Friday, July 30, 2010

Baby Bassinet Completed! Friday July 30th, at the shop...

a few postings ago, I told you about this bassinet which we were sprucing up for an expecting mother. The base was so broken and wobbly that it hardly stood up on it's own, much less support the baby carrier, or a baby! And the entire set was covered in lead paint. No one wants their baby chewing on lead, so we had to strip that toxic layer off. Since they are on a rather tight time schedule, and a limited budget,
they asked us not to do any repairs to the bassinet section, and not to do any beautification to the base section. The base would be covered with a curtain anyway so it wasn't so important. So now the job is finished! And here it is...

What do you think? The parents will apply a new (non toxic!) layer of paint to the bassinet so it is looking new for their little one. We did quite a bit of work on the base making it stable again. You can see, we removed the decorative wrapping and brushed down the
paint, so that nothing would flake off during use. We also replaced several support pieces which had broken. All the new 'natural' looking pieces on the base are new.
They are a bent wood which required steaming to attain the correct shape. Even though we don't get to see it looking perfect, We are very happy with the outcome. I think with a little bit of work on the parent's part, this will be a wonderful heirloom still.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Refinished Desk, Wednesday July 28th at the shop...

Another beautiful item, ready to leave our shop! This desk is from the 1930s or 40s. My Grandmother had one very much like it, I remember rooting through all the cubbies looking for little treasures. For this particular desk, we completely stripped off the old finish, replaced the veneer on the top drawer, re-built the cubby frame work, and sent out the hardware for re-plating. Of course, we also applied this beautiful new water-based finish which you see. I wonder what treasures will be stored inside this desk now?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stained Glass Door, Tuesday July 27th at the shop...

Our furniture stripping services are as in demand as ever lately and we are always getting different interesting items in to work on. That is part of why we love this business so much, we constantly have variety! This week we stripped a beautiful stained glass door which was originally made prior to 1905. Because of it's age, it had a heavy layer of lead based paint. We stripped this toxic paint off, so now it is ready for it's owners to spruce it up and give it a fresh new life.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Butler's Table, Wednesday July 21st at the shop...

So last week, this cool table was brought in for some alterations. The couple who own it, had originally gotten it custom built based of another table they had seen of the same design. It is like the reverse of a drop leaf table. The sides can either lay flat, or be raised up, almost like a giant tray. The problem with the design, and the reason they brought it to us, is that when the table lays flat, there is no support under the leaves so it would be quite easy for the wood to break around the hinges if to much weight (like a foot!!!) is rested on it. So what we have done is added 4 slide out supports to the under side of the table. When the leaves are up, the supports disappear under the table, but when the leaves are let down, the supports can be brought out. Now the couple no longer need fear their rambunctious grandchildren!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Baby Bassinet, Tuesday July 20th at the shop...

This is a project we have to hurry and get done fast! It just came in to our shop, but it's new occupant is coming in about a month so the work needs to be finished quickly! When the owner of this beautiful bassinet came in, she told me that every baby in her family had slept in the bassinet, including her grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters. Now her baby will be the first of the new generation to sleep in it. We will be removing all the lead paint, as well as doing all kinds of structural repairs to the stand. Since there will be a skirt hiding the stand, we will not be needing to make it as 'eye appealing' which will speed the repair process up quite a bit!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Empire Revival Mirror, July 19th at the shop

This beautiful mirror was being transported by it's owner, when it took a dive off the back of the truck! It is from the 1900's and is in the 'Empire Revival' style. We are going to be replacing it's broken leg, replacing the lost mirror, repairing all kinds of breaks throughout and restoring the finish so that it no longer shows signs of it's unfortunate 'car accident'. As I was taking the mirror's photo today I noticed that it has a funny little shelf at the bottom which can be put up like a drop leaf table, or left down so that it looks like decorative trim. Now why do you suppose a mirror would need a little shelf near the floor?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Trunk Leather, July 15th at the shop

Lately, we have been getting more and more trunks in for restoration. They come in all different sizes and styles, each one needing something unique to bring it back to life. We get trunks covered in tin or cloth or wood or leather. Cloth insides, or paper insides or simple finished wood insides. But whatever the project, we love working on them! Often trunks come in missing their original leather handles and straps, or they are so badly damaged that we cannot salvage them. In that case, we can cut and age new leather as replacement. No one wants to pick up their restored trunk, only to drop it when the old strap breaks!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

French Doors, July 14th at the shop

Just the past few days we have been working on finishing 4 'french doors'. Each panel of glass had to be masked off before any work was done. This time consuming task was done for us by the owners of these doors. We have already applied a beautiful stain, now we are just doing the final detailing before we put a last coat of finish on. Adding color here and there, minor sanding out of any rough areas, etc. Once these doors are completed, I think that the wood will be so pretty, the owners might get distracted and look at it, instead of the view through the glass!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Simple/important repair! July 13th at the shop

I am always putting these incredibly challenging or complex or just plain crazy furniture repairs up for you all to see, so I thought today I would show you something we just fixed that is much, much simpler. No, this chair does not have some interesting family story, there aren't jaw dropping before and after pictures for you. But this chair does have a proud place in a living room and now that it has it's leg back, someone can actually sit on it! We think that being able to sit on your chairs is pretty important! So I suppose this is an important repair after all.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wicker Rockers, July 12th at the shop..

Today we began working on restoring a badly damaged set of two Fiber Wicker Rockers. There are broken pieces and missing pieces and worn out pieces all over both of them. This will be quite a job for our furniture weaver, but we have have great faith in her abilities. These chairs have been in the customer's family for over 80 years! They have graced many a warm summer evening and we are pleased to be able to bring them back to the beauty of their youth.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dining Set, July 9th at the shop...

I have so far shown you this set of chairs in two different stages of completion, after stripping, and after finishing. Well here is the entire set, completed! I think it is such a cute little set and we are eager to see the customer's reaction when they come to pick it up. What do you think of it?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Stripping! Wednesday July 7th at the shop

Well we have quite a bit of furniture that has come in in the past few days to be stripped. We strip all kinds of things here in the shop. Architectural items like doors, cabinets, trim, and of course pretty much any wooden furniture you can think of. Today we are stripping that neat Secretariat I mentioned yesterday, A dining room table, a chair, and along with some other things, a beautiful square side table that was abandoned here years ago. I have wanted to fix it up for quite some time and decided I should just do it! Once these items are all stripped down, they will be ready for prepping and then finishing. That is the fun part.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Secretarat, July 6th

We got in a really neat item of furniture this week which we are still pricing. But it is just so cool I had to mention it. Have you heard of a Secretariat? This neat piece is so good at multi tasking, that I am quite sure it could be used in any room of the house. It has a tall shelving section, drawers, a fold out desk with little hidden cubby holes, a mirror and some display areas. I am sure you could use it in an office as a desk, in your bedroom for your clothes, in your dining room for linens or dishes, you living room for media, probably even your bathroom! But this one, in addition to it's great functionality, is just beautiful. The kind of beauty you can only get with an old piece of furniture. The picture I have posted is from just above the desk and mirror. I am pretty sure you never see details like that in something purchased at IKEA! We are looking forward to fixing it's little flaws time has given, and making it ready to face many more years.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Finishing! Monday July 5th at the shop

I want to follow up on the last post I sent to you all on June 25th. I showed you 4 chairs which we had stripped. They now have a beautiful new Dark Walnut stain and a Satin Finish. They are now ready to grace any dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook, morning tea room, reception room, or any other place a table and chairs would go! We are happy with the finished result, what do you think?