Welcome to my blog which follows my furniture restoration business. Please feel free to comment at the bottom of the post, and if you would like a response please leave your email address. you can also contact me directly at info@johnmarkpower.com. And by all means, if you like something please feel free to share it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tightening up some loose chairs and turning a missing spindle

An interesting thing about modern furniture, and I have never been able to figure out why this is, is that the manufacturers use as little glue as they can! The result is that there are a lot of loose chairs out there!!
I received six chairs made from Beech that were all loose. In addition, one of the stretchers had fallen out completely and had gone missing. below are some photos of one of the chairs being glued up and the turning of the new spindle.
this first photo shows one of the chairs disassembled. The hoop back on the top is secured by a fox wedge, which is a wedge inserted into the end of the tenon under the chair. this wedge forces the tenon to expand and keeps the back tight. because of this, the bottoms were the only sections that were loose.

The blue tape seen on the spindles and the legs have the location of each part marked on it so that I don't get confused on how to put these chairs back together! After the joints were cleaned of all of the old glue, the chairs were reglued. I am using a ratcheting band clamp to keep everything tight.Here is a photo of the turning blank next to the spindle I needed to copy.Here is the blank mounted in the lathe.This photo shows the spindle being turned. The first step is to tame some measurements using calipers and transfer them to the blank once those diameters are turned as in the photo below, the spaces in between are flattened out. I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but I can tell you that it matched exactly!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Completed Foot Stool for a Morris Chair

Below are some photos of the completed foot stool which I custom made for a Morris chair. There is also a photo of the chair and the foot stool together. To view the process of construction follow this link:

To View the restoration of the Morris chair follow this link:

Completed Renaissance Revival Plant Stand

Below are several photos of the completed Walnut plant stand with its veneered top. The color is the natural color of aged Walnut. Unlike most woods, Walnut lightens with age. The only part of the table that was lightly stained was the new veneer which was stained to match the color of the table. To view the complete restoration process for this piece follow the link below:


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Turning Appliques for a Walnut Plant Stand

Lately I have been working on a Victorian plant stand made of Walnut. To see other posts concerning the restoration of this piece you can follow the links below:

The last step in the repair process for this piece was to turn several ornamental appliques for the table that were either missing or badly damaged. Below are some photos of the turning of the new appliques.

Below is a picture of one of the broken appliques. the originals had a turned tenon which connected them to the piece. Each applique was about 1 inch in diameter.Here is a photo of the blank chucked in the lathe and ready for turning.The first step is to turn the basic shape as seen in the photo below.The shape is then refined and sanded and the last step is to turn the tenon seen behind the disc of the applique. After everything is finished then the tenon is separated from the rest of the blank using a band saw.Here are two of the appliques after being turned.The last step was to hand carve the four lines seen below into the discs.Here is a photo of one of the new appliques attached to the foot of the table. the one to the left facing the left of the picture is an original.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Veneering a Walnut Plant Stand

Recently I have been restoring a Walnut plant stand Ca. 1870. To view the first entry on this piece, follow this link:

When repairing the top of this table I noticed that the underside of the top had been veneered. The reason for this is that it is common practice to veneer both sides of a surface so that there is less of a chance that the surface will bow or move. If you ever look at the edge of a piece of plywood, you will notice that the plys are always in odd numbers. that is so there is an equal amount of tension on each side making the whole more stable. The same is true with veneering a table top. The problem here was that the top veneer was missing!
This table has had significant work done to it in the past so most likely the veneer was damaged and simply removed. The customer and I agreed to re-veneer the surface. Below are several photos of the process.

The first step was to prepare the surface by filling any indentations and sanding the surface to remove any old finish left over. Here is the prepared surface prior to veneering.
Here is the Walnut veneer chosen for the top.Once prepared, the top surface is coated with hide glue.The veneer was then laid in place and clamped for several days with ply wood and long blocks to make sure the entire sheet had good contact.Once removed, the sheet was glued to the top. You can see where the glue permeated the veneer in some places. this is sanded off before the veneer is finished.Here are two views of the veneered table with the veneer sheet trimmed to size. The veneer Will be stained lightly to match the color of the table before finish is applied.

Cherry Dining Table with Seven Leaves (Ca. 1950) Part 2

Recently I have been working on a Cherry dining room table with seven leaves and two drop leaves. To view my first entry on this table follow this link:


One problem that the customer wanted addressed was that when the leaves were in place, the table had a tendency to open up. The answer to this was to install clips or table yokes. The table yoke is used to hold individual leaves together by connecting them. Below is a photo of the table yoke:The two receiving ends are screwed to the underside of the leaf and the yoke is inserted into both ends, connecting the leaf. below is a photo of a yoke installed and connecting two leaves. The seam between the leaves is seen running down the center. Here is a view of the yoke in place on the underside of the leaf. the yoke has a crescent shape to act as a handle for removing. This photo shows the table surface edge on. Here are two photos of the seven leaves waxed and ready for delivery.
This photo shows the completed table without the leaves. The second photo shows a different view with light coming in from the window.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gluing a Reproduction Chippendale Chair (Ca. 1920)

A customer recently called me concerning some loose dining chairs that they had. The chairs were Reproduction Mahogany Chippendale Dining chairs and are nicely constructed. The Joinery is a mix of Mortise and Tenon and Dowels. Below are some photos of the gluing of one and the repair on the leg of a second. There is also a photo of an old writing slate that was from their family and needed the frame reglued.

One of the Chippendale chairs (the blue tape on the parts list the location and orientation of each piece.The chair dismantled. The chair with it's joints cleaned and reglued.Fixing a crack in a leg on a second dining chair before regluing.The writing slate getting glued up!

Custom Foot Stool for a Morris Chair (part 1)

A couple of months ago I restored an Oak Morris Chair for a customer. this restoration included having cushions made for the seat and back. While working on the Morris chair the customer asked about having a foot stool made to match the chair. We bought extra fabric and now I have been working on the footstool. Upon close inspection of the Morris Chair you will see surface carving on the apron of the seat. The customer and I agreed that eliminating this carving on the foot stool would keep labor costs down and that the shape of the apron would convey the overall feel of the Morris Chair. To see the restoration of the Morris Chair follow this link:


The photos below detail the construction of the foot stool. I will write a second post dealing with the finishing and upholstering.

Here is a photo of the restored Morris Chair.After making measurements and drawings based on the Morris Chair I created these two templates. one for the leg and one for the apron. the apron template is flipped to create a mirror image on the lumber.After tracing the templates onto the milled lumber, I cut out the individual sections of the foot stool. The front aprons were in the process of getting the pierced sections cut out on a scroll saw when this photo was taken.Here is the front right leg after band sawing the initial shape. the following photo shows the same leg with the edges softened using a router and gouges.

Here is a photo of the foot stool being glued up. the joinery for the stool is doweling which is the same as the original Morris Chair.Here is a top view of the stool getting glued up. While the glue was drying I added the bracing for the cushion and the corner blocks.Here is a photo the seat frame for the cushion being glued up.Here is a photo of the constructed foot stool ready for sanding, staining, and finishing.Another view with the seat frame in place.