I had the idea that I wanted to re-purpose some of the old boards from my woodpile and build bookshelves for my office. The design worked well in my head and even when I drew it on paper. However, after I started actually building, I became overwhelmed.
During the holidays, JP, my son-in-law, helped me dig the boards out of the woodpile. The boards were wet and very dirty. So, most of them had to be dried and cleaned which included considerable sanding. I did not expect that it would take 30 minutes or so to just clean up each board. Because I wanted the shelves to be 12 inches deep, I had to double the number of boards. Most of the boards were eight inches or less, so I needed to cut and glue boards together to achieve my desired depth. After all this preparation, I still needed to cut the groves in the legs, and insert the shelves. I assembled the shelves on the floor and they had to be turned upright. I could not do that by myself, so I had to find a neighbor to come help me. The project stretched out for a couple weeks. A couple times I almost gave up. Was this much effort worth it?
Nevertheless, I stuck with the project and it turned out well. The old boards are sturdy, match the floor and continue the theme in my office. Generally, it is more difficult to re-purpose old things than to build or buy new. However, the old has beauty and character that cannot be matched by new stuff. Now that the project is completed, I’m glad I persevered. Not only are the bookshelves functional, they are fun to look at. They remind me that often we find the most beauty, strength and stability from the past.