July, 2011

July 13, 2011

As we were finishing up construction of the photobooth shed, I had been preparing the pathway — uneven, half dirt, half concrete, and potentially treacherous — for the move-in. When the day finally arrived yesterday for the booth to be delivered, I started the day by heading out to rent the necessary tools: a set of “Roll-or-Kari” piano moving dollies and a J‑Bar, a.k.a. Dutchman Dolly (a.k.a. Johnson Bar or J‑Bar).


I was given a time slot of 8 a.m. to noon for delivery; naturally, the truck showed up at 1:30 p.m. The driver was able to back it up into the driveway, and so began the somewhat frightening process of getting a 900 lb. booth and pallet off the truck using the lift gate. 

The photobooth

It's here

After work last night, my friends Keith and Eric came over to lend a hand, and we got to work disassembling the high-quality pallet the booth came on, getting the booth off the pallet, and getting it onto the Roll-or-Karis. From there, it was a pretty straight shot through the gate and down the path into the shed.

The photobooth

Moving down the path

Getting the 30-inch wide booth through the 32-inch doorway was tight, but I don’t think we hit anything, and no one lost any fingers, so it was a success. I was surprised, actually, how smoothly it went; we were done just an hour and 15 minutes after we started. We pushed and pulled the booth into the corner of the space, and stood back to admire our work.

Last night and this morning, I worked with Tim over FaceTime to get the transmission aligned (which involved my first problem, first diagnosis, and first bonehead mistake, none of which will be the last), and I’m hoping to get to picture-taking tonight.

The work begins

Today, I cleaned off all of the old (and conflicting) price stickers, as well as lots of layers of tape, stickers of hearts and cats (where has this booth been?), and some other gunk.

The photobooth

I also moved the sweet late-’60s sign from the right side of the booth against the wall to the left side, where it can be seen in all its glory.

The photobooth

More updates to follow as I make more progress.

July 06, 2011

Booth in motionIt’s always been a bit of an embarrassment that a guy running a website about photobooths doesn’t actually have one of his own. Tim’s got more than a few himself, and after finally buying a house a few years back, it was high time I got my own. When we had our first child last year, the idea sounded even better, and I’ve been working to make it happen. We’re very, very close.

The saga began in April, 2009, just after the end of the last photobooth convention. Our buddy Anthony had a line on a Model 14 photobooth that had lived at the Texas State Fair for many years, and was up for sale. He suggested I buy it and we would fix it up and ship it out. Since then, that booth actually got switched out for a different booth, I suddenly had no time to go on photobooth-fixing jaunts, and Anthony had more than a lot on his plate as well. This month, he finished refurbishing it on the inside, replacing parts big and small and making sure everything worked. Now, more than two years later, the booth is on a truck, on its way from Chicago to Los Angeles.

The second part of the story is the work that I’ve been doing on my end to make our house ready for the booth. It’s not a big place, and having run out of room inside, we decided the best place for the booth would be in its own little space out in the backyard. Next to our shed, we’ve got a strange little space protected by an overhang, which my friend Jeff and I have, over the course of the last two months, transformed into a tiny, photobooth-sized room. We framed the walls, put in a door, added siding, did the electrical, and hung drywall. I’m about to prime and paint, with not much time to spare: the booth is due here in three days. 

The space began like this:

The Shannex

And eventually became this:

The Shannex

And looks like this on the outside (though it will be painted at some point):

The Shannex

Once the space is ready, the next challenge is making sure that the booth can get from the driveway to its new home. A balky gate, an uneven pathway, and a huge lip at the base of the door are all obstacles in the way of a successful move, so I’m trying to make sure we’ve got the right tools (“Roll-Or-Kari” and “Dutchman’s Dolly,” anyone?) and strength in numbers to carry it off. And if that wasn’t enough, my daughter’s first birthday party is next weekend, and if the booth isn’t ready by then, well, I don’t want to think about that. I’ve got my fingers crossed.