When I had my estate sale last fall, I sold my big extension ladder. It was great for getting Christmas lights up over the two very tall peaks of my Tudor, but otherwise it was too much ladder for me. Now as my house construction is restarting, I need a ladder. I wanted a simple A-frame that was easy to carry. I priced them at Home Depot... one I liked was about $60. Daniel suggested fiberglass would be the way to go, or Craig's List.
I got on Craig's List today and found one very near my office for $20 that was an 8 foot A-frame, and touted to be "very sturdy." I confirmed it was still available, put dibs on it, and headed over this afternoon to pick it up.
It was an... interesting area on West Commerce, west of downtown. Industrial, and for some reason every block had it's own weird, unpleasant odor. I didn't feel unsafe, but I did feel out of place in my dress clothes and heels and my little convertible. I found the seller, and both he and his buddy expressed skepticism that I wanted it and that I was going to transport it using my car. "How far are you going?" one of them asked. "Lakewood," I replied, "piece of cake."
The seller loaded it for me, and off I went. And really, nobody really looked twice at me that I noticed. Not like some times when I have toted unusual items in my car... like when I moved many things from my shop - a compressor, a chop saw on a rolling stand, a step stool, a shop vac... yes, all at once. And at a red light on Northwest Highway, a guy and his mom in a pick up truck next to me were laughing. He rolled down his window and called out, "Who says you need a truck?" Exactly!
On the way back through downtown, I had the opportunity at red lights to examine my purchase more closely. It's great - solid wood and as advertised, sturdy. Not covered in paint or really dinged up. I was pleased. It was super dusty, of course, as ladders can be. The wood looked thirsty. And missing having my hands on a project since moving into an apartment...
I stopped at Ace Hardware and bought a bit of sandpaper (and I'm going to complain again that I hate that everything from my shop is in Garland) a bottle of wood polish and conditioner. I know. It's just an old ladder. For construction. But... if you were a reader of the blog for my 1929 house, you're familiar with my love of wood, and restoring old wood to it's original condition, and how I almost refuse to be the first person to apply paint to anything wood.
After reading labels I bought some Feed-N-Wax by Howard. It's a beeswax and orange wood blend. It smells really great. This is a terrible photo, but it's what I've got:
So I got home, changed clothes and went to get the ladder from my car. I passed a guy in the hallway on the way back to my apartment - he gave me a sideways glance. (Good thing he never passed me pushing my chop saw on wheels..) I could barely make the corner getting into my apartment.
There were a few paint drips and spots, and then some black spray paint overspray.
And it was filthy dusty. (I have colorful floors, don't I? That is a myriad of rugs and old yoga mats for my aging dog who has trouble with traction.)
I got a bucket of vinegar water and wiped the whole thing down. I let it dry, and hit it in a few places with sandpaper to clean it up. Wiped the dust off, and began applying the beeswax. The wood drank it in. But a beautiful ladder emerged - if such a thing exists...
And I found this stamp, which surely means someone paid about $1200.00 for it, right?? LOL
And here it is, in all it's glory:
Ta-da! It's vintage! It's gorgeous! (And it's tall enough to get me into my loft until I get my loft ladder built.) Note my Google Sketch Up tiny house on my bedroom door. : ) A gift from Daniel at MAGIC Camp - Freedom, one of his students, drew that up. Talented...
I'll put the ladder in the back of my car once again on Thursday, to go to Garland. My skylight arrives tomorrow (Wednesday)!! I think the skylight and roof plumbing vents will go in Thursday, and my roof will go on FRIDAY. Yeehaw.