Friday, July 28, 2017

A Pine Hutch Base Turned Island

A couple years ago, all I did was kitchen islands. I must have refinished twenty sundry furniture pieces into islands- workbenches and store counters, dressers, and rolling carts. Last year was definitely the summer of the hutch. I'm not sure how many hutches I re-did, maybe around four thousand? Surely too many.
      This year it's been a more mixed bag, dining sets to night stands, and everything in between. So it seems fitting that halfway through the summer I show you a project I've been working on for most of the summer, a vintage pine hutch base turned kitchen island. It's a blending of so many forms, but I think we can all agree, handsome as jazz. The base is from about 1965. The top is a slab of butcher block from Lumber Liquidators- who I must give a little (wholly unsolicited) shout out to:
      When I got home from LL I enlisted the help of my husband and his pal to help me cut the butcher block. Generally I'm as solitary as a cross hornet when working, but these pieces of wood weigh almost as much as I do- no solo slicing and dicing. I measured the first cut three times- 56.5 inches, the perfect amount of lip on the sides. The second cut would be the long one, to take it from three feet to thirty inches, allowing a generous ten inch overhang on the back to accommodate bar stools.
        Halfway through the first cut, I looked at the piece I was sitting on (serving as a counterweight), and had a dim, distant thought- "boy that width looks nowhere near 36 inches". The raw realization rattled around for a further three numb seconds, offending several synapses, that thusly shrieked at my consciousness- "Houston, how big a problem can you handle??". This butcher block, that was now 3/4 cut through at length was not the 6ft by 3ft that I had ordered. Oh god, no. It was something far longer, and more narrow.
         My general inclination is to now desperately defend my side of things, but for your benefit, I'll tell you everything I did wrong.
        When the lovely gentlemen at lumber liquidators helped me load the piece of butcher block into my truck, I should have noted that it extended significantly farther than my six foot bed. And before I begged my reluctant husband and his reluctant friend to help, I should certainly have measured the length AND width, and not taken for granted that the width was what I'd ordered.
        All my useless amateur assholery aside, Lumber Liquidators rose to the occasions magnificently. I immediately called the store (nearly in tears- this was a $200 piece of wood!). I offered to bring the pieces back, but fully expected them to tell me to take a hike for not having noticed at word go that the wrong size slab had been loaded. Instead, the gracious man told me to keep the pieces, and they'd have the correct sized slab ready in a week. I was blown away. If ever you need a company with corporate selection, but small town service, Lumber Liquidators in Waterford, CT is it.
         I must also say a brief thank you to the client, Meg, who waited patiently through all these trials and tribulations for her island.


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