Monday, April 25, 2011

I Love a Challenge.... But I Need Help!

I may have 'bitten off more than I can chew'.  Let me fill you in - and then I need advice.

Saturday, I sat down at the computer for a few minutes planning to check email and Craigslist. I checked Craigslist first (I've noticed that more items are posted on the weekends) for anything new and exciting. Nothing. I went to my email, weeded them out, and was just getting ready to get up when something (or rather SomeONE) told me to check Craigslist again. There it was - in the free section. "Free Antique Ice Chest". Huh!? Free? Really? Then I scrolled down a little to see if there were pictures. There were, but they were taken from a cell phone and not very good quality. It looked a little rough but, hey, I like a challenge! I called, talked to a nice young man, and he assured me it was still available and that I could come get it. I dubiously asked him, "will it fall apart when we pick it up?"
"O no", he assured me. "We pulled it out of the shed with my pick-up." I'm thinking, "ok, so it's heavy". The next thing he said was, "now is a good time because there are a few guys here to help load."
So, with DH's blessing, I got in the pickup and went to get it. When I saw it, I was a little shocked... but not too much. :) It was free, after all. I figured it couldn't be too much. I still agreed to take it and the 3 strapping young fellows began scratching their heads as to how to load it. I was wondering what their problem was - I mean, these weren't wimpy guys. They tried to pick it up, but no go. Then one of them had the idea to all 3 get on one end and lift while I backed the pick-up under it. Then they got under the other end and shoved it on. It. is. heavy. I wasn't concerned with the unloading - DH has a skid steer loader with forks. He unloaded it in no time and it's sitting in the garage. I'm not sure where it's going from here. It would be absolutely stunning if it could be restored. However, I'm not too sure it's not past the point of no return. Here's where you, my dear blogland readers, come in. I need some serious advice. Is it worth investing time in? How did it look originally? (I can't find ANYTHING like this on the 'net.) I'm willing to invest my time but what do you think? If you have any information on this type of ice chest or pictures, I would LOVE to hear from you. If you know someone (in blogland or otherwise) that would have knowledge of this piece, feel free to share this article and pictures with them.

And now for a host of pictures. I know this does not truly tell you the condition but hopefully gives you an idea.

Linking to: Furniture Feature Friday at the fabulous Miss Mustard Seed


  1. Hi Rachel! Oh me you have a nice piece there but a lot of work.I dont know anything about this either. Wished I could help ya out.Sure is pretty wood though:) Keep us posted.

  2. Wow, what a project. At first I thought this would make a cool bathroom vanity but with the weight and the rot, likely not.....

  3. My first thought was, "Serisously?!? A FREE antique ice chest?!? How unfair!!" LOL! But after seeing the pictures I can see why it was free and I would not have been brave enough to bring it home. So, kudos to you! That being said, that seems like a WHOLE lotta work. If it were me, I'd probably salvage the awesome latches and any of the wood that's still decent and save them for another project and not mess with restoring this to original finish. But that's just lazy ol' me. : )

  4. WOW! What a fabulous piece and for FREE!!! Woo hoo :D
    Could you split the piece into section? Like two or even three manageable pieces. When I first saw the your photos and after reading how heavy it was, I thought to myself..... I would consider using it for a wet bar outside and protect it with a good marine varnish. What a great place to hang out and entertain around! Just an idea.

  5. Craigs can be amazing! And, you were meant to have this piece, which is gorgeous. There are high end French pieces very similar to yours,and topped with soapstone, selling for thousands, and yours is worth restoring. However, I tend to side with Carrie, and preserve it with marine varnish, to enjoy it outdoors. Keep us posted!

  6. I'd probably restore this piece. It would make an excellent *server* on the deck with a nice piece of marble or just cool old wood fencing....This may make a nice island, or storage in a mud room...lots of things!

    I posted a bunch of photos on my blog of the pergola. Please b/c a follower, I"ll put more details up.


Thanks for taking the time to make my day with your comments!