Project by BillyJ posted 03-22-2012 02:07 AM 3573 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok, so I didn’t build the mirror. For that matter, it was hanging in it’s present location before I refurbished the bathroom. And, although this might not be EXACTLY the intent of the contest, I’m banking on my story to assist in this challenge.

To begin with, the mirror was “made” by my father-in-law. I say made in the superficial sense. Dad would reclaim, refurbish, and extend the life of anything he found. He could have stared in American Pickers without a problem. Nothing was junk, and heaven forbid someone placed a fan on the curb for pickup. Such was the man I was introduced to when I married his daughter some 36+ years ago.

Other than junior high school, my knowledge of woodworking and tools were nonexistent. That is, until I married dad’s baby. He gave me a B&D circular saw, a hammer, and a pair of lineman’s pliers (all of which I still have today). He taught me to use a “salvaged” Craftsman table saw (I shudder to think I actually used it – an open motor and belt mounted on plywood – no guards). He also showed me how to take something that was thrown in the garbage, fix it up, slap a little stain and varnish (which, btw, was probably 10 years old), and sell it at a flea market.

Such is the mirror. He found it in the garbage. The table that it was part of was destroyed, and most of the mirror survived. He cut off the mounting part, routed the edges to look that the other three, and put a couple of hooks on it.

So, where do I come in? I’d been trying to convince my in-laws to let me remove the bathtub and put in a shower with grab bars. They kept saying they didn’t need it – and, no one would buy a house without a bathtub. Then it happened. In 05, my mother-in-law broke her hip – I had to remove the tub and install a shower before she came home from rehab. Pics of the project are here – http://homerefurbers.com/projects/181

Dad passed away last April.

He taught me a lot about building things, especially building from nothing. He never wasted anything, and kept every screw he might come across. Thus were those who lived through the Great Depression. Even today I’m plagued with fixing his “duct tape” jobs!

I just smile, and look in the mirror.

-- No matter how many times I measure, I always forget the dimensions before I cut.

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3 comments so far

View sandhill's profile


71 posts in 3997 days

posted 03-22-2012 02:20 PM

Nice mirror, My dad was the same way I still come across things he held onto.

View Hermando's profile


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posted 03-22-2012 03:08 PM

Great job and story which holds many memories that instills pride and creativity with everything you do. I had a similar situation with my parents bath and it is somewhat a love hate relationship with the bathroom for my parents. I had remodeled it before my father came home from heart surgery. The bath was a real challenge due to the out dated plumbing and fixtures. Tile was a disaster and time was limited. Needless to say I finished, but still as my parents are getting older I have to plan on redoing it for better accessibility. Good Job.

View BillyJ's profile


253 posts in 4002 days

posted 03-22-2012 04:24 PM

Thanks guys.

The older I get, the more I’m thinking about the aging in place piece. That is also something I push with those I do work for. Any reno should look into the future for the next step.

-- No matter how many times I measure, I always forget the dimensions before I cut.

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