...and crafting a purposeful recovery


When I first bought Sparta nearly three years ago I had visions. In retrospect, delusions might be the better word. I envisioned myself painstakingly resurrecting my trailer with loving care, making sure every detail was just right. Once done, I thought, surely a spread in Architectural Digest would be forthcoming or, at least, a small story buried in an issue of “Tin Can Tourist”. Silly me. I have come to realize that I may never finish working on Sparta. No, that doesn’t mean she won’t be habitable within the next 6 months (yes, you heard it here), but she will always be a work in progress – a tweak here, a little more stain there, a cool original fixture that I’ll find on Ebay. You get the idea.

Another reason she won’t be done when I roll off to Borrego Springs, Julian, Ca or Shasta (or wherever) is this – too much bad shit can happen in a 60 year old trailer during a 600 mile voyage. Electrical wires can shake loose, wood paneling can rattle free and fall from the ceiling, trim pieces can peel away, etc.. Heck, some of this happened during my 1/4 mile trek to my current location last spring. So I intend to leave Sparta in a semi-finished state until she lands in her (final?) resting place. Should a wire shake loose enroute, it will be much easier to pull a panel, move a cabinet or whatever is required to get to the bottom of a problem. I know what you’re thinking – “This guy doesn’t have much faith in his work”. Damn right. For the past couple of months I have been working with nothing but a jig saw, a level, a square and a drill. This is a crude production.

Speaking of which I am back to cabinet work now and am remembering fondly my childhood hours spent assembling Tinker Toys. That is the closest I can come to describing the process of putting these cabinets back together using mostly original parts. Have a look.

Members joined with little wood pegs
Fresh holes drilled in a new piece of wood
Insert tab A into slot B
Kitchen counter getting situated. This will be sanded and finished in place.
Meanwhile my office nook is coming along.


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