Monday, July 18, 2016

DIY Beverage Stand Workshop- the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

This is NOT a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

After seeing a social media push by Home Depot about a “Do It Herself” Workshop for building a beverage stand I decided to go online and sign up. Since I love a hands on project, I thought it was something that I would really enjoy.

Beverage stand image from Home Depot

photo from Home Depot

The image above was used by various bloggers to encourage participation.I followed a blogger’s link to register then I received a confirmation email reminding me of the store location and time. I arrived at my local Home Depot store at 6:15 for the 6:30 workshop and stopped at the service desk to inquire as to where the workshop was inside the store. Both employees at the service desk were working with other customers so I had to wait for several minutes. When it was my turn I asked about the location. Neither employee had any knowledge of a workshop that night. After I told them that there was a workshop they tried to convince me that there was not then one employee stepped out to the store entry to “check the sign” and came back and told me there was not a wokshop beause it was not on the sign. I insisted that there was and told her that I had an email confirmation.  She asked to see my phone to see the confirmation. After reading my email she decided to call a manager. Apparently the manager had no knowledge and told her to call someone else. After the second phone call she told me to go to the saw where they cut lumber.By this time it was 6:28. I proceeded to that area and seeing no signs of a workshop I asked an employee. That employee sent me to another saw at the very back of the store. There I found a group of 4 women and shortly afterward our instructor came up.  We were working around a lumber cart with a large piece of plywood laying on top. Said lumber cart is not a stable surface as the two center wheels are bigger than the wheels on either end and thus wobbles up and down. Our instructor, who was very good, told us that we had a very limited amount of time and that one beverage station would be built and that we could take turns using the air nailer, as the materials were already cut. Each of the ladies there had a very odd look on our faces and the instructor asked us if we thought each of us was making one. While the website registration did not explicitly state that each participant would be building a stand to take home, we all thought that we were when we signed up for the workshop. That issue has since been cleared up on the Home Depot website registration page for DIH workshops. The instructor told us that the materials for the project cost $38 each so we would build one then we would draw numbers to see which lady would take home the project. I wish that I could say that the class went smoothly from there but unfortunately it did not. Other employees in the area were busy bringing in stock from a truck and putting it away so our instructor was interrupted by other customers several times. We finally decided to continue without his supervision while he helped a customer. As we were building I looked at the materials.

materials for the beverage stand

The photo above shows all of the materials with the exception of the 10 quart galvanized bucket but also includes a piece of scrapwood in the lower left corner. The instructor said that the store was out of stock on the buckets but should have one the next day. Is it just me or did they not know for weeks that the workshop was coming up? The instructor told us that he found out a 8 PM the night before that he would be teaching the workshop. Maybe I’m over the top here but how much trouble would it have been to have a folding work table, maybe a bottle of water for each attendee and perhaps a small token or coupon for each lady. Silly me, I thought Home Depot was trying to build relationships with potential customers. Instead, it appeared that we were a major inconvenience to employees trying to bring in stock.

I asked the instructor why the materials were so much. His answer was that if you purchase a piece of plywood that is 2 feet by 4 feet it runs the price up since it is just a few dollars less than a full sheet of plywood ( which is 4 feet by 8 feet). So I ran the numbers in my head and figured that if 4 of us purchased one piece of plywood and shared it that each of us could have a project for less than $20 each. I asked the instructor if that was correct and he said that it was. He even showed us a lower grade of plywood as another option that was less expensive. I also asked him if he could cut the wood if we bought it and he said that he would. I then asked him if we could use his nail gun to put them together. He said that we could not because he had to help put the stock away and we could not use the nail gun without an employee with us.  My only regret is that I did not get the phone numbers of the other ladies so that I could invite them to my home for our own workshop and allow them to use my tools. None of them had an air nailer but thought that they would be able to improvise.We decided to purchase the materials using the lower grade plywood. I think our final price for materials was $12 each but that did not include the bucket since they didn’t have any buckets! When I went back to purchase a bucket I think it was $9.99.

legs for bevarge stand

These are the legs for the beverage stand. I actually used screws instead of the small finishing nails so that it would be more sturdy. I don’t have step by step photos as I didn’t have my tripod and couldn’t take the photos and hold the material at the same time. Christy from Our Southern Home has an excellent tutorial here as she was one of the bloggers who participated in the promo. At the workshop at the store we did not cut the circle out of the top since we did not have a bucket. When I built mine at home I did have the bucket and wanted to cut the circle. This was by far the hardest part.

cutting the circle

As you can see, I drew two diagonal lines on the top to find the center. Then I used a string, a pencil, and a nail in the center to draw the circle. I have completed many projects but have never tried to draw a circle like this. You can also see that that was a disaster! It was ugly!! I could not hold the pencil steady and came up with a very wobbly circle. I ended up doing what I always do; I found an object (probably a plate)with the diameter that I needed and traced around it. It works every time for me. Then I drilled a hole for my jigsaw blade and carefully cut the circle.

beverage stand close up

I painted it black since the other furniture on our screened porch is black. I set this geranium in the bucket when it’s not being used for ice.

beverage stand with added molding for  a finished edge

If you look closely in the photo above you can see that I added molding to the top edge for a more finished look.

beverage stand complete

The beverage stand makes a nice addition to our screened porch.

In summary, I was very disappointed in my Home Depot experience. I think that they missed some good opportunities in a big way. After the workshop I saw many other comments on social media that other participants in other locations also had negative experiences while a few had wonderful experiences. I do hope that the Depot will work to improve the workshop experience at all locations.

I’m linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch, to Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Throught Life, to Thoughts of Home on Thursday at Decore to Adore and to Grace at Home at Imparting Grace. Click over for lots of inspiration.

I hope that you are having a wonderful summer!

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