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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Oak Queen Anne Tilt Top and Maple and Walnut Jewelry Box (2005 and 2008)

I recently had a booth at a local fundraiser where I was displaying some of my furniture. For examples, I used two pieces I built. The first was a reproduction Queen Anne tilt top table made from white oak. the second is a Jewelry box made from Walnut and Tiger Stripe Maple. I brought the pieces into the shop and gave them a fresh coat of paste wax. While I had them looking good, I decided to snap a few photos Which are found below.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Completed Walnut Veneer Dressing Table (ca. 1918)

Below are some photos of the Walnut dressing table I have been working on. These pieces were always stained dark when they were first made (perhaps with the knowledge that Walnut lightens in color with age). That being said, they always look better with the stain removed and the natural color of the wood shining through!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kenmore Model 117 Sewing Machine (ca. 1948

I recently finished restoring a Kenmore sewing machine cabinet. The sewing machine is a Kenmore Model 117 made by Sears and Roebuck. the earliest year these were in production was in 1948, but perhaps with a little research into the serial number an exact manufacture date could be found.

The cabinet was very similar to a 1930's Singer sewing machine I restored a few months ago. Here are the links to the posts on that machine:



The cabinet for this sewing machine was made with oak veneers. The door on the front of the cabinet had four book matched pieces. I believe that originally this cabinet was painted white, similar to a pickled finish. this paint was than top coated with a lacquer. The lacquer had yellowed over time resulting in a milky yellow finish. Here are some photos of the sewing machine cabinet after I had taken the hardware off:

This photo shows the condition of the top. Most of the finish was gone and there was plenty of water damage.
Here is the door from the front of the cabinet. The book matched veneers were totally obscured.
Here is the cabinet after the finish had been removed.
The joinery on the legs had loosened, so I dismantled the joinery, cleaned, and glued the stretchers back in.
Here is a hinge from the cabinet. I cleaned the one on the left. All of the hardware was cleaned in a similar fashion.

This photo shows all of the arts laid out for finishing. I lightly stained the cabinet to give it a nice color.
The photos below are of the sewing machine completed. Some show the cabinet closed and others with the sewing machine out. You can really see how the book matched veneers came out once a new finish was applied.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Maple Indian Clubs (ca.1900)

One interesting project I have received recently is a pair of Maple Indian Clubs dating from around 1900. Indian Clubs get their name from similar clubs (though much larger in size) used by wrestlers in India for strength training. They had there hay day as a tool for workout routines around the turn of the century. They were usually hollowed and filled with a weight (such as lead) to give them the proper weight. Indian Clubs also came in various sizes (and weights) to suit the various levels of the training programs. The iconic image that comes to mind when I think of Indian clubs is that of a man with a handlebar mustache twirling these clubs through the air. Not only did I find this image, but also that of a woman in Victorian dress spinning the clubs. I have to say that she doesn't look to happy about it either, although maybe she is just concentrating! below are the photos:

The clubs that I received were in pretty rough shape. they had been each used for hammering at various times. What is nice is that they have stayed together all of these years. They also had very little finish, some cracking, and paint splattered on them. Here is a photo of the clubs as they came to me.
After removing the finish and sanding the clubs, I filled the cracks and applied the finish. No staining was necessary since the Maple had oxidized to a nice golden color. Here is a photo of the clubs in transition.
These last two photos show the clubs restored. I left some of the wear to show the age and character of these clubs. Perhaps someday they may see some use again!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Walnut Veneer DressingTable (Ca. 1918)

I have recently been working on a dressing table made from Poplar with Walnut veneer on all of the primary surfaces. The table has three drawers and a mirror stand which attaches with two side mirrors that are adjustable. When removing the mirror glass from the frames, I came across a manufacture date for the glass which is dated " June 1918". While this is a manufacture date for the glass only, I am sure the piece was made somewhere in that time period. Other than that, there were no maker's markings or labels.

The piece was in pretty good condition structurally. There was some veneer loss here and there and other minor repairs which are detailed below. The main problem with this piece was it's 92 year old finish! I decided to remove the finish to expose the natural color and beauty of the Walnut veneer and stain the Poplar parts to match. Below is a photo of the dressing table as it came to me. I had already removed the wooden knobs when the photo was taken.The following photo shows the mirror which mounts on the table surface.

Here is a photo of the date found on the back side of the mirror glass.
This photo shows the dressing table and mirror with the finish removed.
One of the drawers was missing an escutcheon, so I replaced it with one that closely matches the others.
Another drawer had become unglued so I opened up the dovetails, cleaned them and glued it back together.
In this photo, the top has a coat of finish on it to help me match the color on the rest of the piece.

These last two photos show the table and the mirrors after they had been stained and with several coats of finish. I will post completed photos in a future post.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

American Cherry Queen Anne Tilt Top Table (ca. 1760)

A piece I recently worked on in the shop was an American Cherry Tilt Top or Tip and Turn Table. The name Tip and Turn refers to the table top's ability to rotate similar to a Lazy Susan. This adaptation of the Tilt Top table was developed in England in the mid 18th Century. When women would take tea they would sit around these tables wearing their elaborate and bulky dresses so rather than getting up to hand each other items, or reaching across the table, they could simply rotate the table top. To see an image of this you can follow this link:


The top is rotated with the use of a pivot point which extends from the top of the pedestal (in fact it is part of the pedestal). Fit over this pivot turning is a box created out of two boards separate by four turned columns. This box is called a Bird Cage. On the top of the bird cage are round tenons which go into the battens that hold the top in place. These round tenons allow the top to tilt. This table is interesting in a couple of ways. First, the pivot point on the top of the pedestal is conical in shape which is something I have not seen before. With more research, this might point to a place of manufacture. The other aspect that I like is that the small column turnings in the bird cage are turned to resemble the major pedestal turning. This is an idea I used in the making of my own Tip and Turn table and I like it for it's repetition.

I did very little to this table. It was missing it's key (the wedge that holds the top to the pedestal) and it had a few repairs which I will document below. The finish on this table is a modern lacquer but was in pretty good shape, so the repairs were all that was necessary.

These first two photos show the table as it came to me.

This photo shows the Bird Cage. The center column is attached to the pedestal below.
The top of the Bird Cage had suffered some damage from the top being tilted with the catch thrown.
Here is the Bird Cage being glued up.
The Birdcage is fastened to the pedestal using a wedge shaped key. the original was missing, so I made a new one using Cherry.
Here is the key fit into the birdcage before it was stained.
The pivot point on the pedestal had suffered some damage in the past and was patched. The patch had fallen out, but the customer had most of it. Here is a photo of the point with the patch.
First, I cleaned the old glue off of the patch and glued it back in place.
After sanding the patch and patching missing portions, I touched-up the pedestal. The finished product can be seen below.
this photo shows the key finished and inserted.
These last two photos show the table completed

If anyone reading this post is absolutely in love with this table, There is a very similar table in Walnut currently on sale on Ebay out of Germantown, Maryland. Here is a link to the auction: