Sometimes you just get lucky and today would be one of those days. I have been working on the dining room for quite some time and trying to bring it back to it’s original glory. This has meant among other things, building new wood paneling as the originals were removed probably some 50 years ago. I’ve been making quite a bit of progress on that front and will share some more pictures on that later on. But one of the more annoying problems has been the built-in. Or, more correctly, the lack of the original built-in. Back when they removed all the paneling, they also ripped out the built-in and replaced it with this crappy 1950’s model.
1950’s dining room built-in, in a 1910 house. Ugh.
The house next door to us is in the process of being remodeled and flipped. Being the inquisitive (read nosy) neighbor, I’ve asked for a tour or two of the house. On my first tour, I mentioned what a beautiful built-in they had in the dining room and the GC mentioned that he wasn’t sure what their plan for it was as it would most likely have to be removed. Fast forward to this morning. For the 19th time, I mentioned in passing that if they didn’t have a plan for it, I would be more than happy to take it off their hands…
Well, for $100, I have procured a new (old) built-in. And upon close inspection, I have determined that it must be nearly identical to what I used to have. I kid you not – the size, style, trim, paneling, shelves – it is a damn near perfect match.
$100. A HUNDRED DOLLARS! I can’t believe I pulled this off.
The thing is in really good condition. I think it had been painted at some point but somebody did a pretty good job removing it all. There is a bit hidden in a few cracks but nothing I won’t be able to get to. All of the hardwire minus the lock on the lower drawer is still there. No cracks, no nothing. Seriously, what the heck. So after confirming that that beautiful piece of awesomeness was really mine, I returned home and made a big hole in the wall. Actually, I started out by drilling a small hole in the back panel of my 50’s built-in to see what was behind it. And what did I find?
Hmmm. That’s not the back of lath.
That would appear to be nice wood. Knowing that, I then approached the removal with caution.
Well well. That would be the back of the original built-in.
The spots missing stain would be from the missing rails and shelves.
I have since removed that old back and de-nailed it. I believe that’s quarter sawn 3/4″ fir. Needless to say that I will be saving that for something special down the road. I obviously have a ton of work to get this new built-in to fit perfectly and blend in but I still can’t believe it. The construction guys and a few of my neighbors are going to attempt to move it tomorrow morning. It weighs a ton. I’ll be removing the doors, and a few other details so we don’t break them and then it’s just finagling and jiggering it into place.