Thursday, March 17, 2016

A treasure chest of work!

Let's face it, after working with wood for 40 years, things can get a little boring. I would hate to think how many hours I have spent sanding wood!

So when someone came along with this steamer trunk and asked me to rebuild it, adding in a few custom features, I was hooked! 

It needed a lot of work, the handles were shot.

 The interior was lined with wallpaper that was disintegrating. 

And this little girl kept staring back at me, as I lined the bottom of the trunk in aromatic Cedar.  Did you ever feel like someone was staring back at you? I was totally creeped out.

 Finding the Cedar was an adventure, I went to Lowes and it took six sales associates telling me that they didn't carry it, for me to find it on my own. You would think that the sales people know what they have on the shelves, but apparently they don't.

 Fitting the last board or two with a hand plane felt good.

I found a hidden gem in my neighborhood – a leather worker who could replace these worn-out handles.

 (I plan on blogging about him and his business soon- trust me, he's one of those interesting characters in Las Vegas!)

These handles have definitely seen better days! 

I kept to all of the old nails that I pulled out, to reuse them. 

These new handles looks spiffy, don't they?

Doc's leatherwork is phenomenal.

Then I turned my attention to the inside of the lid, which was particularly damaged.

 I took out the dividers and decided on a game plan. The lid was so badly damaged that I decided to cover it up with some bendable plywood.  I cut the sample strip and fit it into place, to determine the right width of the plywood. 

It was nearly impossible to use one solid sheet of plywood, so I had to do it in halves, with a center piece of trim covering up the seam.

 Damn, the lid was proving very problematic!

So I decided to turn my attention on the wheels. 

There was one broken wheel, so I ordered a brand-new set of four. 

When they arrived, the bright brass finish needed to be darkened and aged, 

so I applied a brass patina that aged them perfectly.

 I even darkened the screws, not knowing if I would use them or the original nails.  

The new wheels weren't the exact size of the old ones, but close enough. 

Here is one installed - it looks perfect!

There are only two things left to do a this trunk, and hopefully I will get to them later this week. Some jobs feel like a real chore, but this one is quite enjoyable. It almost makes me want to go on Craigslist and buy one of these trunks for myself!

Stay tuned for the finished photos!

1 comment:

Christine said...

Very nice! I wish furniture could talk. This one looks like a 1930's immigrant trunk from a Scandinavian country. I wish we had one in our family that I could add to the history I've gathered about my ancestors. Thanks for sharing you project!