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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Domino Theory revisited

John Foster Dulles, US secretary of state under Eisenhower, coined The Domino Theory, a more elegant way of saying "one damn thing leads to another." Thus if, say, Andorra goes Commie today, Germany may go tomorrow. A way of keeping us terrified about the Red Bogeyman.

But the theory can also apply domestically.

Months ago one wall of our living room was dominated by custom shelving for about 700 CDs. (Pic above shows 25% of total.) As explained I transferred the CDs to an SD card and now play them through a mini-laptop.

The CDs went up to the attic.

Leaving empty shallow shelves which VR filled temporarily with her collection of little milk jugs.

Then the 18-year-old living room carpet started to wear. But should the replacement carpet be fitted under the CD shelf units (as now) or merely abut them? The carpet, yet to be chosen, will go under the units, which meant an electrician would have to re-position a power socket to make the units mobile.

Meanwhile VR was fed up looking at her jugs  as if through letter-boxes. Could we have more depth variety? But the shelves were irreversibly installed as the units were built; removing them by any known method would damage their neatness. Even DIY expert Sir Hugh baulked.

The electrician had an answer. Using a conventional saw UPSIDE DOWN cut a slot up through the middle of a shelf. Then hit the shelf with a hammer. The shelf breaks at the slot and the two halves tear away from the pegs holding them at the ends. Minor damage within the shelves can be disguised with wood-stain.

Did I mention the new audio system plays the TV through the hi-fi loudspeakers? A great improvement.


  1. Ingenious. What has happened on the righthand side of the fireplace.

    Good to hear you are using the HiFi to best advantage playing the TV sound - I do the same. A slight problem arises: the stereo sound is not apparently coming from the images on the screen because I am a bit limited in the placement of my speakers, but the improvement far outweighs that.

  2. Sir Hugh: Two shelves have been removed from the two other units.

  3. Electricians usually know some good tricks - innovation is key in that trade. I was temporarily confused by your reference to "depth variety". Up here in the world of breathable air, we(Yanks, at least)call that dimension "height". Depth would be distance from the front of the case to the back. Thanks for the photo. Very nice.

  4. MikeM: You were entitled to be confused; on a clear day I'd have used "height". I think I was influenced by having used "shallow" earlier on, reckoning this was a more vivid adjective than the alternatives.

    Sir Hugh and I had discussed this project previously and I'd came up with the idea of a wire-saw as a means of cutting the inaccessible pegs. Not that I'd ever seen a wire-saw. Sir Hugh who, among other things, has in his time created a sailboat, shuddered at the thought of the damage and the idea was dropped.