I refinished a table 3

Chiseling out the fishes turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be.

The table was still pretty dirty. I removed hardware and sanded that. I removed all the mismatched screws and found replacements – most matching. I sanded and sanded and sanded. It was taking forever. Then I began to wonder if perhaps I could have made much swifter progress had I started out with grittier sandpaper. Was I being too gentle, stripping the wood with 220? Hell yeh I was. Back to Ace Hardware, hello 100. Things happened pretty quickly from here – minus the 10 day vacation, vacation recovery time, the start of school, and I got a job (more on that another time). I lost a little momentum there for a while, but once I finally started back at it magic began to happen.

Of course I forgot to take pictures at this point.

And then like 4 coats of polyurethane later and still not a smooth finish, I make the call, “Dad, I can’t get it smooth.” “Did you try wet sanding?”


And then it was done. Well, nearly. The new screws I used to attach the legs to the table top were just a touch too long… SON OF A FLIPPING NUTCRACKER!!! Yeh, they splintered through the finally, beautifully finished table top. Many expletives. I wanted to poke my eyeballs out with my own fingers. How could I be so stupid? More swearing. Maybe some tears. All, very gloriously, in front of my gob smacked children. So, instead of hauling the whole damn thing out to the trash and setting it aflame like I wanted to do, I had to take a deep breath, put on my big girl pants, and get out the sandpaper and polyurethane, and start fixing the mistake I made. Which, by the way, the kids were kinda pissed about. My table had been hogging up a lot of space for kind of a long time in the basement where they and their friends like to hang out. Too bad – I needed a couple more days.

and THEN… ta-da!

Looks pretty much the same as the other picture. You’ll just have to trust me that there were holes and I fixed them. So now it is finished and settling into it’s new home and job… 






Seriously?!?! Reattaching the latch, guess what I did? Yup, made a new crack. This one is staying for now, though. I’m still done.


I refinished a table 2

My house in Lake Bluff has a basement but not one I can work on my table in. It’s a finished basement, like most around here. We finished it because it’s what will sell when we finally get to move back east.

In the mean time… I needed someplace to work on my dirty table. Hello driveway. Lake Bluff is a little village. That means houses right next to each other and driveways you can spit the length of. No one does projects like this in Lake Bluff so no one has space to do projects like this. Having no other options, I set up shop in the driveway (and I like to spit). And naturally, neighbors walked and drove by all day long.  As I sanded away layers of dirt and grime, I got lots of very skeptical, “So… whatcha doing there, Wendy…?” I said, “I am going to repair and refinish this table.” Which was met with mostly, “oh… huh. Ok…?”‘ I sanded on.

Then I had to dig out the little fishy shapes on either side of the big cracks to fit the new ones in. I had a chisel, a mallet, a dremel, and a wide variety of dremel tips. And then I went to Ace Hardware and bought more dremel tips. And more sandpaper.

Hamish was a huge help.



I refinished a table 1

Every time there is a gap in my posting, I am going to start a new one with something like, “Ok it’s been about a million years since I’ve written!”

So there it is.

I’ve been busy (and a little bit negligent) – that’s why I haven’t been on here. Over the summer, Dad was at his accountants’ house picking up a load of really old wood they had in thier basement. Steve went with to help. When they got home Steve came running to get me, “Wend! Come see what I found for you!” Woohoo! I came runnin. “Look! It’s a table! Like you were looking for!” Mom was like, “Uh, yuck. What are going to do with that?” But it was perfect. It was a drop leaf table in many pieces and in very poor condition… to say the least. It was dirty and cracked and scratched, with rusted mismatched hardware, missing leaves and a pirate peg leg. Circa 1900. Probably Sears catalog. Probably worthless. I was in love. Well done, Steve. I have always wanted a drop leaf table, I can’t say why, I just have. And for some reason I got it in my head that I wanted an old one to repair and refinish. Having zero experience with wood working, furniture building, furniture repair, and a limited attention span, I had been on the hunt to a junky old table in need of some love that I couldn’t make any worse. And here it was.

Lucky for me, Dad has loads of experience with all things wood working. We made a plan.

Both drop leaves had huge cracks. We made little bow tie pieces to pull and hold the cracked sides together. Then I figured that I would be unlikely to be able to blend these pieces seamlessly, so why not make them stand out? So we made them into little fishes. Then we packed all the table parts and pieces into my motorhome and drove it home to Lake Bluff.

all day nothing happened

I don’t have a picture for this. It was difficult to capture the nothingness. Not that I didn’t DO anything. I did stuff. I was busy all freakin’ day. Luckily the past few days have been chockablock, just back to back stuff, so I deliberately planned nothing – I knew I had catching up to do on things like a board meeting agenda, helping the kids and hub pack for Island Weekend, laundry… But it was the preparing for work that hogged up the lion’s share of my day. This Pilates teaching gig is time consuming! On top of the 500 hours required for certification, I devote endless hours class prep. Whether it is researching a client’s particular condition (diastasis recti, knee meniscus surgery, talus fracture, 4-months-in-a-boot recovery, pulled abdominal muscle, or just never done Pilates before) or trying to choreograph a class that flows AND that flows exactly 55 minutes, or 45 minutes, or 55 minutes but for 2 clients who know what they are doing and 2 who have never even heard of Pilates before but are all in one class together… Sometimes is a mat class, sometimes it’s a mat class with foam roller, sometimes it’s a reformer class, sometimes for a group, sometimes private. And if I am also taking a weekend training module then I am away-ish and learning a new piece equipment and teaching to peers in front of an instructor – that’s not nerve wracking at all. Yes it is. My head is swimming. But in a good way. I am enjoying the challenge. Luckily I don’t have to also work a regular full time job so I have time to commit to this. Maybe too much time…? I spend A LOT of time on class prep. But I also feel like with each class I teach, it is getting a little easier.

I have ordered my own home Pilates equipment. I am super excited to get my reformer/tower and exo chair! I ordered them last week. They said it would take about 2 weeks for me to get them so I am going to call for a status report. To be able to practice at home will be awesome. I practice with a friend who has a home studio that is gorgeous and filled with equipment. That’s not what I will have. I will have Pilates equipment in my basement, probably littered with Nerf bullets. Do you think I have to charge less per session on account of the bullets…?

Oh hello there…

I think it has literally been a million years since I have been here. Our interest in this dropped off really quick, ladies. I think I am back though. I have so much crap to talk about… like my table! That table I am fixing and refinishing might look good some day. You should see it. Maybe tomorrow you will – when I post pics. Will spend some time here tomorrow…

maybe it’s just the coffee talking

Had the most delicious lunch downtown at Eataly today with my she-peeps! A lunch like that calls for a glass (or two) of wine, of course. And by “a lunch like that” y’all know I mean just “lunch with my she-peeps” right? Being the responsible parents that we are, we were home by 3, but holy cow that second glass was dragging me ever closer to a horizontal position on the sofa with the strength of… of… Well with the strength of a second glass of wine with lunch, I guess. We bargained back and forth for a while (me vs wine) and finally settled on a compromise where I could lounge in my big comfy chair for a while, but I  must only read Orphan #8 – the disturbing novel/historical fiction about an orphaned child who was subjected to medical testing in an orphanage in the 1920s. And then COFFEE! Just an espresso. ESPRESSO! I am awake now! Which is good because I have to rally and get my butt out to meet with the guy who is reworking the website for our local educational foundation, of which I am the fearless leader. We are all volunteer, so I am genuinely grateful for the help. I was making a complete pig’s ear of our current website. I am not a web designer. I have no web designing skillage. And yet, I was handling the upkeep of the website. Let’s go ahead and use that word “upkeep” pretty loosely. Mostly I just took it over from another person who was also not a professional web person, so imagine if you will a copy of a copy of a copy… But now I am energizing and looking forward to learning all about this new website. It is supposed to be much easier to organize and navigate. I will bundle myself up and trek out into cold and snow to meet… ugh I am talking myself out of it already. Maybe I need more coffee. Or will that just make my heart beat that little bit too fast so I can’t actually focus on anything? Probably that. I should have re-ADD-medicated on the drive home, that would have been early enough but now it’s too late. I would be up all night. This is shitty writing. I am not sure this even has a point. The End.

E: Best. Name. Ever: Eataly. Seriously, mind blown.

Also, I get it. About the coffee. Some is good. But don’t go over the line. A tad too much and you might as well be hammered. Useless!