"I want to find an old wooden cabinet to put the aquarium on."
He couldn't deny it was time, actually it was way PAST time.
For in the 70's (yes, you read that right) when we were dating, we each purchased matching aquariums; one a 25 gallon tank and the other a 30 gallon tank on a black metal stand (to be honest, I can't recall if it was his or mine). Believe it or not, 35 years later the larger tank and stand are still in use in our living room - presently a home for my two huge angelfish. I've been wanting to replace that stand for a long time and since we've been incorporating more antiques into our living room decor, the time was right to finally get a nice old solid wooden piece for that corner.
When daughter and I attended an Antique Mall garage sale a few weeks back, we arrived just as it was getting underway and the vendors were still pulling items out into the parking lot. Of course I had to check out the tables, cabinets and shelves. I went up and down the row of furniture; mostly art-deco or newer offerings - when I came upon a rather sorry looking item that had seen better days a very long time ago... the top was cracked, the drawers were missing hardware but it called out to "Buy me!"
And for a mere $20, I did. I could see that with some much-needed TLC it would be perfect. A vendor helped me carry it to my car where it rolled in easily as it had metal casters I didn't even realize were there!
To avoid having to haul it up and down stairs, I simply kept the buffet in my dining room until I had time to work on it... and of course it didn't take long for Tawnee to claim it as her brand new perch from which to survey her catdom. Good thing the door had a latch; otherwise she would have been INSIDE it.
Finally, last weekend I got out the Circa 1850 stripper, some sandpaper, a deep walnut stain and got to work removing the brown paint and uncovering the wonderful wood grain below. We pondered removing the metal casters, wondering if they would hold up to the weight of the aquarium, but they were on so well there was no fear that they could hold the tank. So the squeaky wheels stayed and I am glad - I didn't want to change this too much; only clean it up and keep its old charm.
I have no idea exactly how old, but from the style, the hardware and dove-tailed drawers, I would guess it could be from the early 1900's.
The latch of the door on the right is a simple heavy pin that turns by the metal knob into a hollow slit carved into the wooden frame.
The two handles on the top drawer have rusty screws / nuts on the back (in fact one was upside down when I got it).
I wanted to put a similar type handle on the two drawers to the left, however, they are smaller than the standard size and two knobs had to be used instead. I used what I had on hand; I may replace these with glass knobs one day.
I am so pleased at how this turned out; the tank fits perfectly (a miracle really, since I never measured either one) and now I have a lot of storage space to use! The colour is deep and rich and really looks so much better than that ugly aquarium stand.
The only downside? Poor Tawnee has lost her new perch to the angelfish (who can been seen on the left if you click the image to biggify).
Yep. Cat - 0, Fish - 1
She's not as impressed as I am.