So, what do you get when a 1940’s wooden tabletop Admiral radio/record player is married to a set of reclaimed midcentury modern industrial hairpin legs?  Who knew the Great Randini could be so handy and creative?  The man who has always believed in “stimulating the economy” by paying someone else to do the chores he prefers not to do – yardwork being #1 on that list.  The man who can’t seem to understand why Sara and I buy perfectly good large pieces of fabric, snip them into tiny little pieces and then stitch them back together to make an even larger piece of fabric.  In other words, physical labor and creativity are not his thing.  So when he produced this one-of-a- kind little table, I was speechless.  Of course, without Eric’s and Kayla’s tables for inspiration, he wouldn’t even be at square one.

Now, I’m looking at everything with a different eye and considering turning our garage into The Great One’s One-of-a-Kind Table Factory.  I’m thinking our mail lady is shaking her head and crossing her fingers that I don’t follow through on that plan.  She had to lug the box holding the 8 legs (yep, we’ve already got another table in the works) from her truck up to our door.  

This Philco radio/record player is looking forward to getting legged.  Initially, she was a little hesitant, afraid that the hairpins legs wouldn’t support her; but since the Admiral has shown her how sturdy his sea legs are, she is looking forward to doing a little dancing once her legs are attached.  Now she calls the Great One over every time he enters the garage asking, “What’s a girl gotta do around here to get some attention?”  He tells her that I’m the one holding up her transformation now.  All we need is a little TLC to bring this wooden beauty back to life and then he’ll leg her. 

Once the Philco dances out the door on her new old legs, there is a beautiful oak file drawer waiting in the wings for his time in the spotlight.  We haven’t decided what to do with him yet but he will have storage galore.  And as the winner of the pack rat gene lottery, I can’t think of a better selling point for The Great One’s One-of-a- Kind Table Factory tables. 



When Eric and Kayla brought home two mismatched 1940s wooden tabletop radio/phonographs (an Emerson and an Admiral), he already had a vision for their transformation.  The rest of us not so much.  Storing them in our garage, each time we passed them by, a glimpse of their future would flash before our eyes – which at that point looked like a date with the junkyard.  So one day (years later, of course) we offered to start the process. 

Cleaning, gutting, deodorizing and then cleaning some more all while trying not to damage the knobs, radio dial, tubes and finish we gently removed all the other innards and fed them to the recycling center bins.  Away with the turntable and all of its parts, out with the speaker and wires too numerous to count, and don’t forget the decades of dust, leaving a cavernous space for storage.  Now tell me, who doesn’t need more storage.   

Considering their age, the wooden cabinets were in remarkable shape.  Scratches and nicks here and there but nothing that couldn’t be camouflaged with a little Howard’s Restore-A-Finish.  We added a bottom to the Admiral and a back to the Emerson because storage space is only useful if it can contain all the junk that is shoved into it and an open bottom or back would make containment a bit difficult.       

With the radio face, chassis, tubes and knobs still intact they were ready to be legged.  Staying true to his vision, Eric began to search in earnest for the perfect legs.  And he searched and searched and searched.  Which turned out to be a good thing.  For lo and behold, on September 19, 2015 at Resettler’s Antique Mall in Statesville NC we found the long lost brother to Eric’s Emerson and so now he had a matching pair.  At least with a lot of TLC they would become a matching pair.  

It seems that the long lost brother had had somewhat of a hard-knock life.  Somewhere along the way, someone showed him a little mercy and began to restore him.  A wirectomy was performed but I guess he lacked the coverage to proceed with further surgery. (He must have missed all those commercials about Obamacare.)  He could have used a little cosmetic surgery as well and his lid didn’t fit quite right.  So we brought him home and the reunion in the garage was like a Hallmark moment.  Needless to say, the two Emersons forgot all about the poor little Admiral who was knocked down a notch from best buddy waiting for legs and a new home to “oh, that other guy.” He’s still in need of legs, but I think we’ll keep him.


So the Great One and I have finally finished our first repurposing project, but I need you to see the before, before I show you the after. 

About three years ago, this Electro Acoustic floor model record player by Magnavox along with these two tabletop record player/radios, an Emerson and an Admiral, hitched a ride from Maryland and ended up in our garage.  Back in those days, our garage was pretty much just a catch-all for everything that we didn’t know what else to do with, so we just pushed and shoved a few things around and nestled these new arrivals amongst the current occupants. 

As time went by, when the repurposing/upcycling bug latched onto us we only had to open the garage door to find our first project.  How much harm could we do?  It wasn’t in working condition and needed some TLC.  But before we could get started, we had to create a little bit of space.  A few trips to the recycling center later, we were ready to start.    

Of course, you need to see some of the along-the-way shots, particularly the Great Randini in all his glory! Fortunately we have a lot of helpful neighbors, particularly Mike Becker, to make up for our lack of expertise and power tools.  We’re definitely looking forward to more projects now that the garage is more of a workshop and less of a dumping ground.

And finally, the long awaited finished project! Of course, it’s no longer a functioning record player, but it certainly makes a great looking bar,doesn't it?  Nothing got thrown away.  We still have all the “guts” so, if Eric and Kayla decide they want to bring it back to its former self, they at least have a starting point.  But then, where would the wine and liquor go?