Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Family heirloom - restored!

I think this might be the best birthday present we have ever given to my dad!  He's been loving the tablet my brother and I got him for his birthday last year, so we were a little hardpressed to come up with something better. Then I remembered these ancient weighing scales.

According to my dad, these scales have been in the family for over forty years. My late grandfather, Dada, used it in his trading business in 1960s colonial Penang. I imagine him sitting at his desk in a crisp white shirt and dark tarbus, ledger on one side, scales on the other, thick plastic-rimmed glasses perched firmly on the bridge of his nose as he puts pen to paper. Those were moments when I wished I could travel through time and see what my Dada was like in his prime.

Anywho, I remember seeing these in tangled heap in a box when I was a teenager. About a year ago, owing to my penchant for crafting, my dad finally asked me to restore them so we can put them on display. It then stayed in a tangled heap in my collection of odds and ends because I couldn't find a proper stand to hang it from. Then I saw this bamboo banana hanger (of all things!) at Winners and I thought, "Bingo! Just what I need"

A banana hanger - who would have thought, right? The rest just came from my pile of crafting supplies. I'm not an expert brassware restoration so I simply brushed the plates with some toothpaste, which did the trick and brought back some of their shine.

Next it's all a matter of hooking the plates to the chains, the chains to the arm, and the arm to the banana hanger's hook with a total of nine jumprings.

As a finishing touch, my brother got a personalized plate from a local engaraver to mark the occasion for posterity's sake.

The bamboo-and-not-quite-shiny-brass combo gave the ensemble a rustic quality, which, I think, perfectly suits this "family heirloom". My dad was visibly moved when he saw this - just the reaction we were aiming for! I'm really glad we didn't head to the mall to find my dad a birthday persent.

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