Monday, October 7, 2013

Turned Posts

What do you do with turned wood that no longer functions as a table leg or bedpost? It burns well and the option of using it as firewood is rather a viable one. As a child, my family had a wood burning stove. Originally it was in the living room and on cold winter evenings we would hurry from the bath into the living room so we could dress in the radiant warmth of the fire. The stove was later moved down to the basement and many, many years later, a gas burning stove was put in its place upstairs.

When one has a wood-burning stove, it necessitates wood to burn in it. We had such a stack out behind the house. There were two things I loved about the woodpile. The first was to stack the wood in differing formations (imagine really inexpensive, perhaps slightly dangereous, uneven toy blocks), my favorite being a mouse house. Though I'm sure mice actually skittered through it, I mostly built it and then just stared into it imagining all sorts of stories about the humanistic mice that inhabited the dwelling.

My second favorite thing about the woodpile was a table leg. It was roughly two feet tall and rather weathered, but with the rounded knob at the top, one could almost imagine it was a babydoll. I would wrap it in fabric and build it little nests in the playhouse or the yard. It was a wonderful outdoor plaything. . . until my older brother pounded nails into it, broke the heads off of the nails and made a spiked wooden mace. Prickly baby-dolls aren't much fun and I'm afraid at that point it was many, many years before I again found a place in my heart for abandoned peices of lumber that had been shaped on a wood lathe.

The first piece was a bedpost. I only had the one post of one end, so I cut it in two parts (not half) and drilled holes into them large enough for a 3/8" wood dowel. The one, since it is the base, is flat on the top of the head. That's why the hats are glued on. Then I painted the pieces to resemble snow people and dressed them in stocking hats and scarves made from real stockings. Every snow family needs a baby, so I found a 2x2 and made the square baby to go with the family. Think of it as the artic version of the game of "Life".

I went to a place called The Wood Connection with my sister-in-law. I sorted through the scrap bin and found a bunch of little post top type things. So I mounted it to a 2x2 to become the snow person "T" in winter.

I spotted the head and footboard for this bench on the side of the road and when no one had come for them after several weeks, I stopped and picked them up. The back rest is the headboard while the front is an overturned footboard. The seat is from scrap pieces of decking left over from building our house. All I had to buy were the fasteners and some paint.
Then, in an extremely lucky encounter, I found a set of twin sized headboards and footboards on the way to work. The headboard is the back and the footboard, inverted and with the legs cut off, becomes the front of this front porch bench. The brand on the back belongs to my grandpa and the seat is leftover pieces of composite decking.

Don't worry, I didn't waste the legs of the footboard leftover from the bench. You have to look closely, but they are the feet of this hall tree.

My most recent aquisition to the turned post collection was a set of chunky candlesticks. I've seen them in craft shops for upwards of $12 each. That's a lot, so I checked at second hand stores, thought, envisioned, waited, problem solved, and finally had a vision when my sister's neighbors moved and left a broken table.
Naturally I harvested the legs. One was far more weathered than the others. Then I trimmed them with a miter saw to staggered heights with 1.5 inches separating the height of each.

Obviously  the candles would need a base to sit upon, so using a hole saw, I cut out four circles from a piece of hardwood leftover from another project.

Obviously there was some sanding involved, but then I centered each circle atop each overturned table leg.
Then it was just a matter of spray painting them black to go with the decor of the room.

Later I bought some candles. I originally planned to buy them all the same, but I determined it would be better to bring in more of the colors from the window coverings

Great thinking, right?
I like how they turned out and the decor it provides to the room.


Sometimes its hard to be the mother of a superhero. How do you  tell your child not to go in the road when his return argument is, "I'll just throw krypton bombs at the cars."

When he wears his super hero underwear, he's potty trained because he doesn't want to soil superman, green lantern, or batman. If it's not a super-hero, it doesn't matter. It's important to keep up on laundry, especially for Superman, who is his favorite. He only has three pairs; laundry every other day or a big tantrum.

Yesterday I found him on the Ping-Pong (table-tennis) table preparing to take flight. He flew of the bed and broke his leg about a month and a half ago. My brother pointed out that he can fly at 9.8 meters per second per second.

He wears three outfits; superhero PJ's, his superman shirt, and while his superman shirt is going through the laundry, his batman shirt. Sundays are hard when we have to convince him that a shirt and tie are necessary.

He has two blue capes, one red, and one red with superman printed on it. He switches them in and out, takes them off, puts them on, covers them with breakfast, leaves them in various locations. The other day he had misplaced them all, so he came in wearing his superman t-shirt, his superman muscle shirt, and a pink fairy wings. Super-heroes have to fly. He's a problem solver!