Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vegetable Oil & Wood Don't Mix

I know I already made one lengthy post this morning but I just have to make another one.

Back in January on one of those online yard sale sites on Facebook someone posted that they had a large old trencher bowl for sale in perfect condition.  She was offering it at a good price.  She did not post a photo but said you could see the bowl if you looked at her Facebook photos.  I went through all her Facebook photos & saw only 1 picture of 1 trencher bowl & it was breathtaking.  The wood was a rich brown color & it shone like the sun.  I saw no cracks, no chips, etc.  I immediately wrote to her & said I was interested in it.  I also asked her what I thought was probably a dumb questions ... is the trencher you are selling the one you have pictured in the photo with the green trunk?  When she responded she didn't answer my question so I figured she thought it was dumb too since again that's the only photo she had in her albums of a trencher.  

Apparently I was the first person who actually said "I want the trencher" & so it was mine.  The thing is, she was living in the mountains of West Virginia & I was living here in central Kentucky.  I checked on Mapquest & found it would be about a 6 hour drive from here to her house.  In January.  Through the mountains.  And back again.  I thought "no problem" ... especially since she mentioned that she was downsizing & getting rid of a lot of other primitive things.  I was giddy fantasizing about the van load of wonderful prims I would be bringing home.

John insisted on coming with me & driving which of course was fine.  We got up early & drove the 6 hours to her home which was way back in the country & rather difficult to get to but we made it on time.  I knocked at the door.  No answer.  Cars were in the driveway & I could hear voices inside.  I knocked again ... no answer.  I then tried the door which was unlocked.  I opened it a crack & called out "hello?"  Then a little girl came to the door to let me in.

As I walked from the entryway through the kitchen & into the dining/family room I was in awe of all the wonderful prims this woman had & wondering just which ones she wanted to part with!  She came to greet me & we talked for a while & then she said "Here's your trencher!"  I looked at it & my heart sank.  I thought "that's not the trencher I saw in the picture."  It was not a rich brown color at all.  It did not shine like the sun.  It was, in fact, pretty beat up.  However, I didn't make waves.  I figured (1) if I walk out of this house without a trencher after driving all the way here & back to get it John won't be happy, & (2) she has all these other wonderful prims that she won't sell to me if I make a fuss.  Turns out she didn't have much to sell at all.  All the wonderful things I saw she was keeping.  What she was parting with was a few old jars (nothing special), some old candy tins (not prim), a couple old kitchen utensils, & a broken trunk.  She acted as though they were special treasures.  Talk about disappointment.  

She was going on & on about how she could've sold 10 of these trenchers if she had them.  She told me to take good care of it by rubbing it down with vegetable oil every couple months.

I decided I was happy to have the trencher anyway, beat up or not.  I posted a photo of it on the Country Sampler forum & mentioned her instructions to wipe it down with vegetable oil.  I immediately got a comment to my post saying no-no-no!  Don't use vegetable oil!  It builds up on the wood & isn't good for it at all.  This person told me to scrub the trencher with a good dish soap (like Dawn) to remove as much of the vegetable oil as possible, put the trencher in the sun to dry thoroughly, & then rub it down with mineral oil.

Here it is, 5 months later, & today I decided (while the landscapers are here) to scrub the trencher.  I literally scrubbed it over & over & over again with rough sponges, hot water & Dawn.  I even used an old hairbrush to scrub away at it.  The sponges were turning black time & time again.  The hairbrush was chipping away at the oil build up.  It was disgusting.  I scrubbed away for 2 hours & just couldn't scrub anymore even though my sponges & drying rags were still turning black in some places.  I will go at it again another day.  It reminded me of scrubbing the kitchen cabinets when we moved into this house.  The woman who lived here literally did not clean anything for the entire 2-1/2 years she lived here.  I ended up having to use a single edge razor blade to scrape the grease off all the cabinets in order to wash them down.  Can't do that with the trencher   : (

So the moral of the story is (1) Don't buy something if it's not what you were led to believe it was ... even if you drive 6 hours there to get it & 6 hours back home again, & (2) Never, ever, ever wipe down wood with vegetable oil.


cottageprims said...

I usually use linseed oil on my wood.I know the feeling when you are so excited about finding the treasure they talked up and arrive and think I can't believe they did this to me.Been there a few times myself.Hopefully it cleand up for you.My heart goes pitter patter at the thought of trenchers too.Warm Blessings!~Amy

Angela said...

I loved the part of the trencher I saw in a previous picture you shared. Can't wait to see it when you are finished. Glad to hear the landscaper folks showed up. Hope they do a great job for you. Have a great and safe holiday weekend.

A Primitive Homestead said...

A few years ago I saw a Lane four poster bed with canopy. I just had to have it. I bid on eBay & won. That was the start of one problem after the other. From not receiving all the pieces to it being damaged. The seller tryed to collect the insurance behind my back. I was notified & sent the insurnce check with instructions to never purchase from the seller again. He had many claims filed against him that week. Learned the hard way. I have taken home things I did not really want after seeing them because I did not want to hear the complaints from hubby. Blessings!

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

So sorry to hear it was not the trencher your heart so desired after driving all that way.
You'll have to post a pic for us.
Enjoy your weekend.
Prim Blessings