French Hutch

1:11 PM

I am always on the search for great furniture that I can 'improve' by repairing and painting.  Mostly I find furniture from the 50's, 60's, 70's (yes, the 70's is considered vintage), but occasionally I come across treasure.  Something that it so amazing, usually an antique (over 100 years old), that needs more work than I have the talent for - but I can't walk away.  By the time I have found it, if I walk away, it is on it's way to the trash bin where it will be lost forever.  So I pack it up on the van and get it home where I squeeze it into the garage, and try to ensure no further damage will be incurred until I can figure out how to fix it.

What I have learned over the course of my furniture rescue activity is that not everyone sees the treasures I do (WHAT!).  Many see it as trash, garbage or (gasp!) firewood.  Where I see an 18 bottle wine rack, others see an old contemporary nightstand with peeling veneer and missing drawers.  A 1940's vanity missing the mirror, peeling veneer, and broken middle drawer makes a wonderful great linen cabinet with glass knobs when you cut out the middle drawer and mount the side drawers on top of each other. 

One of the best treasures I have found is an amazing hutch.  It is about 7 feet tall, has 2 drawers, 4 doors, great trim, carved pieces, basically an amazing piece of furniture.  I bought it out of a storage unit around 3 1/2 years ago and knowing that it was beyond my wood working skills, I stored it in the garage till a later date.  Occasionally I would pull it out and look at it again, and decide I still wasn't quite up to the challenge.  Here's what it looks like:

This story is going to have a wonderful ending.  My cousin Jimmy is visiting, from Metropolis Ill.  He came out with his daughter's family (Eric, Michelle, Dylan, and Austin) as they complete the mainland leg of their relocation from Troy, Missouri to Hawaii (Whoo Hoo!!!) where Eric will be the new Music Minister (an exciting adventure).  Anyway, back to my treasure.  Cousin Jimmy is amazing with wood and when I pulled out the two pieces of the hutch, and all the smaller 'bits' he smiled and started rubbing the wood.  He has taken on the challenge. 

So far, we have borrowed a router, bits, gone to the hardware store for some trim pieces and an insert for the top doors, glues, putty, and other unfamiliar bits.  We determined that the piece suffered water damage (maybe wicked up when stored in a barn), that it may be made of cypress wood and it is very old, I think over 150 years. 

It's fun to have someone working in the garage with me this week and I'll keep you updated on the progress.

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