Green guidelines urge us to recycle and even better reuse.  I did just that this week.  Doug never throws out a nice piece of wood, and so he kept the old shelf when we redid our coat closet.  It was stained that dark color so popular 90 years ago, then got white slopped on it when people repainted the back of the closet with a little too much enthusiasm.

Doug stacked it in the basement with other old dark stained pieces, and it sat there for about 5 years till I got a laptop and wanted a little laptop desk to give the little fan vents on its underside plenty of room to breathe.  I also thought it would be nice to have a place to put my color-co-ordinated mouse.

We thought of that shelf board, and I began using it.  It worked, but was awkward, and, frankly, ugly.  So eventually it came out to the land where our power tools live and got trimmed to a more ergonomic and organic shape.

Then the sanding began.  Doug started with a borrowed belt sander, and I finished it up with a sanding block and a loose piece of sand paper.

What is more satisfying than creating that satiny surface of freshly and finely sanded wood?  We had a bit of linseed oil at home, and rubbed in several coats.

Now that dark old board in the basement is my hand-crafted laptop desk.  It is just exactly as big as it needs to be, so I can sit in the rocking chair or the passenger seat of the car and type.

This was a quick project that I will be appreciating for a long time.  Have you got a favorite salvage project that you are particularly proud of?  Let’s hear about it.

I wonder if someday, this sturdy piece of wood will be reborn again.  You never know.

4 replies

  1. This is a beautiful piece. How wonderful to repurpose that unloved and unlovely piece of board into an integral part of your daily life. Excellent reuse!

  2. Thank you, Della, for your kind words. Yes, I am tickled with this project and the pleasing result. It was very pleasant to sand the wood smooth, and I feel very happy every time I use it — which is a lot!

  3. I got to see this in person. Its perfect. Will be digging through my wood pile to make 3. One for me and one for each of the guys.

  4. Yes, I was thinking xmas presents myself, when I experienced how easy and satisfying this was to make and how very pleasant to use it is.
    happy sawing and sanding,

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