lily does. I don't know who taught her the word, but it's just so country the way she puts the accent on the last syllable, and I love it! She sounds like her Momma Judy!

Lily has been shown and warned about opening the door to our basement because it appears in the hall as just another bedroom door. When the door is opened it is dark and you can't see the steep steps below. We always carefully guide visitors to this door, turn on the downstairs lights, and then down the steps ahead of them so no one gets injured.

When Katie Bug, one of our other granddaughters, was about 11 or 12, she invited a friend to come with her to visit us. Before either of us could react, the little girl opened the door and walked out into the darkness, expecting a bedroom floor, and fell all the way to the basement!

UPDATE: Katie reminded me tonight that the girl was wearing a hula hoop when she fell! I also installed the lock I've been putting off I can relax when kids are running the halls.

Judy lunged for the basement door, flipped the lights on, and was at the bottom in seconds, while Katie stood stunned at the top. I was in the kitchen, frozen to the floor, waiting to hear the worst, knowing she had either broken something or had been killed...seriously!

I was so relieved to hear Judy ask her if she was okay and the girl answer, although very embarrassed. She's alive, I said almost aloud, and thanked God for protecting her! It was truly a miracle and I still thank God for making it turn out well.

I've written posts about my baseMENT previously, once about repairing computers there, and again about some of the things I've made there. However, I thought I would do one about my junky work area, mostly so Bruno and Jeff can enlarge the shots and make funny comments about what I've collected!

Bruno, especially, loves workshops or "man holes", old engines, and anything he can tinker with and bring back to life! He knows how I peruse his shop photos, even the photos near his computer, for odd and interesting artifacts. He should have a ball with these.

I must explain the "Thunder Mule" license plate, because even he would not figure out that this hung on the front of all my Mustangs except for the '68 (just noticed there's no '89 shot in that linked post). It's a phrase my brother, Wade, came up with while looking at my '89. I found it to be very appropriate and so it stuck!

I might also say that I have no idea how those WMA signs got there...I think a game warden gave them to me!

As for the Superman work apron, it was originally made for me by a lovely co-worker when I worked at the Roane County NEWS, back in my newspaper advertising days. Something happened to the first one, and another lady (Diane Strahm), at another job, saw an old photo (see attached) of the apron and made me another.

If there are any other questions about things in these shots, please leave a comment.

I am very proud of the 8 foot table shown (it sits to the right of the tool bench). I made this out of 2X6s and 1" marine plywood. I would wager that it would easily support a car! It's very sturdy and makes a wonderful flat surface for special projects like gun cleaning, painting, gluing, building birdhouses, etc., and repairing computers!

The workshop is fairly functional with a drill press (not a good one), a grinding wheel, a vice, a table saw, a miter saw, a router station, and lots of tools, some of which were left to me in my dad's old tool box. Some have "TVA" stamped on them, but like me, he would have had the same thing to say, "I don't know how these got into my tool box...probably by some foreman somewhere as a reward for all my hard work!"

There are bins, jars, and sack full's of nuts and bolts, handed down from my dad, and nails. Everyone needs antique nuts and bolts! There are even some things there I don't even know the use of, or how they even got there, which makes standing there sometimes very interesting and rewarding.

The basement has gotten cluttered over the sixteen or so years we've lived here. There are tables, cabinets, an office desk and chairs that Judy got when her company closed its doors, the upper part of an entertainment center that had to be removed to make room for our 46" HD TV (It was better than buying a new outfit and very ingenious on my part, I must say!), a deer head, tree stand, exercise equipment, lawn tools and other implements of destruction, a gun safe, camping and hiking gear, and seasonal decorations that Judy handles, and, of course, my Hot Wheels® collection! You will remember this collection used to be in my bedroom!

Way back in the dark left corner (not shown in photo), there is a 2 yard by 9 yard room just made for an indoor firing range. I used yards because 9 yards is the perfect "combat" small arms range distance! I still want to put up some steel and sand at one end and blast away. However, I could never haul a 1" thick 6X9 foot steel sheet back into that corner with even three people helping me. Still, it's a great pipe dream that could still come true.

I know that someday all this junk has to be hauled away. It's sad to think about, because it's all a part of me, part of my dad, but there is no room for this in any one garage, basement, or kitchen tool drawer. If it isn't just dumped, it will have to be parceled off through some tedious "yard sale" to strangers.

The same thing happened when my dad passed...I got some, and Wade took some, but most of it was trashed. All our "someday dreams" die with us! Yeah, it's sad, but it's not unique to any of us.

So, the bottom line here was to give Bruno, and anyone else interested, something to do in his spare time - rummage through my basement! Have at it!


FHB said...

Well, as a veteran visitor to that basement, I can confirm everything he's said here. That place is a treasure trove. I've cleaned a gun on that bench, and yes, there's a HUGE load of toy cars down there.

Any little boy, or any man with a little boy in his soul would LOVE to rummage around down there on a weekend. It's a first rate man cave. I mean, how many man caves have a friggin' (some day, maybe) shooting range in them?

Everything you said about tools and nuts and bolts handed down from your dad resonated with me. I've got a LOT of that stuff, and it'll all end up at a flea market some day. Sad, but inevitable.

But Dad didn't care about any of that stuff by the time he died. We probably won't ether, to be honest. People, friends matter so much more, and the fond memories of times shared. That stuff can't be sold off. Everything else is window dressing.

Mushy said...

I figured as much, and wondered what your plans were for his "someday dreams". Amazing what one can accumulate over a life time.

Ranger Tom said...

What a cool basement! My garage was similar when I had my place in Arizona in my previous life...

I love the idea of an indoor firing range!

Here's an idea that you might be able to use instead of the 1" steel plate: How about a wood frame filled with sandbags as the backstop? I'm assuming you're taking about pistols... As 6" of sand will stop a .30-06 round, several sandbags would be plenty enough for .38/.357 and .45 & 9mm...

Mushy said...

Nice idea...I was hoping to retrieve what I fired by scooping the sand pit in front...that was my only reasoning on that. However, to save time your idea might just be the ticket!

Debbie said...

I wish we had a basement, but we don't.

What a relief that the child was OK. I guess kids are young and flexible, thank goodness.

Right Truth

Mushy said...

I was reminded my granddaughter tonight that the girl was wearing a hula hoop at the time! Still on her when she hit the bottom!

Suldog said...

I love these shots, especially the workbench. I've always had a fondness for such spaces, ever since my Grandpa took me down into his basement to show me how he was constructing some furniture (he was a fine woodworker.) It was such a treat to have him explain everything to me as he went along, and to smell the wood as it was being sawed and sanded, etc. So, anyway, thanks for triggering my nostalgia!

Mushy said...

You've done that more than once for me Sul, so glad to return the favor. Don't comment much, but I visit your every post!

BRUNO said...

Hell, that ain't a basement---that's a friggin' warehouse!

That bench is almost a dead-ringer of mine---except I can't see the top of mine, for the "excess-inventory". And, I used 6x6-corner posts, as used in fencing, instead. And at one time, I had TWO 4-bolt 350-Chevy engines side-by-side on it---so, it WILL hold!

Man, if I EVER throw anything away, it'll probably be petrified, instead of considered worn-out. Nothings EVER "junk": It's just been "previously-broken"!

You need my "specially-converted" engine-hoist for that steel-plate. Made a "pole-yanker" attachment for it, to pull fence-posts with. And, it's all "perverted"-over to pneumatic-tires all around, for off-road.

Ya' like my "pre-broken" inventory, do ya'? Well then, you'll really get a "buzz" from my NEXT-post, when I finally get myself one of those things called "a round-tuit".

Had one on backorder for the past month, now...!

Mushy said...

I knew you'd get here sooner or later! Can't wait to rummage through your stuff again.

BRUNO said...

Oh, NOW I see the drill-press! It literally IS a "drill-press", ain't it?

And, are those "zip-strips" I see on there, holding the cord away from the chuck? And another one that has the trigger tied-down?

Looks like somethin' I might do!(Except I use the OSHA YELLOW-ones, so I'm always SAFE!)And I've got a bench-grinder just like that one on your pedestal, except mine's on the bench, and it's a Delta-brand.(That ones' a Porter-Cable, ain't it?)

Man, that's eatin'-off-the-floor clean down there. That's the biggest-difference between working with WOOD and other "normal" stuff, as opposed to METAL and "off-the-wall" stuff: With WOOD, you're busy not catching it on fire---and with METAL, you're constantly busy with PUTTING THE FIRE OUT...!!!

Anonymous said...

Great basement. Hy husband would love it. Our garage looks about like that. All kids of different areas he has set up.

Anonymous said...

Ooops. I meant, all kinds of different areas.

pogo said...

You'd love my basement, other than the mess. I wish I could get all the kids stuff out and make more room to work in. I have two work benches I salvaged from where I used to work, tons of table top area to get messy. You may recall, my dad's hobby was furniture making, so I inherited the love of the wood from him. I went to Machinists School in High School and eventually found a job as a machinist with the Mead Corporation in Atlanta. I myself, and Mead eventually found out I had a natural ability with metal working in general, and equipment building in particular, so I ended up attached to the Engineering Division with the ability to do pretty much as I pleased. Now, I actually prefer metal working to carpentry, but I'm proficient enough with wood working to build what I want. I accumulated my wealth of tools by this logic. When a job had to be done on anything I would calculate the cost of buying the tools to do the job and my labor hours. It usually turned out I was paying myself a pretty good wage by doing it myself plus I got some great new tools out of it! There's no telling how many THOUSANDS of dollars that basement has saved me over the years! One of my goals is to get all the kids stuff out and buy a mig welder and start making metal sculpture. I've made a few, but I've got some big ideas that want to be born.
I had access to all the fasteners at work, and when they would finish a job, they'd just throw them away. I've got hundreds of pounds of fasteners in boxes, trays, lazy susans, all over the place.
Your shop is much neater than mine!

Scott from Oregon said...

That basement is so clean, it's scary...