Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Do you have a broken drawer like this???

I am fairly confident that here at the shop we can fix any wood problem. Including this drawer. It looks to me like someone was a bit over eager when the opened this drawer a few times, and the drawer front came right off. When the drawer front came off, it took some of the wood from the sides off with it. We put the drawer back together, and now it is stronger than ever!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Antique Radio, Monday August 30th at the shop

Remember when I showed you that odd green wood we were working with recently? Well theproject that is attached to is completed! When this old radio originally came to us it had a paper backed veneer on the top. Paper backed veneers began to be used in the middle of thelast century. So what we surmise it that sometime during the middle of this old radio's life someone replaced the original veneer with the cheep paperbacked veneer. There are several problems with paper backed veneers. They are very thin and so repairs become difficult, they cannot be patched very easily either, due to their thinness. They also peel pretty easily. The wood separates from the paper and just peels. When this happens, the entire layer of veneer will need to be replaced. Which is precisely what we did for this radio. We removedthe old veneer and replaced it with a new, sturdy, quality wood backed veneer. We also stained this new wood to match the rest of the radio. Isn't it a good looking piece of furniture now?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wicker Rocker Set Thursday August 12th at the shop...

Some time ago I showed you one of a pair of rockers which was falling apart. The owner of this set plans to sell them, but first knew he needed to get them into 'sit-able' shape. Unfortunately we do not have the pleasure of re painting this set, but we have gotten to do some significant repairs. You can see exactly what was repaired because the new sections are still a natural color. As you can see, there were broken or missing sections all over this rocker. I am sure with a little bit of paint, and abeautiful cushion this set of rockers could proudly grace any front porch or sunny room out there.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hand Made Cedar Chest, Wednesday August 11th at the shop...

We have been working on this project for quite some time and are so glad we have it completed. This hand made Cedar Chest came to is in a very dilapidated state. It was made by the owner's grandfather so even though it was going to take quite a bit of work to restore it, the family value of the piece made the repairs worthwhile. As you can see by the top picture, when the Chest came to our shop the finish was failing and there was quite a bit of structural damage.

We started the project by cleaning the the dirt and grime off of the old shellac finish, so that we could see what we were actually working with. The customer wanted to retain as much of the original finish as possible on the trunk. The shellac had coagulated over time and the cleaning process removed the thin areas. So what you see left is the thick areas.

We are actually the only company in California that has the permits to work on these historical finishes! So we were able to relax the old shellac and get it to spread out again which is what you see here. We then applied on top of the old finish, 3 layers of new orange shellac.

Now when the Chest came in, it had no legs or base supports of any kind. As a result of this, the 'baseboards' were sitting directly on the floor and had incurred some damage from rot. We added three 'legs' to the base and finished the entire base in a dark color which made it almost disappear when the Chest stands upright.

With the repairs done and the finish restored, we could not be happier with the final outcome of our work on this heirloom cedar chest. What a joy it is to be able to help a family retain a piece of their history. This chest is strong enough now that many more generations of this family will be able to enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Odd Green Wood, Tuesday August 10th at the shop

I am sure you all know that wood comes in many colors, grains, weights, etc... But did you know that there is a wood that is naturally Green??? We have such a dramatic example for you that I thought we should show it off. We recently had an antique radio come to us for work. The finish is badly damaged and the veneer on the top needed to be replaced. When we took the cheep, paper backed veneer off the top, we discovered this distinct green wood underneath. It is actually Poplar! Poplar comes in various shades of green, but this is the most dramatic example we have found so far. With it's unique green tone it could either be stained in such a way that the green is preserved, or we can hide the green and stain it to a more traditional wood color.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rolltop Desk For Sale At The Shop!!!!

Craftsman Furniture Service is selling a Rolltop Desk!   A customer brought it in to us for repair, but decided not to have the work done.  So now this beautiful 90 year old desk is up for grabs.   It would be a fantastic project piece for someone wanting to refine their restoration skills.   We are selling it for just $50.  you can call us at 916-454-9081 or email us at  for more information, or to come look at it in person.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Faux Wood! Wednesday August 4th at the shop

Recently, a hollow core cabinet door came into our shop, which had suffered a teenager's accidental wrath, and so
it had a giant dent in it. I really can't see the logic in making hollow doors. They are very difficult to repair if they get damaged. But, that is our job, so here we go! We started by filling the damaged area with bondo until it was a level surface again.

Then the area was sanded down so that it became a perfectly smooth surface for working with.

We then painted on a base color which matched as closely as possible the base color in the original wood.

The next step in the process is to begin hand painting in a new wood grain, using the clues left behind from the edges of the real wood to know where to paint the grain. This takes a patient and steady hand!

Almost finished! Now the grain is all painted in, we just need to break up the line that separates the fake wood from the real wood, and add a darkening toner to the areas of the surface which are lighter. Pretty incredible that that beautiful wood grain was painted in by hand!