This evening I mounted an auxiliary shelf in my kitchen, over the counter beside the stove. When I was cleaning the kitchen a couple of weeks ago I'd decided this was The Thing To Do, and I'd bought the shelf, a pair of mounting brackets, and the appropriate screws when I was at Lowe's. After I got them home, I discovered that the mounting brackets were slightly too large to fit in the wall space where I wanted them, because the countertop has one of those vertical extensions which comes halfway up that wall. But the shelf is noticeably deeper than the brackets are long, and I decided that it should be quite effective to attach a piece of wood to the wall that was thicker than the counter top extension, and attach the brackets to that.
That was the plan I started to execute tonight. I fired up my old circular saw and cut a couple of short pieces off a piece of 2x4 salvaged from the breezeway construction project. I probably want a new blade for the saw -- there's a little rust on it from the time it spent sitting in my garage being ignored -- but it was quite adequate to this job. Then I ran into a small problem, when I discovered that the screws I intended to use to attach the bits of 2x4 to the wall were not long enough to span the thickness of the 2x4, the paneling on the wall, and the drywall under the paneling to reach the stud that I trusted would be there. Well, actually, they were just long enough to touch the stud, but not long enough to get a good grip on it. To solve this problem, I got out one of my spade bits for my drill and drilled 3/8" holes about half an inch deep into the 2x4. With the effective reach of my screws thus extended, I attached the 2x4 bits to the wall, and then attached the brackets to the 2x4s. Right about then the battery gave out in my cordless drill/driver, so I got the trusty old corded drill, placed the shelf on the brackets, marked the locations of the screw holes in the brackets on the bottom of the shelf, drilled pilot holes, and screwed the shelf down. I was feeling proud of myself right about then, when I realized that I'd forgotten that I wanted to put a hole in the shelf to accomodate a couple of electrical cords for appliances that I wanted on top of the shelf to reach the outlet underneath the shelf. Oops. Since the shelf was now (hopefully) permanetly in place, I'd have to make the cord hole in situ. I fetched the largest spade bit in the set, got up on a chair on the other side of the wall1, and drilled. Just in case you weren't clear on this point, drilling a hole through a particle board manufactured shelf with a spade bit is not a job you actually want to do in the kitchen. Sawdust all over the place. And the 1" hole wasn't big enough for the plugs to fit through, so I had to drill a second hole next to it and saw out the projections between, making even more sawdust. Fortunately, I have a vacuum cleaner2, so the mess was soon cleaned up. I put the tools away and things back on the kitchen counter.
I pronounced myself satisfied. A job well done.
1Perhaps I should explain here that the wall between the kitchen and the dining area of the big room has a large "pass through" area from about 3.5" to about 5". The shelf was being mounted just below the lip of this pass-through on the kitchen side. So I could reach it most easily from the dining area on the other side of the wall.
2Though if you visit my house, you might well conclude that I am afraid to use it. :-)