Estate sales are prime places for finding cheap things I probably don’t need. And if it’s later in the day on Saturday, the blowout sales offer ridiculous discounts. As was the case this weekend: $20 for everything you could possibly carry with two hands. Of course, Michelle and I took that as an opportunity to score on some furniture, and I took that as an opportunity to snatch a typewriter.
The cupboard thing we found had a lot of character. It also needed reinforcements on several joints. But how could two mid-century suckers like Michelle and myself pass up on those iconic legs with the brass bands?
Early on in the restoration process, it dawned on me. This was a custom, hand built piece. The lines were wrong, it was about 10 degrees off level, and the stain was incomplete in some areas.
Now, I couldn’t immediately tell if I had scored on a piece with some history, or if we had just paid $20 for Pa-Paw’s shoddy craft work. I prefer to think the former.
The first steps will be to make those reinforcements on the joints, and strip it of its varnish. Next will be sanding and staining. Last will be finding some risers for the back legs to level out the whole piece.
The late 70’s and early 80’s gifted the world so much good: faux wood grain, the DeLorean, and ABS plastic. And when I saw the logo for an electric Smith Corona, I had to pile it onto our finds for the day.
I have a love-hate relationship with typewriters. I wrote a 120-page-novel on a Remington Streamliner and an Underwood Champion. Having the distraction free medium of writing allowed for me to be less of a perfectionist on my first drafts. Get down the story — edit later. It was refreshing.
Then again, I consider myself tech-savvy. I love innovative gadgets and items that improve my productivity. Reverting back to a typewriter feels like a step back some days. But not today. Well, sort of.
The typewriter was TOAST.
With a little digging and some basic know-how, I thought I could have the machine running by the end of the night. I was wrong. The belts were stripped, the gears were rusty, and everything was covered in this black mold that looked like caviar. So I tossed it.
But there was something I had to salvage before the remains were carted off: that logo. I used my roommate’s hair drying to heat up the adhesive so I could peel off the aluminum plate. With some super glue (half of the tube ended up on my hand, where it will remain for the next three days), I fastened the logo to my computer. Now, it was a sloppy job about as thought out as Pa-Paws cupboard, but it’s mine. And it’s so 80’s.