The best kind of man cave

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Contents - Words John Barker

1. The cave

This can be a shed or de­tached garage of some sort, but un­der no cir­cum­stances should the man cave be at­tached to the main dwelling. Be­ing con­nected to the liv­ing quar­ters ren­ders the cave li­able to ran­dom in­spec­tion and clean­ing at the whim of the other party in­volved in the do­mes­tic ar­range­ment.

It will also mean at times that you might hear some­thing like “I can’t get the car into the garage for good­ness sake” or “If the kids get out here and swal­low one of those screws you keep leav­ing ly­ing around...” or “I al­most killed my­self trip­ping over the junk last week.”

The cave should also not be pur­pose­built. This de­feats the goal of hav­ing a hovel, with ex­posed wiring and a door with only one hinge. There should be old hooks and cubby holes that once served pur­poses that can only be guessed at. If it’s a nicely-lined and painted room, it is a bed­room.

2. Tools

It is im­por­tant to have a va­ri­ety of tools to line the walls and scat­ter around the bench tops, to demon­strate the prow­ess and com­pe­tence of the owner. Don’t worry too much if you don’t know how to use them. It is easy in this age of tech­nol­ogy to search on­line for any ad­di­tional facts that may help in the use of the tools. Look up www.how­touse­a­ham­mer.com and life is im­me­di­ately eas­ier and more straight­for­ward.

I am still try­ing to find a use for my router. I have made one of those nice shadow board thin­gies for it to hang on. Vis­i­tors are very im­pressed.

3. As­sorted stuff

There must be a large as­sort­ment of things that may come in handy one day. There’s the crate of bits and pieces that was in­her­ited from your father. He kept them for 40 years in case they were use­ful so they now have his­toric value. If they were thrown out you just know that next week you would need three bent D shack­les, but then it would be too late.

My own man cave houses the re­mains of a yacht. This has been used to re­pair kitchen cup­boards, pro­vide a lid for a cookie jar, and contributed to a steam punk cos­tume. The chain is on the trailer, the rope is do­ing ser­vice as a swing, and there are two spare an­chors in the rafters, just in case.

4. Fridge

There have been ac­cu­sa­tions in the past that the man cave is merely an ex­cuse for the male of the house­hold and other un­de­sire­ables to avoid re­spon­si­bil­ity and spend the evening drink­ing beer. Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth. The fridge is to keep the sand­wiches in. Firstly, it is nec­es­sary to keep sand­wiches to sus­tain you dur­ing the long ar­du­ous evenings spent work­ing on im­por­tant pro­jects. These pro­jects are for the ben­e­fit

of mankind in gen­eral. At a fu­ture time I will de­tail what these are.

Se­condly, far be it from the cave dweller to in­ter­rupt his spouse when she is en­joy­ing her qual­ity time.

5. Home brew

Not­with­stand­ing the above, the para­pher­na­lia of the home brew set-up may be safely stashed in this area. The fer­menter it­self should com­mand a cen­tral po­si­tion.

You’ll also need shelves to store the hops, malt, brew­ing mag­a­zines, ther­mostats and var­i­ous in­gre­di­ents and equip­ment.

Ob­vi­ously there will also be sev­eral types of the fin­ished prod­uct avail­able for re­search pur­poses.

5. Un­fin­ished pro­jects

Some pro­jects can’t be hur­ried. It took Edi­son 20 years to in­vent the light­bulb. Ein­stein took 10 years to in­vent rel­a­tiv­ity.

Per­son­ally, I am work­ing on the tele­port­ing prob­lem. In 1966 the creators of Star Trek first in­tro­duced us to tele­port­ing, and I am sure I have al­most cracked it.

There is al­ways a cer­tain amount of luck with these pro­jects, vel­cro and vul­can­ised rub­ber to name just two. Where would we be with­out those?

This is why I pre­fer not to tidy up, purely in the in­ter­ests of po­ten­tial world­chang­ing dis­cov­er­ies.

As with all recipes, it is im­por­tant to get the mix­ing right. Some would sug­gest that the man cave is half-baked. Change the in­gre­di­ents and the fin­ished prod­uct is al­tered. It is best to ex­per­i­ment, a project here, a new pile of crit­i­cally im­por­tant hard­ware there. There al­ways seems to be too much lawn­mow­ing and not enough home brew. The prob­lems can be­come in­sur­mount­able.

I raise a sand­wich to the hum­ble man cave where im­por­tant dis­cov­er­ies are made, pro­jects re­main in­com­plete, and no-one drinks beer, much.

Hardly at all, re­ally.

there have been ac­cu­sa­tions that the man cave... is a place for un­de­sire­ables to spend time drink­ing beer.

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