Saturday, September 09, 2006

The beach stone drawer pull project

I've_always loved rocks. I know, I'm weird, but I've been collecting rocks since I was old enough to grasp one in my hand. One of my earliest memories is of stopping at Perham's Maine Mineral Store in West Paris on the way to visit family up north, and running my hands through an enourmous tub of polished stones that sat in the store, for sale 10 stones for a dollar.

At every beach I have ever visited I've gathered pretty stones, interesting stones, stones with interesting shapes. From Cape Breton Island, we came home with almost perfectly spherical granite stones the size of tennis balls.
Hiking across the Highlands of Scotland, I found stones with fossils embedded, and added them to my pack -- they now sit on the stereo cabinet, right by the CDs, for people to pick up and touch. I'm especially happy when I find a lucky stone, with a stripe completely encircling the stone.

These rocks have traveled with me for years, and sure e
nough came with me when Dan and I bought our beloved house.

As I've said before, I love my house. One of the things I did not love about my house, however,
were the ugly, cheap, mismatched drawer pulls in the kitchen and bathrooms. Ever since arriving at the house, I've wanted to change them, but didn't know what I wanted. I figured that out several years ago when I saw a bracelet made from Maine beach stones.

Lovely as a bracelet, I thought the stones would be equally stunning as drawer pulls, and fortunately for me, I already had an excellent selection of beautiful beach stones,
all with happy memories of sun drenched days in Nova Scotia, Popham Beach, the Scottish Highlands, or on Cape Cod, attached to them.

Of course, this project could not be as easy as it sounds. I had the idea, I had the stones, now, how to create the pulls? Finally, earlier this year, I discovered the perfect thing, insert knobs from Lee Valley Tools. The brass knobs had a wide, shallow depression which could be filled with 2-part epoxy and the stone set into the depression. I needed 23 knobs for the kitchen, 5 for the upstairs bathroom, 4 for the downstairs bathroom, and 10 for the handle-less chest of drawers purchased at a tag sale.

I purchased the brass insert knobs, and got started.
It worked amazingly well. I managed to complete the kitchen, the downstairs bath, and the chest of drawers, but I ran out of appropriately shaped stones before I could finish the upstairs bathroom. Living in Maine, less than 50 miles from my choice of several stunning beaches, one would think it would have been a simple matter to go rock hunting one day and finish up. One would think.

Ten months later, Dan and I finally managed to collect more stones from one of our favorite spots on the Maine coast. Now all I need to do is find the epoxy, pick out which of the gorgeous stones to use, and finish up.

1 comment:

El said...

Ali, I did the same thing with my old house: beach rocks for our knobs, in my renovation in 99/00! Dang! I will dig up my best photo: unlike you, I had to resort for plumbing parts and gaskets and regular old screws and lots of epoxy. My favorite knob was on my silverware drawer: it was a worn-down brick.