Rail Hands-On Experience

Just sand both handrails and apply the varnish. Easy enough. As Peyton and I arrived to Forest Park to refinish the bridge handrails we were thinking this job would be done in an hour, tops. We quickly realized that it would not be completed in an hour. 

On the first day, we only had one orbital sander so we took turns sanding the railing. On the second day, we had two orbital sanders; however, Peyton’s wouldn’t hold a sanding pad so we were back down to one. When it was time to apply the varnish though we were both smooth sailing. This experience enhanced our sharing skills as well as our patience. Also through this experience we worked on our flexibility and upper arm strength. We were even able to use our creative problem solving skills to figure out the best technique to sand the bottom of the railing. If there were a timelapse video it would be quite comical to see all the odd but effective ways there are to sand and paint.

After two days of sanding and lastly, applying the coat of varnish we were done! Or so we thought. We actually had so much fun the first round, that we couldn’t help but go back for one more quick sand and second coat of varnish. This made all the difference because the finished product looks amazing. While sanding the wooden rail it appeared as a light wood so we were not prepared for all that the varnish had up its sleeve. Applying the first stroke of varnish had us both stunned. Whoa. 

It was an eye opening experience. The park was occupied throughout the entire time we were working on the bridge. The walking trail was getting a lot of foot traffic whether it was down and back or from the park, across the bridge and onto the trail. People were curious and it was exciting to share who we are and what we do. We had positive interactions with everyone who passed by and I think that goes to show just how beneficial the Community Build program is to the surrounding area. 

In case you missed it, this was a real hands-on experience.

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