The call for help came in on Friday afternoon. It was my cousin Barb in need of a couple of men and a power tool, in hopes that they could provide a solution to her dilemma. Barb's mother moved here from Montreal several years ago and lives about five minutes from my house. Over the past few years, she has probably acquired a few new electronic devices, kitchen gadgets and decor-enhancers, but her basic furniture has pretty much remained the same as the day she moved in. Lately she's finding that some of the discomforts of aging have caught up to her, and has decided that she'd be better off living in the seniors' residence across the road from her current apartment.
Such a nearby move might sound simple at first thought, but as with most things, problems arise from time to time. My aunt's four-seat sofa is too large to bring with her into her new dwelling and so she decided to sell it. She had a buyer who was willing to take it, and all seemed well until they attempted remove it from her seventh floor apartment. They squeezed it through her doorway without much difficulty, but when it came time to place it in the elevator, it just would not fit. This very same piece of furniture was moved into her apartment without issue several years earlier, but sometime during the course of her occupancy, there had been some renovations done to the building. This included new elevators. New, smaller elevators. This sofa was not going to fit. So back to the apartment it went, which is probably when the above mentioned call for help came in.
My son Jeffrey was in town this past week, and since Frank was also visiting, and we just happened to have a circular saw, we offered to see what we could do. Armed with a few tools, army-issue gloves and protective eye gear which Jeffrey purchased especially for the occasion, we headed over to my aunt's apartment and proceeded to destroy her thirty year-old sofa.
(You can click on each of the images for a larger view.)This is the victim. A custom-made four-seater which served hundreds of bottoms well over the years. As you can see, it was still in very good condition which made it particularly heartbreaking to destroy. But the little boys in these two men prevailed over sentiment. They had tools and they were here to use them.
Frank and Jeffrey tipped the couch over on its front, and after making a small cut, began to remove the first layer from beneath the couch. Sofa so good!
After deciding where to go from there, they returned the sofa to its upright position and cut into the material to reveal the frame and springs beneath. The wire near the top frame spans the length of the sofa, and needed to be removed before they could safely saw into the wood.
Unfortunately, wire cutters were not among the tools that we brought. Frank located these vice grips in a storage room, and Jeffrey noticed that if placed just right, they could be used to cut through the wire.
Having successfully removed the main wire, Jeffrey cut into the base of the sofa to reveal the frame. My aunt watched and joked around at various intervals that she had changed her mind.
Here's where the little boy bubbled to the surface of my son. Prepare to destroy!
The blade cut through the surface of the wood, and then stopped abruptly with a screech...
A couple of screws were in the way. They needed to be removed the old-fashioned way.
Once all of the outer framework had been cut, there was a smaller, inner frame that was in an awkward spot. The men determined that it was hidden too deeply to access it with the circular saw.
Frank could approach it more easily from his side and he worked away at it until Jeffrey decided that a karate-like kick would work just as well, and a lot sooner.
A few snips, cuts, kicks and grunts later, the sofa was separated. When placed side by side, both parts fit into the elevator quite easily this time. They were brought downstairs and placed into the dumpster along with the accompanying cushions. I vacuumed the remaining mess and our mission was accomplished. One sofa successfully downsized.
My aunt offered us the opportunity to take anything that might have interested us from cartons of unwanted items. Among them was a box with near-full bottles of vodka and and whiskey. I think we'll drink a toast to my aunt, and bid her a smooth, stress-free move next week.