Ok, it seems that my ability (or honesty) in making a new work table has come into question by several of you.....specifically, Rachael, who has seen fit to post her own blog about it and about me as well. So, fine. I will document the damn thing's construction here for all you naysayers, and sayers of nay, which are one in the same regardless of what your shirt says.
First came the donated dresser of questionable condition. This dresser was given to me by my friend Kristen who joined the army and therefore would never need clothes again that didn't blend with her surroundings. I decided that it would make a good base to one side of the desk after moving into my new place which has enough closet space to make all donated dressers of questionable conditions obsolete. But, seeing as it's condition was questionable (at best), I took it upon myself to give it a work over that included repairs as well as several coats of enamel.
You might notice the drawers in the background, lining the hallway. At that moment they had been freed from their terrible handles and plugged with a wood putty, left to dry.
Here they are after several coats of enamel as well.....keep in mind, every coat of enamel added took 24 hours to properly dry.....then a light sanding before the next coat could be added. This is to ensure that the carpenter (in this case, me) remains high for several days, considering that this was all done in the small room in which I sleep.
Above is yet another pic of the donated dresser of questionable condition in it's last stage of repair and refinishing. This was after the last coat was added....at this point, I was able to talk to the walls.....and they would answer back.
The finished dresser, without the drawers added yet.
At this stage I was still debating on what to do for the other side of the desk. I was considering propping that side up on shelves and making support legs for it, but I still hadn't made up my mind....I was still high from the enamel fumes.
I did have the good fortune to come across the best possible solution when visiting the GoodWill that just opened on South Broadway. It turned out that a nearby Chase Bank branch decided to aquire all new furniture, and donated all of there old desks and whatnots to the new thrift store. I purchased a desk (that also came with a side table that I'm able to use for a new drawing table top to replace my Mayline that was destroyed) and a credenza. Both were in fair enough condition, that is, I could easily make them look better. Dark cherry stained. The drawback was, I didn't have a truck. So I had to disassemble them in the parking lot with a philips head screwdriver in order to load them into my car, haul them home, and then reassemble them in my new place. Then I passed out.
Above is the new desk somewhat assembled. You can see the Chase Bank desk during it's stage of drawer repair (which I'm happy to say was a success). I left the original desktop off because it was only 20 inches deep, and not big enough for what I needed. I bought two unfinished doors to use as new desktops. After putting them on top I then had to spend an hour or two adjusting both sides (the dresser and the desk) so that they were both level as well as the same hight.
The desk's original table top is seen above as the new top to my shelves. The credenza had, at this point, yet to be reassembled, because I passed out.
Here's the shelves with the new credenza reassembled and used as their base. You can also see here that I finally received my shipment from PA consisting of my books and my antique bedside tables.
And then I passed out.
Next came the tedious task of staining the door-desktops. I chose a cherry stain...and as I am writing this, I have already done four coats. This is just slightly easier than painting the donated dresser, in that this stain only takes six hours to dry in between coats. I wanted to document one of these steps for you here, so before I stumbled into the coffee house to write this I added the fourth coat.
First, we start with some cocaine:
Then I have to sand the now dry layer of stain with a fine sandpaper:
Followed by going over it again with an even finer steel wool:
Then, more cocaine!
Next comes the task of wiping it down with a t-shirt that I will never use again, which makes me think that I should have just bought some rags:
And finally, the fourth coat of stain is added. The stain is actually a cherry stain and clear coat mix, which not only helps with a better protected and glossy finish, but makes the room I'm working in so volatile with poisonous vapors that I usually pass out:
The vomitting usually begins shortly after I come to with my face stuck to the recently stained section of table:
Next, we do more cocaine!
....and then more vomitting, usually:
I realize that I have said that I am near finished with this damn desk many times in the past, and the truth is that with every step shown above, I am THAT much closer to getting it done. But the truth is also that this has been a fairly time consuming task, kept slower by the fact that I have to work everyday, the trip taken to KC around Thanksgiving, and obscene cocaine abuse!
This is where it stands right now: the desktop needs one (maybe two) more coats of the stain...and it's drying a coat right now. The next coat will be added tomorrow morning before I go to work. After the staining is completed, I still plan to give it a few coats of polyurethane, at least two, but more than likely anywhere up to three or four. That will be a slightly longer process due to longer drying times, more vomitting than before (the vapors are far worse)....and I'm out of cocaine.......
I have held off getting an internet connection until this project is done, not only due to the fact that I'm poor and don't want to start paying for the service until this is all said and done, but I honestly have nowhere else to work until the desk is completed...so having the online capability there right now IS a moot point.
And for those of you who have stayed patiently with me during this time (and this blog post in particular), I present you with a little added bonus.....a pic of my brother and his fiance', Corrine: