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Friday, August 28, 2009

Two Chairs (part 2)

Here are some pictures of two chairs I have been working on. The first is a Victorian side chair. In the first photo you can see the chair glued and sanded. The next three photos are of the chair after it had been french polished. After discussing the chair with the customer, we decided to stain the chair brown.
The last three photos are of the mahogany arm chair after being french polished. When the caning and upholstering is complete I will post more photos.

Completed Wash Stand

Here are some photos of the wash stand I have been workng on with the finish restored and the hardware polished. As I mentioned in a previous post, the marble top for the washstand was left at the customers house.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Eastlake Washstand (ca.1880)

I received a washstand made during the Eastlake period. This period was during the later part of the Victorian era. The use of straight lines and lack of heavy ornamentation was a response to the trends that directly preceded this style. (ex. Rococo Revival) The use of these straight lines and simple moldings meant that each component of a piece like this could be manufactured with the use of powered tools. Even the joinery was produced with the use of machines at this point. This type of manufacturing of furniture was to become the dominant method of building from that period to the present. For more about Charles Eastlake and the Eastlake movement you can view an earlier entry in my blog. Here is the link:


Here is a picture of the piece with it's hardware removed. The top of the piece is marble which I left at the customer's house.

The main issue with the piece was that the front right caster was loose because the blocking had broken. The first step in repairing this was to replace the blocking with new wood. This is seen in the photo below: Once the blocking was glued in place the a dowel was inserted to plug the hole for the caster. After the glue dried the dowel was trimmed flush. Here is a picture of the caster in place and all of the blocking stained to match the existing blocking.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In Transition

Below are some photos of the three upholstered pieces I am working on with the finish work completed. In the case of the Sofa, the natural color of the Walnut came out several shades lighter than the original finish. As finishes age, they collect dirt and wax etc. which makes them appear dark. It is also possible that this piece had been stained at one point. The new finish shows off the natural color of the wood as well as the repeated crotch veneer along the base of the sofa. There are two pictures below.

The natural color of the arm chair was inconsistent so I stained it to match the darkest part of the chair. If you look at the earlier photos the piece appears lighter. This is a result of the existing finish, a varnish of some sort, yellowing over time. The result was that the finish gave the piece a yellow/light brown coloring. When the finish was removed the natural colors came out.

The rocker has a restored original finish, with the exception of the arms, which I refinished. I will post photos of the pieces completed when they com back from the upholsterer.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Two Chairs

I received two very different chairs from a customer. The first is a mahogany arm chair with a cane back and a upholstered seat. The upholstery and the caning both needed to be replaced. The finish on the chair was beyond restoration so it too will be replaced. Below are some photos of the progress so far:

The chair as it came to me.

The chair with the caning and upholstery removed. The top section of the back had been poorly repaired in the past and the joinery had loosened again. this is a picture of re-attaching the back.

Here is a photo of the chair with it's finish removed. The joinery around the seat frame had loosened over time and as a result the internal glue blocks had all loosened as well. After labeling which block went where (written on the blue tape), I removed all of the glue blocks, tapped apart the seat frame, removed all old glue and dirt, and glued the seat frame back together. Here is a photo of the seat frame being glued. The second chair in a birch Victorian side chair ca. 1880. This chair had its caning removed at some point. The seat frame had a pressed leather seat nailed to it in the place of the caning. After removing the leather seat and the old spline from the caning, I removed the layers of paint that were on the chair. The outer layer was black and the inner layer was brown. beneath the brown layer of paint were drips of white paint which indicated to me that this chair probably had it's finish removed at some point. Later someone accidentally dripped some white paint on it (probably while painting a wall) and then painted it brown and later black. after removing all of the paint I will stain the chair lightly and give it a french polish. Here is a photo of the chair with all of the paint removed

The Chair was then disassembled and the joints were cleaned for gluing.The chair being glued.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gallery of Recent Work

I thought it would be a nice idea to create a post devoted to some pieces I have completed with links to the pages concerning their restoration. As new pieces are completed I will post them to the blog.

Oak Dining Room Table

Walnut Chest with Marquetry Inlay Link:
Walnut Eastlake Armchair Links:
Walnut Chest with MirrorLinks:

Walnut Renaissance Revival Bed

Walnut Renaissance Revival Secretary Desk Links: