Monday, July 9, 2012

My New HOPE. . .

CHEST - okay it's not "new" but it is becoming "new" again! Here's it's story. . .
About 10 years ago I bought this old Lane hope chest at a garage sale while Gary & I were vacationing in California. I bought it for $10 and had hoped to do something with it for my scrapbook room at my old house. That never happened. Then, when Bryanna got engaged she asked if she could have it to store her new china in it. I of course said yes and it went to her new home. The china came out of the chest eventually and this little hope chest got buried under a pile of stuff in her garage for the next 6 years.  

A few weeks ago when I got serious about the new studio I asked Bryanna if I could have it back. So on Thursday Darwin & I dug it out of their garage. When we unburied it I found it had some "issues" that it didn't used to. The bottom had dry rotted and one of the casters and a chunk of the wood had fallen out and the bottom would have to be replaced. I think Darwin thought it was a lost cause but I was not detoured. That very day I got it home and measured the bottom and headed down to Home Depot for a new piece of wood, 4 new legs, some wood glue and some screws. I had the Home Depot guy cut my wood for me and I was ready to get home and tackle my newest project! As I put my $22 piece of wood in my trunk I realized it was split! So back in I went to get yet another piece of wood. As luck (or God) would have it, the guy that helped me was busy and so another young man helped me. He was a little unsure and asked an older gentleman to help him/me. The new man decided I needed a $35 piece of wood. I was a bit disappointed, but figured I was still getting a great deal on my "new" piece of furniture for my studio. They spent quite a bit of time cutting the wood to my exact measurements. And when they were finished they asked if I wanted the scraps (you have to pay for the whole piece not just what you use out of the piece) I told them yes, since I was paying for it. Then I said "unless you want to charge me just for the piece I had cut?". They looked at each other, grabbed the scraps back and threw them in a bin and said "okay". The younger of the two asked the older what to charge me, the older of the two said "give her the special deal".I thanked him and as the younger man & I walked up to the cash register I asked what the special deal was? I was not prepared for how special this deal was. . . it was .51cents!!!!! That's right, after tax I paid .56 cents for a $35 piece of wood that I took 80% of!!! I had to hug and thank both of these men. And as I walked out of the store I had to thank God for making this so easy and so joyful for me. It was another one of those moments that I talked about earlier today about how God gives us the little desires of our heart!

As soon as I got home from Home Depot I got started on my replacing my bottom. It took me a little bit of time, energy and sweat to get that bottom out, but I did it all by myself! I was so excited to just slip my new bottom in and get it "glued & screwed" so I could do the fun stuff - sanding & painting. But sadly I had mis-measured and my .56 cent bottom was 1/4" too wide! I just couldn't bring myself to go back to Home Depot and ask them to cut it again. So I called my friend Judie's husband and asked if he could fix it for me (he has a whole wood shop at his house). He is a nice guy and said yes, I could come the next day. So I loaded the chest and the wood into my trunk so he could measure it before he cut it for me so I didn't have to bug him again. As luck (or God) would have it, Ken cut my wood for me and then even glued and screwed it for me - he even used clamps and everything, thing I would not have done! Once it was glued he even attached the hardware that the legs screw into for me. I left there so happy and so thankful!

Here is my little Lane chest that was built on February 13, 1971 ( you can find this info by looking at the serial number). I really wish I would have taken pictures before I got the bottom in and the legs attached, but that's okay.

 The cedar is in great shape on the inside

 My plan is to add these wooden letters to the front of the chest once it is all painted. There are 6 little sections on the front of the chest that they will fit perfectly in.

 Tonight I got started on all of the sanding and painting. Of course I painted it black but I left the ornate trim just washed with the black so that the wood shows through.

Even though the cedar was in such great shape, I painted it black too. There are a couple of reasons why I did this. One, I hate the smell of cedar - always have. And two, because sadly, when I broke out the bottom I found that even a 40 year old piece of Lane furniture that calls it's self a Fine Cedar Chest" has a substructure of MDF!!!! Oh my, really? My hope and my prayer is that all of the formaldehyde has gassed out in the past 40 years of being used and stored in hot garages. But to be on the safe side I am painting and sealing every bit of the chest - no natural wood top on this piece of furniture like on the other pieces. If it becomes a problem I will just get rid of it. But I am having faith !

 Here's a close up of the trim & new legs

They whole chest still needs another coat of paint and it needs to be varnished (I hope my varnish arrives tomorrow - I had to special order my fav varnish last week because I couldn't find any locally). And of course I need to get my letters done. But I am very happy with how it's turning out.
So that's the story of my hope chest, my newest addition to "The Room that God Built"!

Till we meet again. . .

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