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.
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.