Another Year
At The Route 90
Garage Sale

Dateline: 27 August 2013

My find of the day (click on photos to see larger views)

Today was our annual New York State Route 90 garage sale expedition. I first wrote about this family tradition back in August of 2005. And that was the year I found probably the nicest old agrarian artifact I've ever found. It was a "Classic American" chicken feeder. What a beauty! I've never seen anything like it before or since. You can see the feeder and read about how I found it at This Link.

Today's expedition was memorable for the little twig table shown above. It cost me $20. I debated at length with myself whether or not to buy it. In the end, I couldn't resist. It is old and weathered, but solid. 

How old, I don't know, but I pulled out a loose nail and it looks to me like a small casing nail. Casing nails are like finish nails but they have a slightly different shape to the head. I don't think that casing nails are used much these days, especially the small ones.

Here's another view...

View of the top

Whoever made the small table surely put a lot of time and care into the project. And they did a fine job. I admire this kind of handiwork. I like the idea of selecting some sticks from the woods or a hedgerow and, with nothing more than a few common hand tools and some little nails, making a piece of beautiful, functional furniture.

When I was still in high school, I read a magazine article about how to make chairs out of sticks, much like that table. They had bowed saplings for the back and arms. I put a lot of hours into making two chairs. 

It was a learning experience and they turned out really nice. They were even comfortable to sit in. My mother was amazed. So was I. Unfortunately, the chairs were left outdoors and fell apart after a few years. 

I gained skill, confidence and satisfaction by making those two chairs. I can't help but wonder....  if there were iPhones, and Facebook, and all the other electronic distractions that kids have today back when I was a teen, would I have still put the time and effort into making those chairs? Or would I have hand-carved wooden spoons out of old hardwood lumber pieces? Or would I have pursued all the other little hobby projects that were the foundation for eventually becoming a carpenter and home-remodeler, and, in due time, using my accumulated skills to launch the Planet Whizbang business? 

I know a man who quit his job working for Federal Express to pursue self employment as a twig furniture maker. He left the job years ago and makes a living selling his handcrafted creations. 

Are you looking for a "bootstrap" business that you can get into with almost no financial investment? Start teaching yourself how to make twig furniture. You don't need any power tools. You don't need a big workshop. Do some research. Invest some time. Making twig furniture could be a very satisfying and profitable endeavor.

Upside-down view


Gorges Smythe said...

Nice table. I used to have a three-legged one with a square top, but it was even lighter weight than yours.

Cynthia (C.L) Lewis said...

Awesome find! My husband likes to build things like that and my son is mildly interested when one can pull him away from the electronics. We live a couple hours away from the start of "America's longest yard sale". Keep meaning to go and at least do the Michigan portion. Fun stuff.