This morning marked a watershed moment at my local watering hole / breakfast place. Ha!, the place across the street from my shop, and the place where I go for breakfast before work, the place where I go for my end of day reward, was in need of a woodworking intervention.
You see, when they put in the bar, they used a piece of reclaimed bowling alley. That in itself was not such a problem (although repurposed bowling alley does have its issues). What turned out to be a problem was the water soluble finish that the installers put on it, over the alkyd floor varnish that was the original finish. The water soluble finish not only didn’t play well with the varnish, it became a sticky, dirty mess over time.
Ha! is owned and run by the nicest and hardest working couple you would ever want to meet. Al cleans up and opens the place at 8:00 AM, and Alicia takes the closing shift ’till 2:00 AM, all while they raise two great kids. So I always felt guilty for complaining about the bar surface.
This week, Al and Alicia left the bar in the care of their employees, and took a few days to get away with their kids before school starts. So this morning, Caitlin, the morning bartender, and I decided to take matters into our own hands and started scraping the sickly stuff off the bar, after the morning rush had died down.
I applied some mineral oil to the top to protect it in the short term, until a permanent finish can be applied. I made no attempt to get all the dark spots up; to some extent, they add to the character of the place.
It’s so much better now, I may just have to go over there to enjoy my own work. 😉
(P.s. Don’t forget to tip your server. 😀)