Of all the unsung tasks required to be carried out when arranging a show is making sure you, the great unwashed, have something to lean on while marvelling at the masterpieces in front of you. If we don't then some of you will use the edge of our baseboards for this job ruining the scenery along the front inch and earning you a slap in the face.
So, with our show on the horizon, the exhibition manager decided we needed another 200 feet of barrier. Another 200 feet - I mean it's not like we don't have several hundred feet of the dammed things already. And of course we only had two weeks to build them.
Fortunately the L&WMRS barriers aren't particularly complicated, basically being a pair of 6 inch deep strips of 6mm ply separated with some softwood. Legs are plug in softwood inverted T-shapes braces with ply triangles. Over the last few years they have proved effective and don't cost much to make. In fact the first batch cost the same as hiring metal barriers for a show so we've saved quite a bit of money over the years. We even make a few quid hiring them out to other clubs.
So it was that at the start of last week a few of us met at the clubrooms to be confronted by several piles of wood and a small number of semi-completed barriers assembled by an exhibition manager who knows he left it late to tell us about this and put in a day cutting wood before we arrived to make up for it a little bit...
To be fair, if you get the ply cut at the wood shop, and get the softwood chopped as a separate job, then putting one of these things together doesn't take that log. With 2 people hammering and gluing, I reckon that you can easily do 10 an hour with reasonable results. Legs take about 2 minutes once the components are ready.
Then the barriers have to be varnished to stop people getting splinters in their delicate little pinkies. On Thursday night the clubroom was full of barriers getting a couple of coats of floor varnish (acrylic so there is no real smell and the stuff dries fast) and members moaning we were getting in the way.
Yesterday, they were sanded down and had another coat which seems to be smooth enough. Let's hope so anyway. With a bit of luck everyone will just lean on and ignore them.