Sunday, August 22, 2010

Table Tops

I bought two end tables and a coffee table off of craigslist years ago.  The tables themselves were in decent condition and were sturdy and a style I liked.  But the tops had been abused - they had scratches and rings and stains.  But for $30, what the heck?

I had intended to refinish them, but just never got around to it.  For the most part, they had enough crap on them to hide the worst of the damage.  In the last year, the coffee table picked up several new rings, and having the time and perfect weather yesterday, I decided to fix them.

I took out the worst table first, as a test subject, since I had never refinished a table before, and had never tried rub-on polyurethane before.  It wasn't until I had put on the first coat that I realized I should be taking before and after photos.  So I have an in-progress photo:

The bottom left table was the worst one, and has been sanded and has the first layer of poly on it.  This is a bad photo, but the coffee table is in worse shape than the side table on the right.

I was amazed how quickly I sanded off the damage.  Even more so, I was amazed at how easy the rub-on poly went on.  No brushes to clean up afterwards!  No bubbles or smoothing out to deal with.  And once the third layer went on, it had a nice finish.  It was satin - so it wasn't as smooth as I've had some woodwork, but I am extremely pleased with the results.

Look at how smooth and flawless that looks!

The first completed table.

This was an afternoon well spent.  I love rub-on poly.  My desk top needs refinishing -- it may be next!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bertie and the Hay Rack

Bertie has always taken a liking to the coroplast hay rack I attached to the side of their cage.  She often moves the step stool near it, so she can eat the hay from above.  When Bertie first arrived, I would occasionally find her in the hay rack, but I have not witnessed it in at least a few months. 

So not having witnessed this, I was puzzled when the hay rack suddenly started to come down.  It had originally been taped to the side with packing tape.  Even having caught Bertie in it, it had remained on the wall with no problems.  But a few months ago, it just stopped holding.  I thought it was maybe the brand of tape (I had switched)?  So I punched holes in the back piece and zip-tied it to the wall.  That was great for about two weeks, and then the front started coming away from the sides.  So just last week I pulled it apart, punched in some new holes and zip tied the sides to the back.  No more packing tape holding any of it together.

Then this week, the bottom started to come apart.  I have zip ties that I taped across the bottom, so the hay wouldn't all come pouring out.  I have never had them fall out before - even when it came off of the walls, those ties would stay in place!

Tonight, I witness this:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Great Outdoors

The beastly hot and humid weather finally broke, and we've had several days nice enough to let the pigs loose.

One of the best things about renting this place is the non-fertilized lawn.  Perfect for eating.  I had to make an enclosed cage, since I've seen hawks and was told there are turkey vultures in the trees.  But all three of the girls love being outdoors.

The cage is hardly animal-proof.  But its enough to keep them in and so far nothing else has been curious enough to approach it.  I am always within earshot.  The weather was so nice yesterday, I spent hours reading outside with them.  We all thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.

It's not always big enough for the three of them.  Pinni and Bertie will bite Willow whenever they get the chance.  But for the most part, the grass is enough distraction, and there's enough room that they're not on top of each other, so harmony mostly prevails.

Ah, the joys of summer:  beautiful weather, green grass, and ripening tomatoes.  :-)