Refinishing Projects #2: Display Case 11092015 - A Thirty-Minute Journey

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Blog entry by Mark Wilson posted 11-10-2015 08:45 AM 981 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Joye's Coffee Table Part 2 of Refinishing Projects series Part 3: Joye's Porch Bench - Redux »

Momma was a collector of nick-knacks. She collected many souvenir spoons, salt-and-pepper shakers, plates, and, some of her favorite things, ceramic and porcelain bells. This display case has held, for years, her complete set of Rockwell Bells of a certain issue. The Case was one of those “Buy-This-Many-All-At-Once-And-We’ll-Send-You (Free Of Charge), This-Handsome-Display-Case,” deals. Really, just a slap-dash, Walnut-stained Pine affair of no significant import. Fast-forward a few decades to this very day.
RBS is cleaning around the house. Dusting, mainly. (RBS is my Really Big Thithter, visiting from Montana. She can’t help herself – two old bachelors live in this house and things do get dusty.) She has all the bells off-loaded and has an old sock pulled over her hand, wiping the dust of the final bells in her task.

“Before you re-load those, let me take the case out to the Dungeon and clean it up a little,” says I.

“How long will that take?” queries the stupid girl, who’s always in a hurry.

“A few minutes,” saith the Woodsmith, taking the case off the wall and heading for the door.

I had noticed, walking by, that, as she wiped the dust off, the dinginess of the thing became much more clearly visible. Hence, my initiative.

It was after I had scrubbed the side panels and the edges thereof with Restore-A-Finish on 0000, that it occurred to me to take pictures. In these photos, you can see that the dingy wood woke up and said, “Thank you. Where’ve you been?” After the Restore-A-Finish, I laid on some Howard Feed And Wax.

Then I took it out into the waning daylight and took a couple more pictures.

Then, it went back on the wall.

The old photos to the right are my Momma, when she was a baby, circa 1927-8, and her baby brother, my uncle Doug at about four-years-old.

To the left are photos I made about three decades ago in Yosemite.

Thirty minutes is ”a few minutes.”

The bells are sitting on a circa 1909 Edison Console Record Player that Dad brought home from New York when I was a kid. It had been in his RBS’s house since the thirties, mebees earlier. I may just go after that thing, next. It really is Walnut.

-- Mark

10 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7383 posts in 1429 days

#1 posted 11-10-2015 01:04 PM

Nice job Mark.

I hope your RBS is still there, otherwise it might be a couple years before the bells get put back up !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View  woodshaver (Tony)  's profile

woodshaver (Tony)

3939 posts in 2775 days

#2 posted 11-10-2015 01:39 PM

Very nice work and blog Mark! Getting out into the daylight for photos is so much better for picture taking.

-- Tony C UAW, St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View lew's profile


11265 posts in 3178 days

#3 posted 11-10-2015 01:49 PM

Sure was some pretty grain hiding under the ultra-violet shield of dust!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View handsawgeek's profile


591 posts in 818 days

#4 posted 11-10-2015 02:08 PM

Great project and a good read!

-- Ed

View doubleDD's profile


5067 posts in 1465 days

#5 posted 11-10-2015 02:17 PM

You sure gave that display case a new life. I would put it in my house now as long as I wouldn’t have to dust anything. Cool story.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16810 posts in 2528 days

#6 posted 11-10-2015 04:29 PM

Excellent job!!!!!!!!!!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Grumpy's profile


21459 posts in 3273 days

#7 posted 11-10-2015 09:50 PM

Great save Mark.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1698 posts in 485 days

#8 posted 11-10-2015 10:39 PM

Joe, as you likely know, nearly every horizontal surface in the house is covered with my Objets de Arte. Her intention, at first, was to pack the bells away and replace them with much of the things that cover my piano. Well, sir, the boxes the bells came in, lo, those many centuries ago, are long gone. So she put the bells back in the case. And now, she wants me to re-position a bunch of my “smaller Things” into the dungeon. There already is about as much of my output gathering dust out here. It’s like asking me to store my children in the crawlspace under the house. I just let her do whatever makes her happy when she’s here. Sure, she messes up our two-old-bachelor system, but, it gives her something to do.
Thanks, you guys. I really didn’t expect much of a reaction to this. This is nice.
I just looked over my photos again, and now, I’m wondering if the case isn’t actually Walnut. The figure sure doesn’t look like Pine.

-- Mark

View Tooch's profile


1302 posts in 1298 days

#9 posted 11-11-2015 01:59 AM

Mark, def looks better in the daylight. Nice save.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View fatman51's profile


335 posts in 1259 days

#10 posted 05-08-2016 06:20 AM

Wow Mark, that little bit of work did a whole lot of good!

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

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