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Restorers

Seeing carpets that have never been washed for decades cleaned of dirt and grime is therapeutic.

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I’ve heard and read people relying on Netflix and other streaming sites to keep them company during their isolation. While others caught up on their reading or explored new hobbies to keep boredom away, staying in bed and indulging in the latest movie or series was the most obvious option.

In my case, I was incommunicado of sorts for two weeks. The symptoms of Covid and the combined action of drugs kept me asleep in bed. It was an opportunity I took advantage of because sleep was a luxury for me. However, when I slept through an entire day without getting up for even a glass of water, I knew I was in really bad shape. In time, I got myself out of this funk, and I was on my road to recovery.

I don’t have Netflix. It’s a service I intend not to avail of. What I do have is Spotify, and most of the time, you will find me listening to music.

But not this time. The early morning quiet was a gift I enjoyed as I was getting well. In the wee hours before dawn, the neighborhood is still, except for the garbage man who is quietly sorting out the trash that will be delivered to the truck later that day. Because our street is still under construction, the barangay need to bring the day’s collection to the garbage truck waiting at the end of the road.

It was during these early hours of the day that I found time to watch something from my smartphone.

I’ve been a fan of dog videos on Facebook for quite some time. The antics of pooches never fail to elicit a chuckle from me.

Lately, I’ve also been viewing instructional videos of chefs and vloggers cooking their favorite dishes. My repertoire of meals has reached their end, reason why I needed to school myself.

One time, FB recommended a how-to video and it led me down the road of restoration videos.

A vlogger was bringing new life to an antique coffee grinder that had seen better days. To say it was beat up is an understatement. The amount of rust on that thing made you wonder if it was still worth fixing. It’s mechanism was covered in dark grease you wonder when it was last used.

I must admit I was hooked. The thought of someone cleaning up that piece of junk appealed to me.

After dismantling all the parts of that coffee grinder and lining them up on a table, he proceeded with work. After brushing the rust of all metal parts, they were either soaked in a cleaning solution — many stages of them — and sandblasted to their original state.

The most particular hobbyists would then sand each part of their imperfections — sharp corners, pits caused by rust — before priming them for a paint job, or shining the hell out of them for a mirror finish. At the end of the video, some of which would run for more than half an hour, the rusty coffee grinder is unveiled in its newfound glory, better looking than newly bought ones.

From coffee grinders and all kinds of kitchen gadgets and equipment — count in stepladders, railway lights, vises, axes and all sorts of lighters — I moved on to toy cars, Tonka ones in particular.

Many of those trucks were more than beat up. Some had gaping holes in their metal bodies that you would wonder why anyone would bother with them. Apparently, a toy’s sentimental value will have a collector take his time and effort to fix it up. And what a fix-up is presented before you at the end of the video: It’s almost brand new if you don’t know it’s original state.

I’ve moved on from toys to rug cleaning videos. Somehow, seeing carpets that have never been washed for decades cleaned of dirt and grime is therapeutic.

It’s the same with furniture videos where pieces picked up from a trash heap or the curb were dismantled, repaired, painted and reassembled into a better shape than it was originally in. Brings back memories of Practical Arts classes in grade school.

Right now, I just discovered a vlogger who created wardrobes, dressers, four-poster beds and the like using only scrap pallet wood (palo china) and the nails salvaged from them.

You can have your Netflix; I’ll stick to these instructional videos, thank you.

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