Labor Day, Literally

Sometimes even the weekndrs have to take a break from it all for a clean-up-the-house, empty-the-trash, balance-the-checkbook, dust-the-shelves, mop-the-floor kind of weekend. So we decided get some work done for the holiday.

Our primary job was setting up the girls with new sleeping quarters. That mostly involved assembling this bunk bed from Ikea and decking it out with flair and other kid delights.

But before we move on let’s pause for a moment and talk about Ikea. Has there ever been a more innovative consumer goods producer since Henry Ford and his production line? The company’s roll-up-your-sleeves approach reduces the cost of manufacturing, shipping, storage, assembly, and material. The result is lower costs for the consumer in exchange for a little extra effort. (And this and their meatballs are good, too!)

This is all possible thanks to amazing engineering that relies on precision joinery with metal mechanical fasteners, and an inventory of parts that fits in a tightly packed box for easy transport and assembly by even the most average of joes. 

By contrast, take the other project Matt was finishing up this weekend, a handmade oak bookcase to be featured on future episodes of his woodworking how-to video series. The woodwork and joinery for the bookcase takes about 25 hours to complete and the rough oak lumber will set you back about $150.

So here’s the punchline: To earn $25 an hour on the bookcase, it would have to sell for about $1100. Meanwhile, the bunk bed from Ikea goes for $199.

Our labors also included arts and crafts with the kids…

… and a cooking session where we whipped up from scratch a Margherita pizza. The whole wheat dough came from a healthy recipe featured on one of Mary’s favorite mommy blogs.  

Fresh Ingredients = Yummy Slice

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