I took a formalist approach to Christmas gifting this year, and thought I’d post the results, as I was pretty happy with how everything came up. The rule set was that all items had to be salvaged, down to the screws, although I gave myself permission to buy new oils for the finishes. The timber for all three items was from a eucalypt (not sure the variety) felled by a storm a few years back. It was good enough to fall the ‘right’ way, which was lucky, as it could have taken out half the house. We were very grateful to it, and figured it had to be imbued with good karma, so we had a bloke slice it up with a portable (Lucas) mill. These are the first projects to result.
I found the handles for the cheese boards in a cardboard box out back of the local antiques shop. I dropped them in Coke to get the worst of the muck off (Yes, it really works… you wouldn’t want to drink the stuff) and hit them with steel wool. The first lot, which I’m guessing were art deco wardrobe handles (circa 1930), came up beautifully. They were covered in paint and corrosion when I first picked them up, and I was shocked at how gorgeous they were when the colour came through. I think the second handle was silver plate – in places, you can see it wearing through to the coppery alloy beneath. I like the patina. Finish was linseed oil. The frame for the bathroom unit was roadside salvage, which I sanded back and resprayed. I used a chainsaw to groove the top shelf slab (60mm) to fit the frame without screws, and sliced up one of the few thinner (30mm) milled sections for the lower shelves. Finish is gloss lacquer.
The felled tree is in the background here. I guess there was a shortage of food after the storm, as the birds were really hungry. When I get in the manuscript for the next novel, I want to use the best of the slabs to redo the countertops in the kitchen.