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.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Walnut and Poplar End Table (Ca. 1930)

A Challenge! I received an end table made of Poplar with a Walnut book matched veneer top. The table was in pretty rough condition. The entire piece had been painted with pink paint and also had been used as a plant stand and as a result, the veneer had buckled from water damage. below are some pictures of the repairs and the beginning of the finishing process. I will post some photos of the completed piece when I am finished.

Below is a photo of the table as it came to me.This photo details the water damage to the veneer. I found that the joinery was entirely loose so I decided to dismantle the piece to remove the paint. this made the job a little easier. Below is a photo of the individual pieces once the paint was removed.The next two photos show the damage to the table top. Not only had the veneer loosened, but the top, which was made up of different plys, had delaminated.
Here is a photo of the top being glued. I chose to glue the veneer and the plys at the same time.With all of that loose veneer, there was only one place where the veneer was missing. below is are some photos of the veneer patch being cut and glued in place.The wood cut out to receive the patch.The patch being glued in place.This photo shows the base being glued.This last photo shows the table after the base had been stained. While the stain was drying I decided to coat the top. the base will match the top in color once the finish is applied.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Completed Mahogany and Glass serving Tray (ca.1930)

I wrote a previous post concerning this tray and here is the link:


The following photos show the before shot followed by several photos of the completed piece with the new glass installed .


Repairing an Old Pine Chest Of Drawers (ca. 1840-1860) Part 2

This is a second entry concerning repairs made to the runner system of a pine chest of drawers. To view the first part, click on the following link:


The photos below show the completion of this work. I didn't do anything to the finish so the chest looks more or less the same. The one thing I did do was to repair gouges that were made to the drawer fronts from the loose glass knobs. If you look closely at the first picture in the previous post you can see these. The photo of the chest below shows the damage repaired.

Two of the three drawers were disassembled to repair the drawer sides. the third drawer I was able to repair without disassembling it. After cutting away the damaged area of the drawer sides I cut new material to glue in its place.
This picture shows the new runners being glued in place on the above drawer.Here are the other two drawers being put back together. This photo shows the interior runners that were repaired in the previous post being glued in place.I was going to replace the drawer stops which were broken and worn by contact with the drawer bottoms, but some previous repairman glued new stops on the underside of the drawer dividers. These worked fine, so I removed the old worn stops.Here is the chest in fine working order. the areas around the knobs have been repaired and the knobs tightened. All of the drawer runners have been waxed with Paraffin wax for smooth operation.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Repairing an Old Pine Chest Of Drawers (ca. 1840-1860) Part 1

The old pine chest pictured below dates to somewhere between the years 1840-1860. The top of the chest is marble which I left with the customer. The construction is all done by hand and the chest is made almost exclusively of pine. The presence of Poplar as drawer sides and backs indicate that this was a piece built in the south, due to the fact that Poplar grows in abundance south of Pennsylvania. The glass knobs are most likely replacements and the finish is a mixture of old paint and shellac. This piece has had several coats of paint on it which have been removed over time. The customer and I decided to leave the finish as is but to repair the abrasion around where the knobs only.

The real problem with this piece is that the drawer runner system has become unusable. The runners on the sides of the drawers have been worn down and in some cases broken entirely. The interior runners have deep gouges where the drawer has had contact and are in some cases incomplete and all were held on solely by the cut nails. The glue had completely given way.Below is a photo of the chest and following are the repairs to the runner system.Here is a photo of an interior runner on the right side of the chest. It's job is to support the drawer and guide it into place. If you look at the end of flat board you can see the unevenness. that should be flat. this has been created by years of the drawer sliding in and out on top of the board. Here is a picture of all of the interior runners removed.Here is another shot of the damage. If you look at the right side of the board you can see how much it has been gouged out.I like to save as much original material as possible in the restoration process. some people would simply discard the old interior runners and build new ones. I chose instead to cut away only the damaged area and to replace it with oxidized pine that is glued in place of the damaged area. Below is a photo of one of the runners with the damaged area removed and the board used for replacement on the left.After I ripped the new board on the table saw the two were joined. Here they are before joining.Here is a photo of all six interior runners being repaired.Below are two photos of the sides of the drawers. you can see the damage to the lower sections (also called runners). In the first photo, The Runner is broken and in the second there is a section missing. Two of the three drawers needed to be dismantled to properly fix these drawers.
The problem area was removed by ripping the board on the table saw, creating a flat surface to glue the new runner to. Here are the four drawer sides, each getting new runners attached to the bottoms.A close up of the installation of a new runner.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Glue Blocks for an Old Oak Chair (ca. 1890)

Sometimes a chair is a little loose, but doesn't want to come apart! The oak chair below had loosened up enough to need gluing, but when I tried to knock it apart to clean the joinery the chair would not budge. This is probably due to the old hardened glue lodging between the surface of the wood. I was able to open up the joints enough to get some new glue in there, but I thought it might be a good idea to reinforce the joinery with glue blocks, which this chair never had. Below are some photos of the glue blocks being created and installed and the chair being glued up. the second half of this post deals with a patch on the top of the back leg of the chair.

The chair as it came to me.
The chair with the seat removed, clamped while the new glue driesI made the new glue blocks out of oak. the first step was to notch out the corners to go around the back legs. then I held the block up to the chair stretchers and traced the interior shape. I used this block to make two glue blocks.After the block was cut on the band saw I checked it against the interior to make sure it fit okay.The four glue blocks being glued. they are also held in place with screwsThe other problem with this chair is that it was missing a significant portion off of the top of one of the back legs. you can see the dowelled joinery sticking out. Here is the patch, after it had been roughed out on the band saw, being glued in place.After the patch was glued, it was fine tuned using a chisel.The patch also needed some carving which I did to match the rest of the leg.Here is a photo of the patch after it has been touched up to match the existing finish.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Broken Angel!!

Just in time for Easter, I received a Olive wood angel who's wing had broken off. Below are some photos of the repair. I also included some photos afterwards of a cutting board which had deep scratches in it and a burn. By vigorously sanding it, I was able to remove all of the damage and bring it back to a presentable condition.
the one winged angel.Hallelujah!!The cutting board with the burn visible.The cutting board after sanding.The cutting board with mineral oil applied to the sanded surface.

Mahogany and Glass serving Tray (ca.1930)

I received a Mahogany serving tray recently in need of refinishing. In addition, the tray needed to have the glass replaced. The customer and I decided to replace the glass with 1/4" glass over the 1/8" glass that was in it to provide a sturdy surface for carrying things. Below are some photos of the initial work of removing the broken glass, Hardware, and finish. There are also some photos of the repairs to the frame.

The tray as it came to me.The tray with the glass and hardware removed. the finish, which is a lacquer, has yellowed over time.The tray with the finish removed.The last two photos show the joinery in the corners of the tray being glued.