Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Time to Experiment

This summer, I found some old Pyrex laboratory equipment at my local junk shop. In the pile were two tube-like glass pieces with drip valves at the ends, some beakers, and some glass hypodermics (which I didn't get). The pieces were sitting outside in the elements, neglected. So, I decided to give them a sheltered, indoor life!
At the time, we were living in an apartment while our home was being built. Alas, my husband would not let me keep it laying on the end table--to him it looked like something that could be interpreted as meth lab equipment!! I have to admit, it did look a bit questionable just sitting out like that....but I had grand plans for them!!
I had purchased some vintage cabinet fronts at First Monday Trade Days a while back, and I thought they'd make great display boards. Having no old hardware to attach the funky drip tubes to the cabinet fronts, I had to make some.
There are a couple of ways to do this. One is to use muriatic acid. Just dip new hardware in for a minute, pull it out, and rinse the acid off with water. This has to be done with goggles, gloves, and outdoors. I used to do this until I was let in on a little secret from my uncle & aunt: apple cider vinegar. This second way of aging hardware is much easier & safer. Simply pour some vinegar into a tupperware container, and let your hardware soak overnight. Rinse it and viola! Instant old hardware!

I used the vinegar-aging process to make four shiny, new broom clips look like oil-rubbed bronze. Then I simply screwed two clips onto each cabinet front. I wired the Pyrex lab equipment on for extra measure.

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