Not all projects have to be big deals. In fact, some of the most appreciated projects fall under the heading of what I like to call “hacks”, and come from small leftover pieces of wood. One of these, which has since disappeared (my wife swears it’s here somewhere), was strange little tamper made from a bit of maple. It was intended to press graham cracker crumbs evenly into mini muffin tins to make miniature cheesecake crusts. It took me 10 minutes to make, but earned many brownie points as a labor-saving device when cooking for wedding receptions.
Another such idea occurred to me the other day. I was bemoaning the fact that bar soap invariably ended up sitting in a puddle of water that reduced the bar’s life expectancy dramatically. Suddenly, I was struck with the lightning of inspiration. Dashing to the shop, I pulled out a small piece of leftover mahogany, and made evenly-spaced 3/8″ x 3/8″ dadoes in both sides. The dadoes’ depth was such that they met cleanly in the center, and the opposing side cuts were at right angles to each other. Yes, I know that technically that makes half of them grooves, but let’s not quibble. Once completed, this produced a checkerboard effect:
All that remained was to cut two rectangles slightly larger than a bar of soap, and form the remainder into a shape that would fit in the soap holder in the corner of our molded shower:
The resulting shapes were lightly sanded, dunked in boiled linseed oil, and fitted with small stick-on rubber feet. They were then ready to fulfill their destiny by keeping the soap high and dry between uses, and thus reducing waste and saving money.
Yes, I know, it’s a hack. But, like any good hack, it fills a simple need with leftover materials and a little effort. In this case, my wife was pleased with the idea, and impressed with my ingenuity. Overall, by anybody’s standards, that makes for a good day.
I don’t call ’em little good pieces for nothing!