Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What I've been working on today

Today I have a project. I'm refinishing this:

This is my dad's old workbench.
It's full of splatters and gouges and love.
When we were little, sometimes he'd call out,
"Who wants to come help me in my workshop?"
and if we chose, we could go down in the basement and "help" him.
We held the board while he cut it, helped him read the numbers on the tape measure,
or handed him things.
Sometimes we just watched.

I watched him use the plane and I was amazed. I could never get that thing to work like he did! When Dad used the plane to smooth a board, great blond curlicues of wood would come out of it, and he would let me play with them. When I tried, not one thing came curling out.
That plane was like magic to me!
I loved that tool!

There used to be a vice attached to the side of this old desk, and there are chunks cut off the edge where the saw was sharp and the board was clamped too close to the tabletop.

When we worked with Dad at his workbench, we learned about measuring
and cutting and teamwork and life.

I always liked this desk. I like the strong, graceful turn of the legs,
and all the memories piled up in it.

I was mighty happy when he said I could have it!!
I mean really, mighty happy!

This afternoon I was refinishing it outdoors at my house.

I didn't take a good "before" picture of the whole thing, but here you can get an idea of what the top looked like with paint spilled and holes drilled and the corner
sort of cut off at a little bit of a funny angle.

It's had quite a history!

Here is the section of the top that I worked on already. The cuts and scratches still show, but the beautiful grain is beginning to shine through. Some of the paint splashes came off, but some were untouched by the refinisher I was using. I love that it still looks rough, used, and laden with rich, sweet stories, yet is much cleaner and just a little bit smoothed out.

But just a little bit.

Isn't it a pretty shape? I've always loved it!


It is going to be my new writing desk!

I am excited!

Eventually, today's strong winds put a stop to my progress. The refinisher was evaporating too fast. I got the first step done, and I am going back to finish it later, when the wind dies down.

(This is another post related to:
just so you know.)


  1. Lovely for a writing desk! Those dark sweet curves of the legs should be inspirational :)

  2. Yeah. I agree. Wonderful you could have it. Long lost memories sometimes come back I think with such.

  3. I love this pice of art and memory rolled into one! Glad it kept the remnants of the stories...it truly is a beaut!

    Midwives assistant....among other things (to answer your question)

  4. oh friend, thank you for commenting on my post so i could find you here... and what a gorgeous writing desk, full of such memories... i just refinished my dining room table. doesn't it feel good? and then, to use it, knowing such love poured into it...

    thank you for praying for savannah. she is in a stable condition now, praise God. bless you, friend. i hope you'll join me for imperfect prose on thursdays. xo

  5. That is an amazing table and desk with quite a life behind it and before it. I'm touched.
    Thank you for sharing! And, belated Happy Birthday, friend. Love, Jayne


Thanks,I love your comments!