Estate of Wonder

It’s summer break at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, so we’ve been out of school for a couple weeks. I find myself feeling slightly out of sorts with idle hands, searching Craigslist for cheap tools, channel-checking YouTube for DIY videos, and scouring estate sales for lumber.

Poor Paul at Lowes. I wore him out with my questions about how to use a Kreg jig. I’ve been obsessed with the elegant little device used to make pocket holes for screwing wood together. Lowes didn’t have the jig I wanted, but Paul steered me to a discount on sawhorses, which I’ve needed ever since the family gave me a DeWalt cordless circular saw for my birthday. And I got a stud finder. (That’s what she said.)

Now that I’ve got sawhorses, I need a flat surface to lay across them. So the next day, I combed garage sales for old doors. I was semi-successful, finding a single bifold louvered door of unpainted wood for four bucks. It didn’t solve the sawhorse problem, but I suppose I’m halfway to opening a saloon in the Old West.

The next day I went to an estate sale at the top of the hill, in a house that was probably demolished five minutes after I left. That’s how things are going in Nashville these days. Anyway, I shimmied back into the dark crevices of the basement, where they kept the brown recluses, and found an old door like something out of a horse stable, with crisscrossed 2 x 4’s topped with 1-by-4 planks. Crazy heavy, with added benefit of paint and patina, it was just what I needed. 

It was half-price day at the estate sale, so I gathered up a couple stakes for my cucumber plants and an old window for a greenhouse I am working on, and carried my haul to the checkout man. My pre-discounted total was $25, and I was prepared to pay him the full $12.50.

“That’ll be $15,” he said.

“What now?” I asked. 

He did some fake math and again arrived at $15. I countered with real math and $12.50.

“Ma’am, I can’t let you have that door for $5. There’s just way too much wood in that.”

I took his point. Then again, that was the curious contract we had entered into: I shimmy back into the crevices with the brown recluses and he sells me a gloriously heavy wooden door for pennies on the dollar.

“What are you going to do with that door anyway?” he asked.

I explained about my new sawhorses and the Kreg jig and my salvaged-window greenhouse plan.

Then a curious thing happened. He took my hand in his and said some things that, as best I could decipher, were equally motivated by Judeo-Christian philosophy, empathy for a fellow woodworker, and an ardent belief that the Lord was speaking through him at that moment.

Apparently, the Lord believed I needed that door for $5, because the estate sale man finally accepted my $12.50.

“Not everyone would have argued with me about that wood,” he said, as I dropped two quarters into his palm. Then he touched my forehead with a single finger and added, “This is going to be an important year for you. I can tell.”

5 thoughts on “Estate of Wonder

  1. you think the jig is cool wait till i show ya the kreg rip cut for your saw then the drawer slid jig then Concealed Hinge Jig i have all of them now 🙂 watch out mahier I am learning

    Liked by 1 person

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