Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pregnancy Projects

As I understand it, when a man's wife is pregnant, especially with their first child, there is a time where he wants to stay close to home, but there is not a lot he can do except wait for the child to be born. During that period, there are often what I call, "Pregnancy Projects". Some men begin the restoration of a car, some work on the house. In my father's case, during the spring of 1950, while waiting for my sister to be born, he built furniture, specifically, an electronics project desk. Basically, a place to hide away from children all the little electronic parts that could hurt them and a place for my father to use when building his next project. Actually, it looks pretty good after all these years. It is the original finish.

Overall, it is nothing special, just a sturdy and practical piece of furniture made out of veneered plywood. But as you may imagine, it has some special features that show the hand of the engineer. My favorite, both now and as a kid was the scope cabinet, on the left in the first picture. Back in those days, he had a tube powered oscilloscope that took up a lot of space. So he built a special cabinet with a place to store the scope and a tilted top to place the scope on during use. The whole thing is on rollers and rolls out of the desk itself.

Notice the copper wire on a couple of screws? It has a cubby with an open top below it. This is where he attached his alligator clip leads with the bottom of the wires hanging down into the cubby.

Now, roughly 60 years later, the desk is returning to its original use. I recently moved it to my house where it will store electronic parts and tools and be both a memory and a practical tool in a hobby that I share with my father.