Retiree in Action: Part 8: Bench, Box & Van Work is Done!

How difficult can it be to build a box and call it a bench? Except, with this box I wanted a removable shelf, two lift tops and a way to secure items within the bench … and be strong enough for me to sit on it! Well, I did accomplish that!

Bench… done!

And another box … Ram Promaster vans have many places for water bottles, but lack storage space in the front area, thus I built a box … thank you mini Kreg pocket-hole jig … made that project easier!

Buy Kreg jig, not the mini, if you have a big project … lesson learned too late for me.

Small touches to add, but I am essentially done with this project! Kudos to the people who build out their van with refrigerator, stove, water system and other items to make their van a place to live in for months at a time! And kudos to those who do the conversion and have their final product looking professional! 

My work is done … not the prettiest, but will suffice for what I need … and I am proud to say, I did not make one hole in the van! Sixteen hundred dollars … due to the fact: I bought 2 ft. by 4 ft. pre-finished birch plywood for my bench and only one 4 x 8 ft plywood (which cost 3 times the price of a year ago). Also the 4 Aolisheng ball bearing lock-in drawer slides were costly, but I hope to enjoy their use! I do not have to many left-over pieces of wood, screws and nails. I am so happy I had bought an electric powered screw driver!

Where did the month go? For a 3 week and 5 day period of time, every day except for 2 days in that time, I put in 104 hours of work! This does not count the other hours I had been thinking, sketching, watching YouTube videos and at various stores to buy items, ask a million questions of those employees and buy other items on-line. 

With gratitude: I am so appreciative of my neighbor allowing me to borrow his power saw and he offered a few good ideas too. I am equally appreciative of my partner who delivered more than one lunch and snack to me during these weeks, helped me on my most awful day dealing with the sliding drawers, and provided insight when I needed it! 

Surprisingly, a few people did stop and ask what I was working on. I appreciated their positive comments. It also provided me time to talk about possible upcoming USA and Canada travels during the next 2 years. I am a world traveler who has put my international travel on hold for 2 more years with hopes the Covid virus will have died down around the world. Plus I wish for civility to return to humankind. There has been too much ugliness in attitudes and behaviors towards one another about a variety of issues and I just do not want to participate in any of it. Thus, solo travel right now is best for me to wander and see North America’s beautiful places, be outdoors and to follow the birds! Retirement is to be full of life while we are capable of doing what it is we wish to do. This year I enter another decade of my life and I want to live it. Never do I want regrets for not being active in the outdoors. Therefore, this year I will travel to meet others across our country, enjoy our national parks and monuments, bicycle some trails, visit birding hotspots and historical sites, and work on my sketching, writing and photography skills. I look forward to travel in Australia, Chile and Italy in 2024! Maybe I will see you on the road … stay healthy and happy and let me know when and where we can meet! Namaste.

Leave a Reply