I BOUGHT A RAKE today–for $5. I didn’t know that rakes were so inexpensive. It’s practically the only thing that’s been inexpensive about the renovation project to date. I bought the rake because the older shed is now completely demolished and I needed to rake up the debris left behind from the deconstruction and from the previous owners. I think that multiple owners have stored “junk” in the shed. I found bags of trash, a salt shaker, old vases, a fishing pole, an old hair dryer in a fancy case, iron rods, and what I’m thinking was the kitchen cabinet at some point in the past–maybe even the original one. It’s weathered and rotting now, but I may even be able to save a board or two before I toss the rest. Oh, and a groundhog’s den.
I was careful to save almost all of the boards from the shed when I tore it down, and at the time, I was skeptical about how I’d be able to use them. Most were water damaged on the ends and many were splitting. All are nail-pocked. And when I started removing the nails, the chore of saving the boards seemed even more daunting. My niece’s fiance worked with me one afternoon to cut the useless ends from some of the boards as I loosened the nails. That was in July, and I hadn’t gotten back to the chore until today. That’s because this afternoon I walked across the High Bridge Trail that runs in front of the house to the Village Cabinet Company (a cabinet shop literally just across what was once the railroad tracks) and talked to Gary, the owner, to see if he could plane the boards for me. I’m thinking of using them as wall covering in the sun porch, and I wanted to see what they might look like “cleaned up.”
“Can you bring them over in the morning?” Gary asked. I was not expecting that response. I’ve become accustomed to long waits and lots of excuses for why a chore can’t be done any time soon. I explained that I’d like to do a test board and see what was possible and then I could load up what I’d finished and bring them over. “Do you have one with you?” he wanted to know. I said I could grab one and be back in three minutes. I headed home to select a couple of short boards.
When I got back, Gary revved up his planer and the machine that catches the dust and ran the pine board through. What came out was stunning–rich yellow graining and dark spots where the nails had been. Perfect! So I went back to the house, worked for a couple of hours culling through the pile to find the best boards, then removed the nails and cut off the damaged ends. Nathan, my cousin’s son who has helped me with some of the demolition, loaded the truck for tomorrow morning’s delivery as I cleaned up the yard.
I was happy about Gary’s response after this week’s flurry of phone calls to builders who can’t take on any more work for several months. I’m excited to see the transformation in the pile of boards.