Thursday, July 17, 2008

Crates make good houses

We got a new instrument for the lab a few weeks ago. (a Corning high-throughput label-free screening platform based on optical biosensor technology).

It came in 3 huge crates, and another crate that contained a small forklift for use in assembly. I'm not kidding, it shipped with its own forklift. Curiously, the guys that assembled the thing never even uncrated the forklift. Which is too bad, because me and the delivery guy (who looked, dressed and sounded exactly like Larry the Cable Guy), took a huge amount of time and sweat to git-r-done and move that sucker off the truck, on to the elevator, and into position.

But I digress. After uncrating the instrument, the crates were left behind. And they were pretty neat. Made of OSB (oriented strand board) and disassemblable into their component parts via a clip mechanism, they were a production in themselves. Apparently they have a whole warehouse full of the empties (I guess $250,000 scientific instruments are hot these days), so they asked if we could use them.

I just can't resist the call of free crap, so I said sure. I spent 2 hours one Sunday taking the things apart, removing the extraneous packaging (one of them had a complete sled with shockmounts, made of 7/8 inch 9 ply plywood), humping them down the hall to the elevator, moving them out to the illegally parked minivan, and getting them home.

Yesterday I finally got the chance to take them out from under the tarp and prepare them for their new role as a playhouse. I'm going to stain them grey and add some mid-century modern overhangs, but they're a success already, although of course the big kid prefers playing on the top to actually playing inside...

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