I finally finished the desk that I started building months ago. It’s just a two by four foot piece of three-quarters inch plywood on a set of legs, but I wanted it to look nice so I sanded it on top and brushed a couple layers of shellac over it. I’ve never used shellac before so I followed the directions on the back of the can, same as I’ve always done for other stains, sealers and paints, which said after I put the first coat on I should let it dry an hour, sand it, and brush two or three more coats on. Okay, so I did that. The second coat looked great and I thought, well, might as well go for the hat trick, and I hit it with the sander again. Big mistake. Always stop while you’re ahead, folks. I’m not entirely sure what went wrong, but I think I tried a little to hard to sand it smooth. I ended up with a great big blob of shellac right in the middle of the sandpaper, only I didn’t know it until the blob was firmly melted into the surface of my nice, shiny desk top. I had to literally chisel it off and sand the wood smooth. I was so disgusted that I put it aside and didn’t even look at it for weeks. But I’m running out of room in my basement lair and the two-by-four desk was one of the ways I was going to fix that, so a couple days ago I began brushing and sanding, brushing and sanding again. When I finally got the finish looking something like the way I wanted it, I started taking apart the old desk, which used to be a door until I propped it up on some legs I built. The legs had to come out first because I made them wide enough to support the door, much too wide for the two-by-four desk top. It took me a couple hours to take them apart, cut them down and then reassemble them, mostly because one of the legs looks like a box kite so there’s room under the desk to stow the computer. Once that was put back together, I had to move all the stuff off the old desk, tear it down and carry it out to the garage, which I did, rather amazingly, without smashing any overhead lights or gashing holes anywhere in the drywall. With the door out of the way, I assembled the desk in its place, first by mounting it on top of the box-kite leg. I cut down the other leg while the other end of the desk rested on a saw horse, put it back together and screwed it in place. I’m calling it done even though there are a few, tiny, insignificant little mistakes that you wouldn’t even notice unless I pointed them out to you, or you sat in front of it and asked me, Why is one side higher than the other? I wouldn’t answer you, though, so don’t you even.

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