This was a long and frustrating week, both in work and getting things done on Wildheart. We’ll leave the work stuff out of it—no one wants to hear about that. But the week started with realizing it would be yet another one in which no painting or wallpapering would get done.

Then I realized that was probably a good thing, because even if the temperatures had been amenable, I would have had to go back later and do details, because there were items that needed to be moved, which would change the cosmetic look of things. So, instead of letting it frustrate me that I was a month behind schedule, I looked for the things I could and should do while prepping for painting.

ugly speakerSpeakers gotta go

First of all, it was clear that the ugly speaker panel would finally have to go, if I were to be able to get to the whole of one wall that desperately needs wallpapering. There would be no nice way to fake that, tucking sad little uneven edges behind the panel, only to have it all revealed when that useless, unattractive speaker eventually had to come out. So, best do it now, while no one cared.

I had mentioned wanting to take it out to my friend Tom, and he had—as a longtime RVer who knows the value of storage space—remarked that there should be just enough space behind that panel to accommodate a nice little spice rack. And he was right! It was time to pull that sucker and get it out of the way, and turn it into something useful.

speaker panel removedSo I first pried off the covered buttons that I knew were actually access caps to the screws that held the fabric-covered panel in place. And there they were, big as life: four screws holding down what looked like large button snaps. And in effect, that’s how they functioned: One of the few pieces of engineering that impressed me in the rig.

For although I’m pleased with my purchase overall, it has come to my pointed attention that there are few opportunities for good design that go unmissed in RV manufacture. Ugh. These people must either never have RVed a day in their lives, or they simply lack imagination. This criticism from I, who have never yet been RVing a day in my life. But that’s just it: even I can see all the places cool things could have been done, but instead were cheaped out on or simply ignored.

Be that as it may, it’s half the fun of what I’m doing now: What the original designers should have done in the first place. Sorry if this sounds arrogant, but really: This stuff ain’t rocket science, folks. But I digress…

A spice rack it it will be, then.

speaker wire hidden

Once I got the screws out and pulled the panel away, sure enough: there was a perfect 2-inch tiny shelf, just begging for some spice bottles. But first, there needed to be some investigation into what materials were there, and what their condition was. All in all, it was solid, though one of the members of the over-sink cabinets was split down the middle vertically. It didn’t seem to make much difference to the solidity of the cabinets. They held fast despite my putting some decent downward pressure on them.

ready for the spice rack

I balled the speaker wire up and stuffed it in a little recess in the corner. This way, should some future person want to reverse-engineer the lame sound system from the mid-90s, they will be able to. It won’t be me, though.

So, tomorrow, I will be gathering my veneer kit and rounding up a few small dowels to create a little fence, and some luan wood to make some thin shelves, and by day’s end, there will be a new spice rack on board, taking not one iota of extra space that wasn’t being used before. 

I like the way this is working. More progress in a future post.