Friday, April 17, 2009

Red Cedar

I like red cedar wood.

About ten years ago I bought some red cedar fence posts from an old Ozarkian farmer who lived by Minden for fifty cents for small and sixty cents for large. I bought all he had, about one hundred of them. I used them for railings, ballisters and handrails down at the lake cabin. Between the balusters, we hung rocks with holes in them.The Private RN and our son and the neighbors (we have the same neighbors at the lake as we do in town) gradually expanded the deck until it wrapped around the cabin. I save telling you how the cabin came to be named the "B's Nest" for a later post.The used to be a sawmill on the backside of Lake Taneycomo. I stopped there one day and bought a whole bunch of finished cedar boards, about 1x6 that were three feet long. I made end tables and nightstands out of this wood. They turned out nice.

About three years ago, I was at the Goodwill store on North Kansas and found a red cedar dresser that had been varnished. Something about cedar when it is varnished, it bubbles up and gets really ugly looking. I stripped the varnish off with a heat gun, sanded the dresser and drawers with 60, 100, 150, 200 grit sandpaper and oiled it. If you like red cedar, the dresser looks wonderful and has a pleasant aura and aroma. If you don't like red cedar, it smells like a cedar closet.

When the Private RN and I took our big trip to Pennsylvania to pickup the Airstream (which we have used twice in three years [frown]), we bought a cedar chest at a roadside flea market for $20.

About two years ago, the Private RN found, on Craigslist, a cedar chiffarobe and a cedar bed frame that a Craigslister had for sale out between Marshfield and Hartville. I drove out at that time and bought it.

These last three pieces have been in the barn since purchased. I wanted to get out my water tile saw, which is stored underneath the steps going up to the loft in the barn so I could finish laying tile on the back porch floor. But in order to get the saw out, I had to clean out the first floor of the barn so I could get the saw out. In order to clean out the first floor of the barn, I had to clean out the garage so I would have a place to move the stuff I had to move out of the barn. In order to clean out the garage I had move a bunch of stuff that was stored in the garage up to the attic so I would have some space to move the stuff out of the first floor of the barn to the garage so I could get the tile saw out. Adn you wonder why it takes me so long to do anything.

I decided while I was doing all this moving to sand down the cedar chifferobe. I burnt off the old varnish with the heat gun and started sanding with the electric sander and the various grits of sandpaper. I started sanding in the barn. What was I thinking?

The next time I do this I will wear a respirator. Last night my throat was sore and my voice was raspy. I felt like I couldn't catch my breath. I thought of all those millions and millions of dust and burnt varnish particles that were in the air in the barn while I was refinishing the piece. These particles were now in my lungs.

I thought that wearing my CPAP mask would put some moisture in my lungs to break up the mess. It didn't. I slept fitfully last night.

This morning I got up early and made a pot of coffee. I hunkered over my steaming hot cup of coffee and inhaled the steam. Gradually I began to feel better and I have been coughing.

I think I will go to Grizzly's or Harbor Freight and buy a respirator today.

As I write this, I was thinking of how many cars, trucks and trailers I have painted over the years. I never wore a respirator. Sometimes I would put vaseline in my nostrils to keep the paint particles out.

I wearing a respirator from now on whenever I sand or paint anything.

Son Jim makes his boys wear ear protection and safety goggles when they run power tools or work with me in the barn. I wear ear protection while running the mower, power washer, weed eater and leaf blower. I buy earmuffs at Bass Pro (the good ones).

I used to buy throwaway ear muffs from Harbor Freight. But like any tool (especially paint brushes, I have a paint brush-my favorite brush-that is about 10 years old), you get what you pay for.

This morning I took some photographs of the finished chiffarobe:


Lil Jim said...

I think I permanently damaged my sinuses when I had that job sanding the lockers in all the Springfield Public Schools in the early 90's. We had masks to wear but it was so hot in the shut up schools druring the summer that none of the crew wore them...

dirtsister said...

Good work, 'cept I would call that a wardrobe instead of a chiffarobe. Also? You might invest in a pack of Pall Mall's to soothe the throat and lungs.

On my morning stroll this morning, I couldn't help but notice your outstanding collection of lawn statuary and might like to feature your foundation on an upcoming garden tour.

Stay classy.

Busplunge said...

Hey Dirtsister---I just like the sound of that word, "chiffarobe". It reminds me of Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird", where the girl gives the guy a nickel to bust up a chiffarobe.

I read somewhere that conventional wisdom says that Truman Capote, who was a friend of Harper Lee, actually was the author of TKAM.

As for the lawn statuary. You ought to see the backyard!

We try to stay as classy as the neighbors!

Busplunge said...

The difference between a wardrobe and a chiffarobe? Size and mirrors.

dirtsister said...

So size does matter.

Chiffarobe sounds musical. I like it.