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Table Renovation

I was handed down this table from my mom. She was handed down the table from her mom. And, she was handed down the table from her mom. The table was her third husband's who passed away before I was born. In case you're confused, My great-grandmother was married three times. She never divorced. She just outlived them all. Her third husband had some cool old furniture which I somehow managed to wind up with. The picture here is from almost 5 years ago in our last house right after our first go at making sushi. I sometimes kick myself for forgetting to take a "before" photo. Luckily I scrounged up some photos, but not necessarily ideal ones. As always, click on the photo to enlarge it.

The piece that I'm talking about today is our dining room table. We're not sure of it's age, however, I've been told that it dates back to around 1900. My great-grandmother's husband used it for years to do his art on in his workshop. My great-grandmother always loved the table and brought it up out of the basement sometime after he died, cleaned it up, and used it for a kitchen table. I remember sitting at it as a child eating handfuls of raw macaroni. My grandmother knew my brother and I liked it and would keep a jarful on the counter just for us.

It got passed down once a decade after that until it wound up in my dining room. Jodi had wanted for a while to refinish it. Due to it's separation of the boards and the natural pitting of the wood, there were plenty of places for food to get stuck. As a result, it was difficult to clean and eventually became a concern to her. This photo was taken last New Year's Eve. We celebrated with sparkling juice and fondue with the boys. You can kind of see the table getting slightly more wear from the previous photo.

During Jodi's nesting period a couple months ago, she took it outside and sanded the top down. I attempted, unsuccessfully, to clamp and wood glue the boards back together. As soon as I took the clamps off 36 hours later, the boards split apart. I suppose wood 100 years old is pretty stubborn. So, I clamped it, screwed in some oak braces underneath, and filled the cracks with wood filler. It sat out there a while until we could finish it the weekend before last. I sanded the rest of it down, Jodi and I stained it, and I shot it with a coat of Lacquer.

Here it is pictured back in its location and looking beautiful. It turned out much better than what I had imagined. I was kind of scared to start messing with it. It has so much character that I was afraid that it might be lost with all that sanding and staining. However, I'm extremely happy with the end result. Turns out, it's super nice and makes the rest of our furniture look like it needs some work.


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