tieing one on

when you share 618 square feet (including the balcony) with another person, you can’t own a lot of stuff. even when you move out of your tiny apartment, and buy a tiny house, you still can’t really own a lot of stuff. especially in toronto, where builders never really cottoned to the idea of things like closets.

i like things tidy, and you can’t be tidy with three different sets of dishes, miscellaneous towels, and multiple copies of the same book when you have no storage. so, sometimes i make donation runs to the thrift store on pape, or the value village on logan, or to one of those handy green oasis clothing bins. ok, um, a lot of times. and i usually do it when pierre is away.

so it’s not too uncommon for pierre’s voice to come wafting up the basement steps, asking “honey bee, have you seen my…?” the answer to which is usually an innocent shrug and “who me?” expression, but really i know exactly where whatever it is he’s looking for is. it’s in the thrift store on pape, or the value village on logan, or one of those handy green oasis clothing bins.

one such purge saw me toss his tie rack. we’d never hung it up after we moved because pierre wasn’t working in an office anymore, and, frankly, i didn’t think he would be again, or at least not until after our addition was built, and then we’d have a closet, so…

well, he started a new job in september, in an office, and so in august that familiar refrain came up the stairs. i felt pretty bad about having given it away, so i promised i’d make him a new tie rack before he started his new job. he was a little apprehensive about my offer, but i claimed to have a vision.

our wedding gift from pierre’s best man dave was a beautiful walnut dining table for ten, which he made himself. (i should really do a post that shows it off, as it’s stunning, albeit in my parents’ living room since we don’t yet have a dining room with enough room to seat more than four.) anyhow, after the table was done, dave gave us a box of walnut scraps. pierre is ostensibly going to make cutting boards from them. i pilfered a long, narrow piece for this project.

first, i applied rubio monocoat to the wood, using a pair of pierre’s boxers that were on their way out. (yeah, we don’t even have things like rags lying around.) rubio monocoat is a one application satin finish and sealer that pierre had bought for dave to use on the table, driving all the way to exotic woods in burlington to get it, but it wasn’t the right stuff for the table, and since it was like 50 bucks, i was glad to be able to put it to use.

it took about 48 hours for the finish to cure, but i left it a lot longer. not to be on the safe side or anything, i just got kinda busy with other stuff, and i was a little stuck on the next step.

my idea was to drill long screws through the wood and cap them with assorted cabinet hardware, picked up for a song at home again in leaside and restore on carlaw. the issue was finding the right screws. i couldn’t use actual cabinet screws, because they weren’t long enough. but i couldn’t use regular screws either (i bought a box of 4″ x 10d to no avail), because the knobs wouldn’t thread. plus, i didn’t want pierre’s ties to snag on the screws.

i ended up with 3″ x 8d nails, and used my cure-all epoxy to make sure everything would set in place. i measured 12 ticks on the backside of the walnut, 10 for nails and 2 to screw the wood into the wall. i counter-sunk the 10 from the back and 2 from the front, using a drill bit pierre helpfully selected at home depot. then i drilled out 12 holes, big enough to hammer the nails into, but only just. the nails are unthreaded, so the holes couldn’t be too big, because there’d be nothing for the nails to grab onto.

that’s why i mixed up some epoxy. i used a small paintbrush to cover the top inch of the nail, then hammered them all in. i let the epoxy dry for two days, until the nails were good and snug in the wood. (the walnut was also good and snug to the workbench; i must have dripped some epoxy.)

a new batch of epoxy was carefully dripped into the insides of the cabinet hardware, and then these were slid onto the nails to dry. after i hung the tie rack in the bedroom, i fettered pierre’s ties out of a rubbermaid bin in the basement, and hung them just so (he was out of town at the time).

and, i couldn’t help but look at his ties while i hung them. and, there are kinda two i don’t think too much of. but, just this once — seeing as how the whole project came about and everything — i managed to resist donating them to value village.

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