Sunday, December 1, 2013

Organized Chaos

One of the nice things about inheriting family furniture over a long period of time is that you have the leisure to think up where it could be really, really useful.  The key here is "over a long period of time," since she's not dead yet but we've had eleven months so far to try and decide where all the loot will wind up.  This last pass (for those who are counting, it was the fifth) saw us wind up with a great deal of stuff.  A two-bedroom apartment rendered down to a semi-private hospital room generates a lot more loot than a three-bedroom rendered down to a two.  Who'd-a thunk it.

In case it's not obvious, our house is a thousand miles away from the scene of said rendering.  Whatever we desired had to fit in the car.  And our house is already pretty full, as the view above might hint.  Can you find the new furniture?  It's the manila-yellow tower sticking up near the middle.  Otherwise, this is a view of the northwest corner of my tack shop.  The horses do extend along the silver shelves seen at left, and then there's some display tack and another corner.  (Future blog post material.)  And then there's the tack bench proper, a few more horses and vehicles, another corner, a desk and you're back to the door.  Not a large space, really, for such a burningly intense hobby and all its passions.

 These particular views of my tack collection were taken in 2005, so keep in mind these two are from 8 years ago!  But the corner arrangement is basically the same.  The bench itself is to the left of the Western and Parade saddles.


Back to the present.
The new furniture was a set of shelves, in the form of a slender wooden tower.
This is what it looked like right out of the bag, as it was taken from our car.
And this is what I'd had the leisure to think of:  my pile of Lori Batchelor Pony Pouches, or, as I call them, pony pockets.
For years, ever since I started collecting them, this is what they've looked like: a disreputable spill of fabric stuffed into the corner between the shelves.  That corner, the space between the shelf sets, was (in the beginning) carefully set so as to be able to take out a shoebox from the right side set.  You can just see it in the first picture, to the left of the drafters on the fourth shelf down.  That shoebox is full of horse blankets.  In the corner space, other pockets, bags, pouches, etc. drifted in over the years, as well as conglomerations of old (ancient!) horse blankets and Fashion Star Fillies costumes.  Got the picture.

By the most amazing of coincidences -- I did not know for sure until we got back -- the new shelves would fit exactly into this corner space.
This was the underside of the top shelf.  The top had been inexpertly mended by my father-in-law, Ross, and it did not sit well... literally.  It wobbled.  When rescued the shelf set was holding only a telephone and some books. 
I tighted up the screws underneath the bottom:
This was an excellent start, stopping half the wobble.
This is a view of the top minus its shelf:  two large holes, glue residue and (two) strange metallic circular fittings.  When you tried to fit the top shelf in its place, there were problems:
Clearly he had tried to shim with those popsicle sticks, but they weren't doing the job, and the internal screws or whatever they were weren't holding.
My first task was to remove as much glue as possible, and ascertain what was there, and how the hardware worked.  Fortunately the glue was so old  it was brittle.  I flaked most of it off, with some sawing and breaking, and then dug out the circular fittings and cleaned the glue out of them too.  And lo.  Everything was still functional.
It is a great pleasure to be able, and to be allowed, to use one's skill and patience to solve problems merely by being more attentive to what is wrong, and by being more detail-oriented.  Clean off the old glue, smooth off the facing planes of shelf and top, even-up the screws, and figure out how the circle fittings worked.  They were holders for the internal screws.  Whatever Ross was thinking, it hadn't worked very well.  I had much better hopes.
This picture shows the circular fitting opposite to how it will fit into its hole.  Turn it over, slip the internal screwhead into that wedge of an opening, and start tightening.  Really, it was an impressive design.
This is the right hand fitting being tightened.  The top shelf was now down and firm.
And voila.  No wobble.  Slip the rest of the shelves in.
Now for the fun part.
What decades of model horse pony pocket collecting will get you!  Seven different sizes of pony pockets sorted into 5 piles, several Breyer blue velvet bags, a tan/beige Breyer bag, some plain fleece pony pockets, a red plaid bag from a friend, a pile of white fleece fabric, a ziploc bag of costume and another bag, originally a pony pocket liner, containing a bulge of childhood horrse blankets.  And oh yes, the can.  :-)  It's on the bottom shelf.  This is the can used for Raffles!! when, oh rarest of occurrences, the TSII would have a piece of model tack for Raffle during BreyerFest.  Yes, it has happened... think 2006 or so...
And yes, I have hopes of it happening again.
Organized Chaos.
Thank you, Ruth, and Ross too.

1 comment:

  1. After seeing your tack set up, I definitely need to find a way to display my tack collection. Mine live carefully packed up, ready for the next show.