Sunday, July 05, 2015

I Decided to Make My Own Net?

I bought some Ikea IVAR shelves a while back. They've been amazing for as long as I've had them by looking good, not breaking, being expandable, and holding a lot of items. One small problem: things were falling off the back because the shelf couldn't be pushed right up against the wall. Being more careful didn't seem to solve it, so I decided to look for more permanent solutions.

Closed-Back Shelf?
Among my first thoughts was the idea of getting an entirely new shelf, one with a closed-back or backing board. A bookshelf probably would have worked, but the cost was on the heavy side for what I wanted, and I had already paid a lot for the IVAR. Did I mention I needed one shelf to not have a closed-back for the microwave cord to snake through?

Taking Advantage of the IVAR Modular System
One thing I originally liked about the IVAR was that it was modular in the sense that I could expand it with more shelves or other add-ons -- I actually bought extra shelves numerous times since I first got it. Wasn't there a cabinet with a backing that was designed to work with the IVAR shelf system?

Visiting my local Ikea website suggested that there were two options: an IVAR cabinet with swing-open doors and a 3 drawer chest. Unfortunately, the chest only appeared to be available for the 50 cm deep IVAR version and I had the 30 cm one. The chest was CAD$ 125 and the 30 cm depth cabinet was CAD$ 95 at the time, so I would have chosen the cheaper option anyway.

I liked the look of the cabinet, and it would have been perfect by giving me doors and some extra shelves. The online manual made it seem like it wasn't that hard to put together too. Then the cost ate at me: CAD$ 95. About $100 just so things didn't fall off the back of the shelf? With the cynicism turned on, another fault popped up like how adding the shelf to the upper half of the IVAR probably would have made it top heavy -- bottom half would have been regular shelves. It was secured to the wall, but still. I added it to my online cart anyway and it turned out the shipping was probably going to be around CAD$ 100 -- maybe due to weight? Didn't have a car or the desire to carry a ~46 lb (website) package home so no, thank you.

Cheaper Options: Cardboard, Paper, Net
Suddenly, the desire to solve the problem as cheaply as possible overcame me. I didn't have enough cardboard, so that was out. Packing paper was tried before somewhere else with poor results. How about a net?

I couldn't find a net in the size or material I wanted online, locally. Could I make my own? Thinking of a hockey or basketball net, it didn't seem like it would be that hard, especially if I didn't plan on selling it. And there wasn't a need for it to handle much of a load in my case.

Made My Own net
An hour of Googling later and it turned out that making a net wasn't the hardest thing in the world. Even better, I recently bought a roll of cotton string for something else. The only other things I needed were scissors, measuring tape, a ruler, and the ability to tie basic knots that I had been doing my entire life.

To get a roughly 80 cm x 40 cm (width by height) net with diamonds about 5 cm x 10 cm (width x height), it took about 2.5 hours. The second one I did was about 80 cm x 50 cm (width x height) with diamonds about 10 cm x 15 cm (width x height). By making the diamonds larger, fewer strings and fewer knots had to be tied, so it only took about 1.5 hours -- I also knew what I was doing the second time around.

The hardest part was trying to space the diamonds out evenly. This meant using a ruler to measure the spaces to get my knots in the right position. Not having a perfectly horizontal foundation or base string at the top made things slightly less even. The only knot I used was, I think, the overhand knot. Everything came out okay for my purposes. Do remember that I didn't test how durable it was or how much load it could handle since that wasn't necessary in my case.

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