Sunday, June 19, 2011

Putting a silk hat on a pig f***er

#1. Sorry for the title, Mom and others. There's a story, of course.

#2. We have been doing loads of work on the basement, it's just been boring (tales of joint compound = uninteresting blog), or we haven't been writing about it. Catching up now.

#3. This past weekend/week was all about fixing up really crappy stuff. Exhibit A: we finally painted (waterborne epoxy) the back 2 rooms of the basement. A dirty job involving lots of cleaning, scraping, acid-etching, etc. It is not perfect, but it's clean, waterproof, and a nice neutral base. Love it so far! Can't walk on it for a couple of days.

Before, in the bath area. Can't show you the after yet - we can't get to it!

Before...and after (below).

But I digress. What's this thing about a pig f***er? Would you believe, it is the story of our new bathroom vanity.

See, it all began with a bigger vanity top that Susie gave us, a leftover from her remodel. We planned to use it in the bathroom, but even with more space in the reconfigured bathroom, it was just going to stick out too far. So we sent it along to another remodeler looking for a sink, and I found a teeny tiny Corian vanity top at the ReStore for $11.

I had been thinking all along that we would build or repurpose some kind of modernish piece of furniture to serve as the vanity. But, no luck finding one.

Then I saw one I really liked in the pages of This Old House. It was a simple, squarish modern table with shelf below. I suddenly thought: that shape looks awfully familiar. Don't we have a table like that?

See it there, under the TV in the before picture of the basement 'living room'? That's the famed "Pig F***er table". Or at least, that's what we've always called it.

See, the place I work was getting rid of a bunch of old desk-tables many years ago. They had loads of these maple desks from the 1960s (it turns out they are 1963 vintage.

Everyone at work got a table or two - I think they were charging a couple of dollars each. We have one out in the garage as part of a workbench, and have done all sorts of things with this one - work table, painting bench, TV stand, you name it.

Sturdy little buggers - and covered with gum:

and of course, graffiti that tends to express hatred for (a) the course in which one was sitting,

or (b) some unknown enemy, perhaps a mean professor. This latter, we think, was the inspiration for the very expressive "Pig F***er!" scrawled in deep pencil across one of the tables. All the tables were really profane, so it was kind of a big joke that everyone had these horribly rude tables kicking around. So we've always called ours the Pig F***er table. I mean, isn't that just the dirtiest phrase you've heard lately, or what?

That table is now almost completely revamped, sans graffiti, as a new bathroom vanity for the basement. We removed the top, completely disassembled the table and put every piece through the planer (after scraping off literally scores of piece of gum - blech!). Sanding was not going to be an option with profanities this deeply incised.

We then cut down the table top to make a shelf and some aprons, and voila! The vanity is now almost done, just waiting for a couple of more coats of spar varnish. Pig f***er no more! The vanity is actually kind of exactly what I would have picked in a fancy store if we had the cash, but we're thrilled to have re-used an old piece and spent about $2 on it instead!