|Project by MarkTheFiddler||posted 04-17-2016 12:14 AM||1420 views||3 times favorited||14 comments|
You’ll rarely see me make anything from pine. This lumber was special because it was well on it’s way to being forgotten and destroyed.
Last Year I went to Mom’s for one of my nieces graduation. Mom asked me If could make some shelves for an old coat closet. I told her I was happy to do so. She asked me If I could use the wood up in the attic. This wood was covered with insulation and very banged up. I could hardly find a six foot span that wasn’t warped. Still there was enough good lumber to use for this project.
As a bonus. I got the honor of removing the boards and then flooring Mom’s attic before I returned home. I say that both as a joke and as truth. I’m thrilled to do things for Mom – always. I don’t care if the job is installing a new toilet or cleaning her gutters.
I called mom up a few weeks later and told her my plans. She didn’t quite see how I was going to install the shelves without visible support. All she knew was that she didn’t want to see the supports if possible.
During that call Mom told me a story. My step brother Steve was a carpenter. He struggled all his life with a disease that stretched his bones out so they were very thin and fragile. His heart was also weakened by this same disease that claimed his sister a few years before. You see, Steve was 6 foot 8 with a body frame of a slim 5 foot 6 man. His sister was 6 foot 5.
Steve bought the wood for a project of which we never knew. Steve’s health claimed him before he could use the wood.
My step father Walter took the wood to the house and was going to do something with it to honor Steve. He wanted to complete Steve’s intentions. The wood was placed in the attic then used by my many nieces and nephews as a support to hold their “stuff”.
Walter’s age was finally slowing him down and although he enjoyed quite a few more years, his big project years were over. Walter passed a few years back.
I’m the third person who had plans to use the lumber. Knowing that my brother and father wanted the lumber to be used well made me try my best. When I say it was an honor to do this project, you can see a where it comes from.
The Shelves are simple boxes sanded to 320 grit. The finer grit kept the walnut stain from turning the unruly pine dark brown. I used 6 coats of Minwax wipe-on satin poly. I had used it before on smaller projects but didn’t trust it enough with 3 coats. My intention was to give the shelves a hard surface. Maybe it was overkill but I kept thinking “It’s soft pine. It’s going to scratch by breathing on it.”
Each shelf was built with a bit of a study support structure inside that allowed me to shove the shelves securely onto the frames I attached to the wall.
Mom had an extra surprise for me when I installed the shelves. Mom wanted to hang some antique wall sconces above the shelves. I wasn’t thrilled about that but I made it work. I didn’t have enough time to run electrical so I had to cut tiny triangles out of the corners and couldn’t run my support structures into the corners. That added a bit of effort. The corners were scribed and sanded to fit the shape of a household right angle. ;) It took less time than you may think.
Mom asked how much weight she could put on the shelves. I told her to keep the center shelves to under 30 pounds and the longer shelves to under 80. Her jaw dropped.
Mom loves her shelves. I did right by her, Walter, Steve and myself.
Thanks for reading.
Added description for Joe. *
A picture worth a thousand words:
The frames were glued and screwed.
-- Thanks for all the lessons!