Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Luggage Gets a Coat of Stain

Here's The Luggage, perched on top of my cooler, which made a nice platform for the job of staining. This is with one coat of stain, which was still wet when I took the picture. It feels good to have done something that begins the alteration of the unfinished trunk into The Luggage. I imagine the second coat will improve the appearance, making it a bit darker overall.

I had been thinking of just using an old T shirt to wipe the stain on, but after a trip down to Gresham Town Fair - originally just to get some bread and jam at the outlet bakery - I found some cheap brushes at JoAnn's. They had a pack of three for $1.99. In the picture on the left, you can see two of the brushes on top of the can of stain. The 2" wide one is inside the former potato salad container with some stain I'll use on the next coat. I knew I was saving all those containers for a reason, I just didn't know what at the time.

Pulling all the materials together has been a bit more involved than I thought it would be, with more than a few trips by MAX and bus to round stuff up.

I had intended to start the staining this morning, but first I wanted to take my change from several years of saving to a Coinstar machine to get an Amazon card. I wanted to get an AC-powered air pump for my air mattress and a bucket hat for the Twoflower outfit. I'd gone to one at Fred Meyers in Gateway the other day, but that machine was set so you could only get a coupon that had to be used that day in the store. Yesterday I went to the nearest Albertson's. That machine was full and store people said they were having trouble getting service from Coinstar. So this morning, after checking locations of machines that give out Amazon cards, I went to the Safeway store that's a couple of MAX stops and a brief walk away. That machine was working, but when I punched the button to get an Amazon card, it said they are temporarily unavailable. So I returned home and decided to order anyway, then later get the coins converted into a form I can either deposit or use for something else. After that I went to Gresham for the bread and stuff. That turned out to be a good experience because I bought two jars of strawberry jam and was able to get two loaves of bread from the $1 shelf for free.

I need to drill 16 holes to mount the big casters. I have a battery-powered Black & Decker drill which I haven't used in a few years - being in an apartment, there's not much call for one. So I plugged in the battery charger to charge the batteries. They didn't charge. So yesterday I made a trip to Home Depot, where I'd originally bought the drill. B&D isn't making tools for VersaPak batteries any more. Home Depot had only one battery and it was $24.97. Two would have cost more than I'd spent for the drill in the first place. The HD person mentioned Harbor Freight as an alternative, so I went there by bus.

HF didn't have the batteries either, but they had a 3/8" drill for $19.99. I thought I had a 3/8" bit at home, so I didn't get one there. I did pick up a 25' extension cord and a couple of small LED flashlights, though. Of course, I got home and discovered, no, I didn't have a 3/8" drill bit. So back out again, this time to an Ace Hardware store reached by a MAX and bus trip. It was nearly $6, so I'm spending about $26 for 16 3/8" holes. Well, I'll probably need to drill more to mount something for the rope to pull The Luggage around, and I may add some wood screws to make the bottom, which I'll reinforce with pieces of the boards I got a few days back, more secure. Turns out the bottom of the trunk is much thinner than the sides.

I took a break from typing this post to go out and give The Luggage another coat of stain. This pic, like the first one, is a flash pic shot from just inside the sliding door to the deck. It is darker, although not too much darker.

The local weather radar was showing some showers moving through, but other than some light sprinkles, not much reached the ground. I waited a bit to start the staining, but things didn't get wetter. From the radar, it looks like that's over and done with, so I can leave The Luggage out to dry rather than bring it in and smell stain all night. Fingers crossed on that.

While there are morning showers in the forecast for tomorrow, I'm hoping I'll be able to do some cutting up of boards to reinforce The Luggage's bottom, drill the holes and mount the casters. I might have to get some wood screws even though I'm gluing the boards to the bottom on the inside. I'll also have to prop the lid open to stain the edges of it and the sides. I may line the inside with fabric or just stain it. Then I need to make, paint and mount the teeth. They'll be made out of craft sticks (they look a lot like popsicle sticks, although these are wider. I bought some antique white paint, an off-white color, at Craft Warehouse, because I doubt The Luggage brushes. I've got some mangled butterfly wings to stick in the teeth. There will be fangs!

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