Friday, October 05, 2007

As Promised - A Long Time Ago

No, I did not die. Just haven't been into writing for the past few months. I have, however finished two furniture projects and started on a third. Oh yeah - I've also repainted the walls in all but one room of the house.

The piece of furniture that I alluded to in one of my last posts was a birthday present for my daughter. For as long as I can remember (and I'm an old fart) a small, dark- colored desk sat in our living room at home. I can still see my father, who died in 1964, sitting at that desk paying bills. When my mother passed away in 1999, the desk became mine. It sat in my home office, basically unused, for the next 8 years. When Cayta was about to turn 30, I decided it was time to pass it on.

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.



1 comment:

CJ said...

Thanks, Dad. Now the internets know that I am 30. Sheesh. In other news, I have now repaired a blanket, made a jean skirt and started a baby blanket all on the aforementioned desk! I am no longer hunched over the coffee table at my sewing machine! LOVE IT! And, Gramma's AND Omi's sewing baskets fit perfectly on the lil' shelves!