Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Victrola That Built Me

After many months of upgrading my furniture and selling off its precursor, I was finally getting in the habit of owning a few nice things here and there. I spent every Saturday at garage sales, knowing there was no other way for me to afford the luxury that my heart desired. One person’s junk was my antique to love a cherish.

But I never bought anything that I couldn’t sell something else to replace it. I certainly couldn’t buy an old record player that didn’t work and looked like garbage.  

Until my husband found this thing in an estate sale for $50 (can you say splurge?) and stood in front of it yelling at me from across the house, fending off passersby until I got there. He knew how much I had been wanting one, and he helped me haul this hunk up our two flights of stairs. I had never fixed up anything before. Sure I had replaced plenty of hand-me-downs with my own finds, but I had never refinished anything! 

After getting it home, I realized it had been covered in spray paint, had water damage that made the laminate peel off, and didn’t work. What had I gotten myself into?! 

With no place to work, I set this thing in the outdoor stairwell of my apartment and began doing all I knew to do: sand all the crud off. I even had to ask to borrow a sander. Thankfully, I was given one by a sweet lady at church. It was my first power tool. 

I sanded the parts of real wood and peeled off the laminate to reveal the wood underneath. I sanded smooth every nick and smoothed out the edges of the doors so they hung straight once more. I worked so tirelessly, even my husband was impressed. I had never finished a project this big in my life! 

After sanding until my back ached, I bought wood stain for the first time and fell in LOVE. What an incredible product and way easier than painting!

My hands had never been so dirty...and I loved it. I was even proud enough to snap a picture (and impressed with how my nails held up)!

After staining it and putting it back together, I ran into more issues. The wood screen on the front was cracked and stained beyond repair. My only option was to toss it or replace it, and I knew I didn’t have the ability to replace it. This left me with an amplifier horn that was now showing and falling apart. My first time to use wood glue and clamps. After sliding it carefully back in, I knew it needed one more thing. 

The pop of color and new felt for the turntable made this piece mine. 

Is it worth any money? No. It’s a nice cabinet at best. It takes up space in my house. But it’ll always be the reminder that I can do anything I set my mind to. It’ll always be the totem that says, “Why not give it a try?” 

Here’s to the many more times that I said, “Why not?” and to the many more to come. 

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