His mother had sent a bed frame to me for repar and refinishing. I had recaned and refinished a bentwood rocker for her a few months back. Neither the rocker or the bed frame were quality pieces of furniture, but they were “sentimental.” The bedframe needed a couple of replacement rail hanger pins in one headboard post and a brace on the back of the headboard resecured and perhaps some glue inserted into a crack and clamped together. The four turned bedposts would be difficult and time-consuming to strip pushing the labor cost higher than I thought the piece was worth.
The rails and a spot on the footboard were the worst areas in need of refinishing. The rest of the piece would look pretty good with a good cleaning and rejuvenation with furniture polish or a light new coat of spray polyurethane. I liked the idea of trying to rework those two areas and trying to match the old finish. I gave her a price for a “spruce up” and “touch up.” For the full refinishing would cost at least three times more. She agreed. If she didn’t like it, I would go “all the way.”
Well, I was reasonably okay with how it turned out. Far from “perfect” in my eyes, but she was very pleased. She would send her son in a couple of days to pick it up.
Her son is a nice young man in his early twenties and we load the bed frame in the back of his pick up truck. He paid me and I rushed back to my day. I’m a minister and it was a few days before Easter. I was just wrapping up a quick meeting with the church worship ministry leader when he reappeared in the hallway outside my church office. I say, “Brandon, what’s up?” He replies, ” I think I need you to pray for me.” Thinking he had decided to return to me to discuss some kind of personal problem and receive spiritual counsel, I immediately invited him into my office and asked what I could do for him.
It took me a few moments to switch gears and realize that he had returned about the bed frame and not some other problem. I soon learned though that after I rushed away, he had not tied down the bed frame in the back of his truck before getting on the hgihway to return home. When he got up to speed the headboard had flown out of the back of the truck – hitting and tumbling and sliding down the highway. He had asked for prayer because he didn’t know what to tell his mother and he thought I would be angry with him as well. We went to survey the damage.
You can imagine what happens to a headboard when it flies out of the back of a truck and tumbles down the highway. Severe road rash – bedpost mortises shattered – the headboard cracked it’s full length down the middle – the top ornament broken off various small cracks elsewhere. I was amazed at how many small pieces he actually found considering they must have been widely scattered.
It’s the Easter season. I told him to have resurrection faith and reassure his Mom.
In repair of the cracked and broken headboard, it now has four braces on the back instead of one. I think repairing the original brace actually saved the headboard from shattering and fracturing more extensively when it hit the highway. I had to replace some wood around the mortises in the bedposts, cut the bedposts in half, mount the pieces in my lathe, re-turn those areas, re-mortise and rejoin the bedposts with dowels. Lots of sanding, regluing, refinsh and glue it all back together. I think it turned out okay- about the best I could do anyway.
He’s supposed to pick it up today. I’m sure he will bring rope this time.
-- Paul, Texas