Last November I travelled back to Australia for two weeks to help my parents get ready to move house. While there is went through a lot of my old stuff, sorting out what I really didn’t need to keep, what I do need to keep, and out of that what I could bring back with me. Most of my baggage weight was taken up bringing home more of my Dad’s old woodworking tools, most of which are pictured in this Instagram post.
Among the personal things I brought back was four woodworking projects from my time in high school, a vase, a folding picnic table, a small coffee table, and a carry case. Sadly, the years have taken their toll on these items, low quality glue provided by the school is failing, and thinned varnish has worn off in various places Anyway, over the weekend I finally got around to fixing up the carry case. By this time the bottom had completely fallen off, in addition to the long faded varnish.
I reglued and nailed the bottom back on. This time I used quality woodworking glue, and I used black nailed with largish heads. The original nails had heads barely larger then the shafts of the nails, and while discrete they completely failed to do anything useful. However, these new nails are a little unsightly, but at least they provide added strength, so it’s an acceptable trade-off.
I decided not to sand back the varnish for two reasons, firstly the old plywood is thin and has become little brittle around the edges, and secondly I wanted to retain some patina of age and use, so I simply varnished over the existing surface after just dusting it off.
It might not be totally authentic to the original design, but it had already lasted 30 years, and I want it to last at least another 30 more, only this time it’s going to get used much more consistently than ever before!