fiat lux

lamp baseDemolition is complete. Now begins reconstruction.

Locked in the grip of this jerry-rigged vise is the base of a lamp we bought at auction some weeks ago. It’s actually carved from two pieces of wood somebody, a long time ago, tried to glue together with a tar-like, probably asbestos-based adhesive and, when that didn’t work, shot three of the most jagged junk-drawer wood screws up through the bottom, which held the whole mess together passably well, for a while.

There were another three rusty wood screws that fixed the spindle to the base. They were all so old and crooked that getting them out took most of the evening and all the cuss words in my vocabulary. But I got them out. Dammit.

Then I used a hand rasp to clean off most of the tar-like glue and sanded the rest off, probably throwing enough asbestos into the air to kill us all in our sleep. I spread a thin layer of wood glue over the face of the bottom piece, laid the upper piece over it, then built this thumb-crushing vise … yet somehow managed to avoid crushing either of my thumbs — and there was much rejoicing.

The two pieces will be forever bonded together when I take the vise apart tomorrow morning, but I’ll probably shoot three or four construction screws through it just to make sure it won’t come apart. Then I have to figure out how to sand the paint-splattered varnish off it without ruining the delicate curve that I won’t be able to duplicate because I don’t have a lathe. Yet.

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