Monthly Archives: August 2014

Grandmother’s Antique Hatbox

I walked into my garage this week to find a new project waiting for me: an oak antique hatbox that had been Leigh Ann’s grandmother’s. It had once sat atop an oak dresser, but we don’t know what happened to it. The hatbox has a few issues: the glass knob is not original and the finish is extremely dirty. Not to mention ……

the reproduction pull on the drawer has come loose. This won’t be a quick project, but it is certainly one worth doing, especially since it came from her grandmother. I’ll take my time on it, and give it the love and care it deserves. I will post a picture here in the coming weeks for you to see how it turns out.

Thanks for stopping by! – Bruce

Our Johnson Family Reunion

Each summer my family, now scattered across the country, converges on a small town in Illinois for our annual family reunion. We hold it in conjunction with a local fair and rodeo. There we enjoy three days of small town life, complete with a parade, a horse show, bull riding, clowns, homemade pies, and bingo. Not to mention all the good moments we have just relaxing on my parents’ patio with my brother, brothers-in-law, and sisters, plus mom and dad, seated at the far end of the picnic table. (Not to forget the cat sleeping in the chair!)

It’s a good reminder of an important lesson: Family First! – Bruce

An Antique Shop Bargain

I was in an antiques shop in Galesburg, Illinois, a few weeks ago where I found this circa 1901 Arts and Crafts oak footstool. The leather seat was missing and it was marked $65, but the dealer agreed to take $50 cash. I plan to stain the new leather shown here beside it for a new seat, and …

protect the old finish with just a coat of Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax. What I liked the most about the piece (beside the price) was this hand-crafted wedge construction (called a “keyed tenon”). Pretty cool!

I will posted an “after” picture later.

Thanks for stopping by!


Percy Protection

This is Percy, our older, neutered, outside-only, male cat, who would be a perfect cat if it were not for just one minor problem….

Percy has an uncontrollable urge to “mark” anything we bring into his territory, and while his spray on this old copper kettle Leigh Ann turned into a planter may look like “character” …..

Our new propane grill did not need any character. It needed protection.

So I took a couple of inexpensive exterior grade plywood panels and hinged them together to form a shield for his spraying, but I also needed to protect the plywood from the weather and make it look a little better.

I used the aerosol version of two Minwax® products. PolyShades® provides both stain and polyurethane combined, but since it is designed for interior use, after it dried I top-coated it with Helmsman® Spar Urethane for extra protection.

Now my grill and the grill cover are protected against Percy’s spraying, and since the plywood panels are hinged, I can just fold it flat and lean it against the wall while I’m cooking dinner.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


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