Monday, April 6, 2009
Phoenix Rocking Chair Project
Okay, first I should say that I am not in any way short on projects, or potential projects. Seriously. But, sometimes I just can't say no. Here's the latest example.
Last month, while visiting family in Oregon, I'm walking through an antique store. A real one. Which probably doesn't overly excite you, except you probably don't live in Alaska where 99.9% of "antique" stores are actually "junk" stores. So, anyway, I'm drooling all over the store. I turn a corner and there is this cute little arts and crafty rocker.
I'm about to move on, when I see the tag. $35! What? In Alaska, assuming you could find something like this, it would be at least $100 to $200 more. Now I'm interested. The tag says "as is"- hmm. I start to give it the once over.
The joints are loose. No problem. That's good really (already planning ahead). One of the metal supports that holds the seat springs has broken and someone "fixed" it by jamming a board in there. Not comfortable - true, but it is fixable. And the rockers aren't original. The holes in them don't match up with the legs. More serious, but I'm not collecting, and it still has my interest. And come on - $35!
So I buy it. I did try to resist, I mean I don't need any projects - did I mention that? But two day's later it's sitting in my Mother-In-Law's garage. Now to get it home to Alaska. I thought about checking it on the airplane. Don't laugh. Up here we check stuff that seems crazy anywhere else. If you go to the airport in Anchorage you will see various duck tape wrapped objects on the carousel: moose racks, guns, huge coolers full of salmon, guns, TVs (in boxes), fishing poles, guns, BBQ grills, a case of Tabasco, more guns, groceries etc. But after thinking about the prices they are charging these days, I opted for Old Blue. The U.S. Postal Service to the rescue!
Step one. Take the rocker apart. No problem - the joints are already loose. Except that someone has tried to hold them together by nailing through some of the joints. I dig these out with minimal damage using a tool I made from a screwdriver that I sharpened and put a "vee" notch into with a file (got both at the local hardware store - a real one! No borg!). While taking it apart, I manage to read part of the decayed sticker that tells me it is The Phoenix Chair Company's Model # 21434, from Sheboygan, WI.
Step two. Box it up. The postal service has a web site that covers pricing. If you ever find yourself in this situation (I doubt it, but who knows...)it's a very handy guide to knowing how big you can go before prices hit the roof.
Step three. Mail it. Done. I've now more than doubled my investment. I'm still happy.
Step four. Wait. Parcel Post to Alaska can take weeks. Especially when the volcano keeps messing around.
Step five. Put it back together. This will be the fun one - but it will have to wait. But one fine day, the rocker will rise from the ashes like a Phoenix...err...from the boxes...whatever. Fun.