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?”

Ta.Da.

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 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.