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Tue Nov 23, 2021, 10:06 PM

My family's table-made during the gold rush days in Portola Valley Ca.

I was underneath it today. Securing the 2 hand wrought iron leg supports that run the centerline. A simple job long overdue bore our the old worn out holes and glue in dowels to accept the hand made screws. Yes the screws are hand made. And the legs appear to be salvaged deck railings. They are turned and shaped as such. And it was common to salvage vessels abandoned in the sloughs of SF Bay.

The table itself tells age with its sway back and finish. The boards also appear salvaged from a older structure. Hand sawn marks are across the bottom of the wood. Multiple patches that also have worn to the point there is no distinction in the surface worn by many many gatherings.

It was purchased by my Father when he moved into our house in Portola Valley in 1959. The sale was from the estate of the founders of the area-who built all the stone walls people have you tubes about. It was described as a farm table and he bought it for my Mom who loved antiques.

It is the remaining piece of my family's heritage. We have been dis-inherited & scattered as a family and I hold this table dearly.

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It has seen every Thanksgiving my family had together. It has been tossed over with a full set of plates & food by my Sister during a heated family argument. But there is one story that keeps it in family infamy....

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We had just moved from The Portola home after Mom's divorce. We had a short move to Los Altos Hills ca. It was a nice old 3 story house with a history. Timothy Leary lived there when he taught at Foothill College way back when. He had crazy parties we were told and did find evidence of such.

My older brother (who is now a POS Repuke & a narcissist) had finished helping move & decided to stay the night alone at the new house. They had set up the table in the dining area but everything was in boxes & no bed so he decided to sleep on the table.

He awoke to the room spinning around him as he lay on the table. He claimed it was the table itself spinning and recalled the ornate ceiling edge molding that was part of the décor (Deco era).

I later had enough evidence myself of the house having a presence. Not threatened but definitely spooked me enough to believe his story to this day.

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It has been used as a place to put stuff far too often lately. And I doubt my 2 girls will want it even if I threaten to haunt them if the put it on Craigslist.

Anyhow-
I finished the leg supports & she is sturdy proud & ready.

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Reply My family's table-made during the gold rush days in Portola Valley Ca. (Original post)
Boxerfan Nov 23 OP
Hugh_Lebowski Nov 23 #1
flying rabbit Nov 23 #2
OAITW r.2.0 Nov 23 #3
AnotherDreamWeaver Nov 23 #4
denbot Nov 23 #5
AmBlue Nov 24 #13
chia Nov 23 #6
Boxerfan Nov 23 #8
chia Nov 24 #12
Boxerfan Nov 23 #7
Archae Nov 23 #9
murielm99 Nov 24 #11
cachukis Nov 24 #10

Response to Boxerfan (Original post)

Tue Nov 23, 2021, 10:15 PM

1. The table sounds legendary!

I love any great Bay Area story

Hope your holiday is epic

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Response to Boxerfan (Original post)

Tue Nov 23, 2021, 10:27 PM

2. Excellent story!

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Response to Boxerfan (Original post)

Tue Nov 23, 2021, 10:34 PM

3. Nice post!

I will bet the key here is making the carrier arms (think, the legs) solid with the horizontal connectors.

Look to lock the surface with the verticals.

Grabbing some free posting time, I add this-

Home-tip on Anderson window/window door (72" frame. Installed in 2000. Metal (coarse thread) racking screws married to the wood door frame. Due to settling adjustments, I lost rack control, due to extreme wood screw track erosion.

My solution: Overbore existing holes and put in a fine thread brass insert. Match ID (fine thread) screw to door adjuster screws. Total cost to me...$.74 for brass inserts + modified racking adjustment screw. Brass to brass, fine thread adjustment. Fucking 8 hours of my time to fix a stupid problem.

Why did Anderson Window make such a stupid product design? If they had thought about rack design, they'd have had ad metal-to-metal screw adjustment.

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Response to Boxerfan (Original post)

Tue Nov 23, 2021, 10:35 PM

4. I want to see pictures... nt

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Response to AnotherDreamWeaver (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 23, 2021, 11:00 PM

5. Me too, me too!

Way cool family story. I guess the spirits know the heart of a man..

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Response to denbot (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 24, 2021, 10:12 PM

13. Me three!!

Pretty please!! Cool story, nicely written too.

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Response to Boxerfan (Original post)

Tue Nov 23, 2021, 11:07 PM

6. The story ended too soon. You left me wanting more. :)

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Response to chia (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 23, 2021, 11:40 PM

8. Ok-today I checked for hidden gold coins. I'm broke & desperate-why not.

Considering the pieces history I thought it may be possible.

The patches on the surface are a oddity-very old but not due to any wood defect I could ascertain. And I have been a metal detectorist for years after I had to retire due to a disability.

So I used my pinpointer-a small hand held metal detector used to locate coins or whatever when you dig for them.


To my surprise I got positive hits on the 2 largest patches. Small isolated metal objects were there.


I spoiled it all though. Using a small 4" coil on a discriminating detector . It can tell between ferrous & non ferrous very accurate. I found they were just iron nails. Imperceptible used during the repair.

Oh well.


I scanned the legs & such but it is what it is. A very old table.

The fact I have it is a small miracle. I had to drive to a friend of the family to retrieve it after my Mother passed. She was in a small apartment & it was on loan. She had sold all the family antiques-the good stuff-to buy a boat to live on. The dealer who did the purchase had no interest in the table so it survived that drama.

Sadly my Mother was diagnosed as terminal with a life of smoking COPD. I lived on the boat in a canal in San Rafael adjacent to the apartment. I saved it from rotting away as best I could and sold it after I married at a huge loss. She ignored my one advice on boat purchase-DON'T BUY WOOD! . And she had bought a 40 foot Owens with a buttload of dry rot & tired engines.

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I wish I could tell the tale of the table before my father bought it. But that family was legendary for even back then. Huge swaths of land and the stone walls were for clearing the area for grazing & livestock retention.
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As an aside the estate my father purchased had been used for bootlegging during the prohibition. We had a trap door leading to the cellar & a escape tunnel. My father collapsed the tunnel with his tractor before we moved in. But I would love to detect the area.

I often bemoan my loss when my family was torn asunder. That property alone good lord. But I know why Wal Disney hated step mothers now. My father gave her everything in his new will. Then he had a "accident" during a Fox Hunt in England.

My step Mother refused him medical service & he died after 12+ hours from his injuries. How that was even possible I will never know. Have not seen any official report-and his family actually helped my step mother cover the facts from my Grandmother. My cousins are multi million trust fund babies with the attitude it brings. They won't even call or visit.

So basically all I have form my former life family is this table.

No more storyI got cooking to get to-the dough she has rissen!.

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Response to Boxerfan (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 24, 2021, 08:58 AM

12. Thank you, that is indeed gold. Find yourself an editor and publisher and

finish that book inside you. So much story there and I'm sorry for the hard parts of it. Wishing you all the best.

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Response to Boxerfan (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 23, 2021, 11:55 PM

9. Beautiful table!

Really good pictures, and that stereo looks almost as old!

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Response to Boxerfan (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 24, 2021, 12:57 AM

11. Nice.

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Response to Boxerfan (Original post)

Wed Nov 24, 2021, 12:09 AM

10. Suggest you rewrite this story enough to expand to 300 pages; 300 times.

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