Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Unpleasant Bug Surprise

We had an unpleasant discovery while working on this Oak Dining Table.  The table top was stripped before we did any other work.   Once it was dry and we moved on to do the next repair steps we found that there was some dry rot on the underside.  -groan-   All those dark areas you see
(where the extension slides attach) are dry rot.
To deal with the dry rot we began to pull the damaged layer of veneer of the underside of the table.  All the veneer would need to be replaced instead of just the top surface as we had originally planned.  
As that veneer came off, it exposed another issue. Bug Damage!  Not good.  All that powdery stuff is the wood that has been eaten away by bugs.  Fortunately there aren't any living bugs still in the table.  But now we have to repair all the bug damage, as well as the dry rot damage.
As you can see in the picture, those were some busy bugs!   The odd thing about this table is that none of the bug damage was visible until the veneer came off.  It was all hidden between the veneer and the hardwood surface.  They really are fortunate that there was no bug damage to the top surface as well.    It is going to be quite a job to deal with all those bug canals, but never fear, the craftsmen are here to save the day.  Before you know it, this table will look amazing again and will be ready for many birthday, christmas, thanksgiving and easter celebrations to come!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Red Oak Veneer on a Dining Table

This is a section of table that we just finished working on.  The complete table came to us to be stripped and have the veneer repaired.  We did the stripping work just like we usually do.  Unfortunately the veneer on this table was in much worse shape than any of us could tell while the finish was still on. You can see in this top picture how the veneer around the edges was flaking and peeling away from the wood underneath.

We ended up needing to pull all of the veneer off the center panels and replace it.  We used a  Rift Cut Red Oak Flitch veneer. This is the same kind of veneer that was originally on the table top.  As you can see, the new veneer is much lighter in color than the old because it has not had time to age.  This color difference will have to be addressed in the finishing process.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Custom Color for Pine Table

This is a really interesting table.  It was brought to us by a welder for his clients.  The old farmhouse legs were removed and the welder was making a new bronze base.  Those four circles you see are going to be filled with bronze disks where the legs attach from underneath.   Choosing the stain color for this table was an interesting challenge.  The client wanted a color that would complement the metal base.  We tried quite a few colors, and then quite a few custom mixed colors before we found exactly what our customer wanted.  By the time we were done, the table looked like a quilt of color samples!

All of those color samples were then removed and we finished the entire table in the stain color that our customer settled on.  And it sure does look nice doesn't it?!?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Making a Cloth Hinge

I really enjoy working on all of the various trunks that come into our shop.  Each one is such a unique project that requires creativity and imagination.  I also like the sense of adventure that trunks have.  You know that they came from somewhere.  They went on some interesting journey, they have a story.

They also get pretty beat up while on that interesting journey.  This trunk was brought in to our shop by a young woman who's grandfather used while coming to America many many years ago.  It still has her family name scrawled across the top in yellow, and on a label on it's side.  The most significant 'beat up' area of this trunk was on it's tray. It was covered in cloth and the cloth was beginning to show signs of age.   We were able to repair much of the damage to the tray cloth and I am especially proud of the work we did on the cloth hinge.      The lid for the tray is made of two parts which fold back to reveal the inside.  The cloth fold had ripped so the lid was in two pieces.  Using new cloth and special glue, we made a new 'hinge' on the underside of the lid.  It is designed to lay flat when the lid is closed and then fold when it is open.  When it is closed, the hinge is completely invisible.  You can see the newly functioning lid hinge in the pictures below.