See You Later, Alligator!

And hello, Mr. Bordua!

So, in my spare time, I’ve been doing the “rainy day rehab” and cleaning up the dirty little Canadian Production Wheel that has been lurking in my basement since around 2003. I say “little” because it has a 27″ wheel, as opposed to the big girls with the 30″ wheel.

Her finish is really, really in bad shape. I had cleaned all the smaller parts and now had to face the bench with the uprights still in. Being a lovely spring day outside, I set up a workbench outside and hauled the cleaning supplies and wheel parts out in the sunshine.

I don’t know what the finish was on her, but it came off in great, brown, syrupy glops. It was really, really awful. But miraculously, beautiful, glowing golden wood began to appear and I took heart that she might actually look like something. She has some dents and dings that still need work, but there appeared to now be hope for her finish. All the alligator scales began vanishing.

When I began, she looked like this:

As her grain appeared, I noticed there was a pattern to it, sort of like a burling in the wood. I walked around her in the sunlight, and, by golly, what do you think?

When I finished, she looked like this:

Frederic Bordua, St. Hyacinthe

I just yesterday told someone I am never lucky enough to find a marked wheel, and here she has been in plain sight in my basement, lo these many years.

This will teach me to leave wheels sitting around unattended for so long!

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