The shelves are up! And they rule. They’re in pretty good shape, considering they were piled high with books and probably sat in that basement for fifty years. There’s a little bit of veneer damage, but nothing noticeable. (Something to keep in mind: As cool as some of this original midcentury stuff looks, a lot of it is just veneered sawdust.) All that was needed was a light sanding (I used 400 grit sandpaper) and a few coats of teak oil to even out the color. Here’s the thing: Because I’m an idiot, I ignored the fact that some hardware was missing; I figured I could find what I needed once I got them home. (What I should have done is cannibalize the shelves next to them.) See those off-white rubber bumpers that brace the ends of the posts against the ceiling and floor? One is missing, and the rest are disintegrating. It seems they are a relic from the sixties and don’t exist anywhere in the universe except on these shelves. I lost three days of precious life scouring the internet and phoning every hardware manufacturer in the country. I even considered replicating them with a 3D printer, but apparently printing in rubber is very expensive. Finally, I settled on some similar sized black bumpers from McMaster-Carr (about $15 for eight), but I have yet to see if they work. Also, they’re black. And me no likey black. Can you paint black rubber without it looking like shite? From what I’ve read online, you can buy rubber-based swimming pool paint … but at 50 bucks a gallon, I might just live with the black.
Oh, and I can now (sheepishly) tell youse that I paid $400 for the shelves. Not dirt-cheap, but it solves the annoying storage/dining-area issues I’ve had since we moved into the house five years ago. Most important, it leaves me with the mental space to obsess about new and exciting things!