Re-working an older project

You might recall I made this, last October.

The idea was I wanted something to hold the little card that opens unlocks doors in our building on campus. Pulling out my wallet every time was getting old. First off, this is wood, so it was easier to clean — when we were still concerned about such things — rather than my quality leather. Second, pulling the wallet out all the time was just getting taxing. Once someone snuck a peak at my driver’s license, just a casual can’t-help-but-see-it sorta thing and I decided there are limits to small talk.

So I needed something else. Well, I have a small stack of business card holders, but I wanted something I could just slip in the front pocket of jeans, so it needed to be a bit smaller. I wound up working up that thing you see above, and I wedged in four or five business cards, just to keep everything snug in there. And it served me well.

The only real problem was that I used the softest wood this side of pine, so I decided not to long after I took that photo, that I should probably seal it. What I applied yellowed almost right away. It wasn’t my favorite look. The problem with that is there are two possible treatments I used on it, and I don’t remember which one caused the yellowing. So now what?

Well, it sits in my pocket 98 percent of the time and no one has been around anyway since almost everyone else is working from home, so it wasn’t a big deal. But this week I decided to sand off that poly and put something else on it. So I sanded it raw with an 80-grit and then worked back up to 600. And then I put on some wood conditioner and, later, a dark stain and poly blend.

Only it didn’t take very well. So I went back for a second coat and applied it different, and it worked much better, aside from the inevitable human error. Because making mistakes is the only way I’ll really re-learn things like stain application that I’m sure I was taught in the seventh grade.

So I sanded it down again. Only this time I didn’t do it completely. I’m trying the shabby look. Why, I should put this on Pinterest.

I would, except I can’t seem to get my camera and lights to cooperate nicely today. But it doesn’t it look like something you’d inexplicably see on a shelf at Hobby Lobby?

Oh, look, this one is a bit better.

And in a week or two I’ll get tired of this shabby look and then do the stain and poly blend properly. Or at least better, and then retroactively justify the errors in the application process. (Take that extra little drip on the artisanal curve, I like that sloppy error!) At which point I will then probably jam the card holder in a pocket before it’s completely dry and ruin a pair of jeans.

Anyway, that’s what I did this evening, aside from pet needy cats.

How was your Wednesday?

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