Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

Bit tired now

AH well, obviously no longer 22, and perhaps not completely back to normal bounce? I worked on a project that has been waiting for "the day" for ages, as in a year or more. Sanding the big table in the kitchen. Or rather sanding it outdoors as it is a messy business. We carried it outside, with a fair amount of difficulty and a little irritation as we had different ideas about how to do this... We both prefer working on our own really... 

But this is an old IKEA table made of solid wood and it weighs so much that we had trouble with it, even though there were two of us. Once outside I gathered the equipment I thought I'd need and changed into the boiler suit and tied my hair in a scarf and got the face mask etc etc. Just got all set up and the rain began to fall! Cover everything over and retreat.

Ho hum, eventually we were both off out again and work could begin. Keith digging away soil so we can make a bigger deck at the red house, me sanding the table - a quick job, I thought.  Not as it turned out. There was a deep layer of oil, wax, dirt - goodness knows what, and it clogged the sander in 2 seconds flat. Think again time!

Went looking for a sharp, straight edge to scrape with, haven't got any conveniently broken glass which would be my first choice.... faffed around in the various tool places and went to the barn to look there. opened a cupboard and found two collapsed shelves and a big heap of mess! Sorted it out, unwillingly really, but I had to. Can't leave it like that! Found that one of the things in the messy heap was a hot air gun. Got an idea...

Using the heat gun on the waxy, oily residue worked wonderfully well! I scraped with a Mora knife ( standard Swedish knife for everything, also lethal in the wrong hands) and the wood revealed itself, getting lighter all the time. I finished the scraping with a pan scrubber made of metal, really effective. And then sanded with the trusty Black and Decker that is over 30 years old and gradually collapsing... I should get a new one, but...

I was doing a lot of tai chi thinking about how I was moving, standing, leaning, using my back and soon. I am now wondering if I was alert enough... we'll see. It is such a satisfying job, to return something to a serviceable condition, and a beautiful one. It wasn't "not working" before, but it never ever looked clean, whatever I did - now I know why.

So the table was hauled back indoors, showers were had, tea was quickly scraped together and feel tiredness hit home all at once. I'm pondering what to treat the surface with, leaning towards wax/oil but that is what got us into the mess to be fair. Should I varnish? I will ponder and have a chat to the people in the paint shop next week. The table is currently covered with a plastic table cloth because it will stain if was drop anything on the raw wood. I really don't want to have to do this job again for a while!

The blip shows a little bit of "before" and a lot of "after". Spent a long while reading about Portland this morning, my life is charmed in comparison.

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