Our story so far: Following a Craig’s List lead, my husband and I drove ninety minutes north to find an antique safe we could use as a night stand in the master bedroom of the 126-year-old church we were turning into our home. But the one the seller showed us was too big.
# # #
“A smaller safe? How big?” the seller asked.
I pantomimed a box roughly two feet tall.
“I might have something like that,” he said. “I’m sort of a safe collector.”
He led us to his house and through a sitting room where two safes performed duties as end tables.
“Yes, those exactly!” I said, pointing.
“They’re not for sale.” Me: Crestfallen again. “ But I have a couple more that might work.” Me: Interest piqued again.
Clearly, this guy was something of a safe aficionado. How could we be so lucky to connect with a genuine safe collector with not one safe but several?
We followed him through the sitting room and into the attached garage, where he pointed out three different safes tucked behind and under various garage items. Two of them were very similar black safes dating to the early 20th century—the stuff of matching provincial nightstands. And, he was willing to part with them.
We struck a deal after a bit of dickering (not much dickering—the seller knew the combinations to the locks, which makes them more valuable—repurposing a safe as a night stand may have been inventive but it wasn’t cheap).
But now we had to get them into our pickup. The safes weighed four hundred pounds each—the hinges could be manipulated when the safe was open to remove the handpainted door, the seller told us, and one of those weighed a hundred pounds.
# # #
Tomorrow: Overcoming the physics of heavy safes. Read about it here.