We want to wish all of our readers and customers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We are having our employee christmas party this afternoon and then we close for a week so that we can spend this time with our families.
But before we go, we want to extend some good wishes your way and a little holiday furniture advice as well. Our advice is simple.
1. Please do not use your antique caned seat side chair as a stepping stool to get down that gravy boat off of the top shelf. I know it is hard to reach up there, but we have seen enough woven furniture with foot print holes in in that we know from experience, woven seats do not make good stepping stools.
2. When your gorgeous candle aubra on the dining room table drips all over your gorgeous wood, you may have haze spots from the heat, or colored spots from the dye. Your best bet is to just bring it to us. To prevent this disaster, put something under your candles, like a table runner or serving dish, to catch the wax.
3. It is very likely your wood surfaces may incur a few new water rings this weekend. When that happens, act fast! Read my previous blog post about this topic here... http://furniturecraftsman.blogspot.com/2011/11/dealing-with-water-rings-on-wood.html
4. It is possible your uncle (or other relative) may enact the ultimate party foul and have the lovely chair they are sitting on collapse underneath them. While the relative may feel that the embarrassment is the biggest problem here, the broken chair's problems could be made much worse if you try and fix them with yellow glue, gorilla glue, foam glue, etc. Again, your best bet is to bring that precious chair to us, so we can put it back together properly.
And now, from all of us at craftsman, we would like to wish you a happy (and accident free) Christmas and New Years. We will see you in 2012!
Friday, December 16, 2011
This table has been a little pet project of mine, and I am so glad to finally have it finished. It kept being put off, as there were more important things to work on. It came into our shop about 12 years ago and the customer decided not to have the work done and abandoned it. After eyeing it for years, I finally decided it was (potentially) to beautiful to sit lonely on our shelves any longer. It needed a lot of work. The first thing we did was strip it so any remaining finish or accumulated junk was gone. I then completely dis-assembled it, sanded it with 120 and 180 and then it was ready for repairs. The old top was so badly warped that I ended up cutting a new one instead of trying to fix the old. I was able to keep the raised edge pieces, but all the corners had to be cleaned up.
For a stain I chose to use a 'natural' (or clear) stain on the redwood/walnut top and a teak stain on the rest. This helped to balance out the color between the 3 different kinds of woods. The color is really beautiful and vibrant. The burl veneer needed a pore fill treatment to smooth it out a bit and fill in the voids, and that treatment actually helped to bring the grain out even further, which is of course a plus! The beading is highlighted with a Van Dyke brown glaze and a water based Semi-Gloss finish was applied overall. The table looks gorgeous, I am so pleased with how it turned out. Now instead of sitting lonely and broken on a shelf it can stand proudly in the finest living room.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
This is one of a set of 4 danish Wegner chairs (pronounced 'vegner') that came to us recently, needing some help to make them 'sit-able' again. There were a few loose joints, one of which you can see in this picture. The top rail has come loose from the back right leg. So these minor repairs needed to be worked out.
But in addition to the repairs, every one of the seats needed to be re-woven by hand. 'Danish Cord' was used in an x pattern so that the original style of the chair would kept in tact.
We also cleaned and waxed the chairs with a clear wax, which helped to brighten and protect the finish in the years to come.
With his love of natural materials and his understanding of the need for furniture to be functional as well as beautiful, Hans J. Wegner (1914–) made mid-century Danish design popular on an international scaleWith more than 500 different chair designs Wegner is the most prolific Danish designer to date. His international breakthrough and greatest sales success came in 1949 when he designed the 'Round' chair which was made famous when it was used in the televised Nixon-Kenedy debates. The 'Y' chair which we have here in our shop was first designed in 1950.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Can you guess how many pieces this High Chair is currently in? I give you a hint.... it's a lot! Sometimes we get items in where every bit of glue has failed. This means all the seams in the seat come apart and all the joints, whether doweled or tenoned or something fancier, come apart. When this happens, we have to carefully tag each piece so that it isn't a puzzle trying to get it back together.
There are many reasons for glue to fail. If the furniture was originally put together with Hide Glue, then a change in temperature or moisture in the air, could cause the glue to fail. Hide Glue is very strong, as long as it is kept in normal indoor conditions. But it is activated at high heats so if you leave the chair on the porch in the summer, the glue can be activated and then while the joint is soft (and not clamped) it can become loose and fall apart.
Other joints fail because a bad or experimental glue was used. In the early 1900's a Lignin glue was used and it has a very high fail rate. We get furniture in fairly often that originally had this kind of glue used. Joints can also fail because not enough glue was used to penetrate the surrounding wood fibers. If the chair has had a prior repair attempt, sometimes an in-experienced repairman will not clean the old glue off before applying new. The glue then just bonds with the old (already failed) glue, instead of to the actual wood.
Diagnosing why a joint failed can almost seem like diagnosing a medical condition. It really does help to know the furniture's history. But regardless of why the joint failed in the first place, a skilled, experienced repair specialist can put the furniture back together, regardless of how many pieces it is in. The new bonds they create between the pieces should last well into the future. When you go into a shop to get your furniture worked on, be sure to ask lots of questions so that you know what your glue options are, what each glue's risks are, and get a good sense that they know what they are doing!
Monday, December 5, 2011
This elegant trestle table came in with several breaks on the trestle stretchers which not only were unsightly, but made the table much more weak and unstable.
While the elegant curved contour of these particular trestle stretchers is pleasing to the eye, they have a weak point built in. Each stretcher curves in such a way that the grain stops running with the piece of wood and instead runs across it. This point of 'cross grain' is extremely weak and broke on almost every one of these points.
To repair the breaks we turned the table upside down and glued each break with epoxy. We like to use this type of glue on breaks since it becomes almost indestructible. The epoxy works it's way into the pores of the wood so that it becomes almost a part of the wood itself.
Once the repairs were set and the glue had cured, we came back and did extra work on those 'cross grain' sections where the structure was so weak. To fortify these areas, we created a spline on the underside of the stretchers. You can see the spline repair here, but once the table is back on it's feet, only the carpet will see the spline! For those of you whom 'spline' is a new word, let me explain. What we did is cut a groove in the stretcher right across that break. We then inserted and epoxied into place a sturdy piece of wood, which has grain running the length of the spline, rather then across it. This piece of wood will strengthen the weak area so that a second break can not occur in the same vicinity.
Work on this table is just about done. We still have some work to do on the veneered top but all the structural work is completed. We think our customer will be thrilled with the results!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays are right around the corner, and that usually means lots of use for your dining room table. Sometimes an unfortunate spill happens, and that is just fine, as long as the liquid
You will need just 3 things to get rid of that water ring.
1.You will need a piece of soft cotton (like and old T shirt)
2.You will need Liberon 'Ring Remover'. We sell it here at our shop, or you can get it online.
3.Lots of Elbow Grease.
Once you have assembled these items, this is how you go about getting rid of that evidence of a holiday party gone wild. Take your piece of cotton and pull all the edges around into the center so that you have a ball of cotton that is smooth on one side, grasp the not smooth side with your hand. Apply the ring remover tho the smooth side of the cotton, smack it with your hand a few times to spread the product through the cotton, and then start rubbing! You want to rub the wet cotton forcefully across the water mark in the same direction as the wood grain. This process may take some time, and quite a bit of pressure, but the ring will disappear if you are patient.
The heat caused by the friction works with the chemicals in the Ring Remover to pull the moisture up out of the wood. Once you are done, there should be no evidence that the ring was ever there. If you now see a shiny spot in that area, you can either choose to rub out the rest of the table to bring out the shine, or use a paste wax over the table which will even out the shine, and also provide a nice layer of protection for your wood. Just so you know, waxing your table requires lots of rubbing as well, so don't attempt both of these projects on the same day.
So there you have it folks, the simple, yet physical task of removing those pesky white rings from your table. I have been trying to think of useful ideas to help you all avoid the rings in the first place, here is what I came up with...
- Serve all of your beverages out of sipy cups this year.
- Make everyone hold their beverage the entire time they are at your home.
- Don't serve beverages, list on your invite that everyone needs to get hydrated before leaving home,
- Give all your guests a straw so that they can drink out of your punchbowl and not have to hold glasses.
- Ask your guests to put their glassware on the floor when they are not drinking it. This works best if you do not have a hardwood floor, are not worried about carpet stains, or do not have pets.
Any other brilliant solutions to avoiding Moisture Rings on your wood surfaces during your holiday parties and feasts this year?
Thursday, November 10, 2011
This really was not a great fix, it hid the problem but did not actually repair it. So the bed was brought to us for a more permanent restoration job. What we are in the process of doing is quite a bit more complicated. We started out by cutting and contouring a piece of wood to fit each side of the center panel. Since the bed has veneer on both sides, we had to plane down our new piece of wood so that it would be thin enough to handle two pieces of veneer and still be the correct thickness. The next step was possibly the trickiest. Veneer had to be cut to match the angles of the existing veneer on the headboard. The patch was then glued to the center panel and we will next have to do color touchup so that the pieces appear to be one. Once all that is done, the frame can go back on and the work on the headboard will be completed.
Friday, November 4, 2011
The leg is now ready to take it's place back in the dining room. Hopefully the puppy has found some better things to chew on and will leave this piece of furniture alone.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
We have a fun project we are working on for our office that I want to share with you. Very soon, when you come into our office, you will see a beautiful display of cane samples hanging on our walls. Most people only are familiar with one cane pattern, generally known as '6 strand'. We wanted to give our customers a better idea of the variety of weaves available, in case the inspiration would give them an idea about a different look for their chair. We have 8 completed samples so far and saveral more beatiful designs on the way. In these photos you can see a ‘4 Strand’ weave, ‘Victoria’, ‘Double Victoria’, ‘Star Of David’, ‘Daisies’, ‘Double Daisies’, and ‘Daisy and Buttons’. These are just a few weaving examples, there are som any out there to choose from. We can also weave colored strands into the design, and weave in beautiful center medallions. I will post photos of those for you later.
We would love for you to bring us your chair, and work with us to find a beautiful, different, decorative weave, that will set your chair apart from the rest.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Once the tricky veneer work was completed, and all the necessary touchup and dye was done, we moved on to replacing the finish. We applied a shellac as that was the original finish. To replicate the color we used 4 coats, 2 of orange shellac and 2 of super blonde shellac. The table looks fantastic. The colors of the veneers are vibrant and have depth. It is once again a masterpiece that can proudly grace the living room of the original maker's family and descendants.
To see more photos of the work on this table check out our Flickr Page here... Dodecagon Marquetry Table
Thursday, October 27, 2011
First off, there were some repairs that needed to be done, new drawer bottoms to be cut, a few areas patched where the wood was missing, and the top needed some bleaching. There were also some gouges that needed to be steamed out.
Monday, October 24, 2011
All the veneer repairs have been completed, but there were still flaws in the marquetry all over the place and these had to be corrected with touchup. Some of the flaws were simply because the wood was not the same age, and so hadn't darkened with time, and some of them were from the original veneer that had tiny little breaks and nicks.
Our color wizard chose 3 different pigment powders from his collection to create this mustardy yellow. He used White, Green, Canary Yellow and Pine. This is the mixture for just one of the colors he had to use, each different wood type he touched up on this piece needed it's own special custom blend.
This table top uses many different kinds of woods including Birds Eye Maple, Rosewood, Lacewood, Elm and Ebony. The colors he chose, along with his expert fine gran strokes, blended perfectly with each wood he was working on. The table top looks beautiful and is ready for it's final step, a coat of orange Shellac over the entire table.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
We started out by cutting two pieces of wood, one the basic shape of the handle, and one the basic shape of the decorative fruit. Stacked on top of each other, you can get an idea of how the handle will turn out. We now need to carve and contour the cut out shapes.
While the 'fruit' has yet to be permanently connected to the handle, you can see that the project has really turned out pretty well! it still needs to be stained, but we are going to wait until the rest of the dresser has been stripped, repaired and sanded. That way we can stain the entire piece at once. I will be sure to post more pictures so you can all see the progress.