It looked like the above photo by the time I got around to working on it. It had taken a beating, but it was still structurally sound. A lot of sand paper, steel wool, elbow grease and sweat later, it became Cayta's birthday present. I know it's over 50 years old, but how many years it was around before then are a mystery. The picture below is the end result of my labor.
The other piece that I undertook was an ancient 3-drawer chest that Barbara and I bought at an old antique/junk shop in Binghamton, NY in the early 70's. It's selling price was written in crayon on the inside base of the top drawer and it's still there - $8! I refinished it not long after we got it, but it still looked like shit. Over the ensuing years it sat in our living room enduring a variety of misuses. At one point, it was a stand for a 30-gallon fish tank. That particular incarnation seriously damaged the chest's structure. The top became waterlogged and and it listed to one side.
When I began the refinishing process this time I found it impossible to get the top sanded smooth - I kept running into soft spots. I even tried a belt-sander, but could not get to sound wood. The solution was a screw driver - I gouged out the rotten spots, filled them with wood filler and painted the top satin black. I added support to the chest's frame, realigned the drawers, added a false back for appearances so that it doesn't need to be against a wall and started on the sanding and refinishing process. Sadly, I don't have any "before" photos, but the picture below is how it looks now.
The current project is a little less ambitious. Barbara bought a set of antique dining room chairs about 20 years ago. We used them for a while, then acquired a new dining room set. The chairs were relegated to our basement - and no good can come from that. They are not yet finished, but below are "before" and "afters."
So, that's how I spent my summer. The impetus for my getting back to the blog was a comment this week from a new fan who seems to enjoy my ramblings. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.