One of my 'hobbies' is to explore antique shops, consignment stores, thrift stores, yard sales, garage sales, estate sales, you name it, in hopes of discovering a long lost forgotten prize. I blame/credit my mom for that. As a kid, she always took us all over town to every place she could find. Now that I'm grown, I can appreciate not only the treasures that are found but also the thrill of the hunt.
This past weekend I discovered a gem. After a Saturday morning of failed garage sale excursions, Adrienne and I made our way to some of the less well-known thrift stores. Among them was a large Salvation Army located on a rough part of town. That's were I found this:
...a vintage 1950's Steelcase metal tanker desk.
The price, you ask? Would you believe $30 but then marked down to $20? Better yet, the building this Salvation Army is in just happens to be the original Steelcase building. That means, this vintage desk could have possibly never been moved outside of this building.
I already purchased a vintage art deco style wooden desk just a month before, so I really didn't have any need for a new desk. But, how could I pass up this opportunity?
So I did it; I bought it with absolutely no way to transport it and no place to put it. The Salvation Army offered a delivery service for $35, which is more than what I had paid for it. I had no choice...
The conflict was that they're legally only able to drop it off in front of the doorstep, literally. GREAT. Luckily, I was able to get my partner to help me move this tank upstairs to the office. However, just to my luck, the desk was too big to fit through the door. Oh, and to top it off, we had an important meeting in less than 2 hours that I still had a presentation to finish. I worked for an hour trying to take the top off the desk with a friend's borrowed wrench. After that hour, I struggled to get the 4 bolts off. Thinking we could just lift the top right off and move it upstairs, we then discovered there were actually 8 bolts, not 4.
Running dangerously short on time, our only option was to leave it sitting outside of our office until we got back from the meeting...
Two hours later after a successful meeting, we were back to work. This time we had to borrow additional tools from a nearby leather tannery factory and a metal scrap yard.
It took another hour to get the remaining 4 bolts off, which were even harder to reach than the previous 4. After laying on the cement and sweating through our 'meeting' clothes, we finally got it all apart!
The easy part now was to lug the pieces up the stairs, into the office, and reconstruct what took half the day to deconstruct...
All in all, it was definitely worth it and will be a great piece to the collection. Especially considering the fact that this $20 desk could sell like a similar one did on eBay for over $1,600. Not bad, huh?
Until next time, happy hunting!