If you’re reading this, it’s true. I finished my biggest build yet– 51 sandwich boards! And let me tell you, it was a lot of work but I loved every second of it. I started working/researching these in late October, and by the time all my materials came (trying to find the best deals/pricing) it was late January. It took me 3 months and 180+ hours to finish them. I really wanted these to look awesome and I think they turned out looking damn fine!

I had a lot of people asking me how they were coming along and if I was getting sick of them. And you know what? Not once did I ever get tired of working on them. Even with the twenty I had to fix because I didn’t think they were good enough or the two that broke when I was completely finished (I had like 30 leaned up against my sander and it was too much weight… toppled over. So stupid), I still didn’t mind it. I’m really proud of the work I put into these and that’s what I kept telling myself when I would see a mistake. Sure, nobody would ever notice them, but I didn’t want to leave any doubt that I did the best work I could and that’s what I did. They are more than just sandwich boards to me. They represent hard work and the willingness to take chances. Yes, that’s deep and could be in someones motivational speech, but it’s the truth. I didn’t really know what I was getting into or how much time and work it would be, but I wasn’t going to learn anything if I didn’t try. ALWAYS TRY.

I know many of you are thinking, 180+ hours, Juddy Judson Builds is now rich as balls, swimming in a grocery bag of toonies. But keep in mind, I could have made the same amount of money working at Burger king. Actually, probably more. Minimum wage is pretty good right now. But I was able to do this by myself, for a business I started. Plus I spent all my money before I even had it.
Let’s break it down to see where my $ went
1. Blue Jays home opener tickets.
2. I bought a trailer for the business. (got a great deal on Kijiji)
3. Trailer hitch. (Not a good deal)
4. Industrial Sander. (Another Kijiji deal)
5. ½ of my wife’s 30th birthday cake. I had to take the bottles back to pay for the rest (Not a joke)

What I learned
If you are friendly, polite and honest with people and work to build a connection with them, they will generally go out of their way and give you a better price. I’d always asked if there was a better price when buying my materials and 95% of the time, there was. By asking someone how their day is going and listening to them, they’ll do what they can to help you (wouldn’t you?). Not only does my theory work for building materials but it also works for internet, oil, cell phone bills and insurance. If you are kind to people, they will be kind to you. Everyone wants to be respected. This implies to every aspect of life.

Overall, I really enjoyed this build. I learned a lot, mostly on the business end which is where I needed the work. My pricing and quoting still needs some fine tuning but the more I do, the more I learn.
Check out the second half of my build process below. My picture captions may make you smile. Smiling is important.

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I may have moved my shop up to our unheated garage a little early. Thankfully I had this kerosene heater my father-in-law was storing in my barn. (he likely won’t get it back). One particular chilly day, I turned it on and went into the house for 20 minutes till it heated the garage up. Well, apparently you should turn them on outside first. I didn’t and it was smoking for a good 20 minutes before I re-entered the garage. I literally couldn’t see my hands in front of my face. As you can imagine, my concern was that I was going to light the house on fire. I was a little worried for a few seconds but I was able to feel around for the garage door opener, thankfully. The smoke just billowed out of the garage.  My face was pitch black from the smoke. I probably lost 5 years of my life.
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I decided to order everything in bulk. It was cost efficient.
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I bought a spray gun to help speed up the process of staining.  It was a life saver and does a better job than a brush
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A transfer truck backed into my driveway one day (not kidding) and dropped off a huge pallet of these. 102 to be exact. They came all the way from Cincinnati!
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Next I ripped 1/8th off one side of the boards. They are 24 inches wide so this gave me a little wiggle/breathing room if everything wasn’t completely square.
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Dad’s hardware came through with free staples. I went to town stapling the boards onto the frame.
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Juddy Judson Sr. Hardware came through with a free/loan staple gun.
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If I build it, I will brand it.
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Oh hey Dad, love you.
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Next, I put the hinges on. I became very frustrated during this part. I actually hated it. If both hinges weren’t perfectly parallel to one another, the boards wouldn’t close evenly. I used paint sticks to help.
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Next, my helper and I started to cut the chains for the back.  She mostly clapped and cheered me on. Shirts were optional.

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This is safe for an 8 month old to play with, right?

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Just me taking another picture of myself.
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I put a final coat of urethane on with a brush and lightly sanded it when it dried
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Award winning.
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They wanted 10 painted a yellow to match a beer label so first I primed 20 of them with Binn.
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I put a thick coat of yellow on with a brush first.
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Then I sanded off all the rough spots
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I put two more coats on with a roller for a smoothish finish.

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A last minute causality.

 

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Finished!!!

There you have it. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. Thanks again for everyone’s support. They did take a lot of time but I certainly learned a lot.  I have a list of back orders to get to, so not a lot of down time. A special shout out to Murphy’s Group and Shelley Bruce for reaching out to me to do this build. Locals supporting locals!!  My wife was also very, very patient with me during this build. She loves me, I love her!

If you see these around Charlottetown, don’t kick them. Warranty not included…

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