Preservation through self-embalming: Step 1…

Free snacks & embalmingThere’s really nothing like a cool, damp, gray Saturday morning spent nosing through boxes of dusty relics at an outdoor auction. The coffee-flavored air tells dozens of little stories of excitement, disappointment, victory.

It was neither gray, nor cool, two Saturdays ago at the Shrader Funeral Home in New Albany where folks gathered (closely) for a very special estate auction. “Flavored” is an accurate, if unfortunate, word to describe the still air as temperatures remained in the brutally hot top-rafters-of-the-hay-barn range.

Patented 1903 - The Embalmer's Supply Co.Mrs. Spookyblue and I, Although dehydrated and toasted like a couple of campfire marshmelons,

“Well, I’ll be damned. A marsh melon.” *

walked away with (staggered, actually) this vintage embalmer’s table. Its stainless steel top and cast iron base weigh in at roughly a VW Beetle, but it looks really cool.

In its upright position with all the mechanicals underneath, this thing reminds me of Dr. Frankenstein’s lab table. Some penetrating oil is all that was needed to free up the mechanisms. I have no idea the most efficient way to safely remove the years of paint layered over everything. How much lead can one absorb before renting himself out as a dental X-ray smock?

Layers of paint over cast ironIn any case, someday this will make a fine buffet table.

* One of the few memorable highlights from “Star Trek V”
Kirk: What are you doing?
Spock: I am preparing to toast a marsh melon.
McCoy: Well, I’ll be damned. A marsh melon. Where’d you learn to do that?
Spock: Before leaving the ship, I consulted the computer library to familiarize myself with the customs associated with “camping out.”
McCoy: Well, tell me, Spock. What do you do after we toast the marsh – er, marsh melons?
Spock: We consume them.
McCoy: I know we consume them. I mean after that.
Spock: Oh. I believe we are required to engage in a ritual known as the “singalong.”

6 Responses to “Preservation through self-embalming: Step 1…”

  1. Mrs. Spookyblue is way cooler than Mr. ShellHawk. I’d love an embalming table!
    And marsh melons, too.

  2. It was at Mrs. Spookyblue’s behest that I engaged in a bidding war with the only other person within 300 miles of that spot who was also interested in the table. :lol:

  3. Holy brain matter Batman! That’s one of the coolest toys EVER!
    (and I like my marsh melons when they get stale and chewy)

  4. Best way to remove the crusty old paint is dollar store brake fluid. Get you some rubber gloves and rub brake fluid onto surface. Give it an hour or so and it will bubble up. Also a old paint scrapper will work wonders. :-D

  5. Perhaps two pairs of rubber gloves. Thick rubber.

    Or…an alternative to cleaning up the brake fluid induced soup of oozing bubbling paint and most certainly previously dried bodily fluids –

    one drill
    one wire wheel
    particle mask. Not a hockey mask, unless you have a filter mask under it.
    safety glasses (those paint chips do fly far)
    one extension cord. Unless of course you’re going cordless. (Don’t look Ethel!)

    the wire wheel will eat through the paint very efficiently. It will swirl the stainless steel beneath, but that can be buffed out easier than gouges from a paint scraper.

  6. Or you could save yourself all of the aggravation and ship it off to Damon von Charon’s place, where we promise to take great care of it and play with it for ever and ever and ever… :)