Great Grandpa Herb wasn't a handy man.
I remember hearing that often, but it didn't mean he didn't putz around in his garage fixing things.
He could bowl a 300 with ease, sink a golf ball for a hole in one farther than your eye could see, and he was strong as a horse.
But he was not a carpenter.
His relationship with saws and hammers was pretty limited, but one day he decided to build a toy box.
He used old plywood he had in his garage, bought himself four casters and a round handle pull, and went to work.
When the toy box emerged from his garage 50 years ago, it was painted white with a gold trim.
It made a trip from California to Minnesota, but I can't remember how or when, I just remember I wanted to get rid of that gold 1970's colored trim so I painted it forest green.
I guess I painted it black after forest green, and as I discovered, at some point between the green and black, I also painted it a purpley-burgundy color.
I found the burgundy when I had some problems with my letters.
In addition to not remembering painting the toy box with black or how it got from California to Minnesota, I don't remember painting it burgundy.
I also found no sign of the forest green I remembered painting it first, so now I'm questioning if I am remembering any of this correct!
I also don't recall when I filled the toy box with stuffed animals and put it under our stairs, at least 10 years ago, maybe 15.
Anyway, it was time to pass on the only thing Grandpa Herb made out of wood, to his great grandson.
For a moment I considered altering the shape and putting on a new pull, but then it wouldn't really be the way he made it, and that's what makes it special.
In the end I decided I wanted it to look a bit like an old crate, since it's been around for 50 years.
Pieces of wood lats were added around the front bottom to frame it.....
And a piece of thin wood was cut with a curve for the back, then all the areas that were chipped or would be getting text, received a base coat of Fusion Coal.......
The top color of the toy box is a new color from the Penney & Co. line of Fusion Mineral Paint called Brook.
I also wanted the box to look old, so after it was painted I gave it a dark stain wash, which changed the color just a hint, mostly by just taking away that freshly painted look.
The original hardware was cleaned, I sanded and stained the lats, did a little distressing, and applied a layer of Fusion Tough Coat for added durability.
I never much cared for the shape of this old thing, and I know Brawn could have made an amazing brand new toy box.
But there is only one toy box made by Great Grandpa Herb - there will never be another one - so that makes this one priceless.
I'm pretty sure Great Grandpa Herb never thought this toy box made with his crude woodworking skills and heavy old plywood, would become one of our family heirlooms.
But it has.
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