Monday, March 17, 2014

Solid Cherry (partially reclaimed lumber) Dining Table Build

  This is a dining table that was commissioned a while back by a couple of very good friends of mine. It had been in the family for a while. It had definitely seen better days...The top was made up (as most solid wood tops are) of many planks laid side by side and glued up. The wood had moved a lot over time and was warping and splitting and generally coming apart at all the seams.  What they wanted was for me to salvage the top and re-use it for the new build, using only new lumber for the base. They are much more like me in the respect that they prefer modern style furniture, so...What they wanted me to do was build this (and I already had design ideas brewing for one of these) in the same style as our Handcrafted Modern Reefbreak Series...This was a pretty huge project, but I was pretty excited about the prospect of building a dining table.

I started by de-constructing the whole table and ripping all the joints on the table saw, creating another batch of planks to start a top with. Lots of these were severely warped and cracked, so I basically had to re-mill everything to get it flat and get all of the edges jointed so they would be able to be glued up as one again. Once I got this done, I cleaned it up, sanded it flat again, then cut out the shape. I then shaped the edges of the table to get the proper roll over, or somewhat of a knife edge, sanded again to get finish ready, then set that aside to start the base. Here are a few pics of that process...

Table Top Milled and Glued Up Again

Top with Shape Rough Cut

Bottom Side of Table Top after Shaping Edges

Top View of Shaped Edges of Table Top

I started the base out with rough sawn lumber. I rough cut everything to size (leaving a little space for mill marks/snipe) and then milled it all here at the shop to get it flat and true. Once that was finished, I cut everything to exact size (apron and legs), leaving the tapers on the legs for after the joinery was done.

Laminations Glued up for Legs 

Parts of Apron and Legs with Joinery Cut

Another View of Apron Parts

Tapers being cut for Legs

Base Being Glued Up

Base After Glue Up

Table Pre-Finish

      I stained this to look the proper aged color. I was pretty happy with the results. These will be available from Handcrafted Modern. Since this was salvaged lumber for the top, the grain orientation was not an option to change, but I can orient the grain either width wise or length wise depending on your preference.  I can obviously do variations in size, just wanted to use as much as I could of the old top here. Here are a couple of pictures of the finished piece.

 Now, I suppose I will have to design and build some dining chairs...
 (I have Actually had those  in the works for a couple of  months now and am trying to get them more refined before I do any sort of mock up design. Also have been working on some case goods designs but That will be for another posting.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Seatmore Table and Chairs

A little while back I had a client come in that brought me these chairs and table. I think at one time these were manufactured to go in all sorts of soda shops around the country. Apparently these are attributed to FRANK RIEDER & SONS, PHILADEPHIA, PA.  I have had great success at restoring latex covered pieces in the past and they are difficult to say the very least. This one was no exception to the rule. I also had some pretty extensive glue ups and repairs to do to them after I removed all of the latex as well as repairs to the joinery on the table. I also had to re-make several pieces and luckily I had some of the long leaf pine just laying about the shop. (there were chairs her from two different sets, long leaf pine and quarter sawn oak. I don't know why anyone would ever cover these up...)Here is what the set looked like when it came in....

And here,  I will just include some detailed pictures with brief descriptions of all of the repairs...

Table, Pre-Stripping..Repair leg to Apron and Tongue and Groove on Top
Single Chair. Dis-assembly for Repair
Top Rail Pre-Repair
Top Rail Removed for Repair
Chair Rung Replacement Comparison
One Rung Replaced (Bridle Joint)
All Rungs and Dowels in Place
Second Chair Rung Replacement
Glue Up
As you can see, there were some pretty extensive repairs and most of the joints had to be re-glued and lots of them re-made. It took a while before I could even get to the sanding and finishing part, which was in itself pretty intensive.
In the process, there are many things that you need to avoid stripping/sanding and so, unlike what many people think, it's not just dipping it (which I never do) or sanding off the finish (a total no-no in my book, ever) and just painting on some stripper. In this process, I ALWAYS like to save any label or marking that is original to the piece if at all possible and I have many different methods of doing this. In this search for better ways to preserve them, and preserving the furniture in general, I have taken it upon myself to do more research, usually just out of curiosity, on the pieces and origins of the furniture...I have decided, since I take so many pictures in the first place (not always, but usually), to offer this as sort of an extra service to those that want it. I like to inform people about their furniture if I can. I have decided to offer a sort of pictoral history of the repairs and whenever possible historical data or links about the origins of the furniture in question. That being said, I sort of offered that up on these and was able to save what was left of the labels on them. Here are a couple of pics and a couple of pics of the finished pieces.
Stained and Oiled
Stained and Oiled
(the one oddball quarter sawn oak chair. Not an original part of this set, but I thought it was really great nonetheless.)
Finished Table Top (w/o Marble Top)
I see on the label the patent date says 1920,then there is another date beside that, says 1924. I don't know if that is a second patent date, or a manufacture date. I would guess that they are early 20's though, judging by my research, very possibly the 1924 date is the manufacture date. I thought they were very interesting though. Not my typical mid-century style restoration, but I do a lot of older stuff as well and thought this one was a pretty nice set and worthy of a mention. Hope you did too.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Handcrafted Modern

Thanks to my wonderful wife, this is finally built and functioning. Been working on this project for a while now.

Handcrafted Modern Furniture

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Before and After

I normally don't post all of my reviews but, since the frequency of my posting has suffered a little as of late, I wanted to add this link to Lindsey Allen's review from the 'Better After' blog.... Really nice review. I'll be posting more soon, just working on finalizing some pics for the next one. Thanks for reading anyhow. Here's a link to Lindsey's review...Before and After's
-And, just to keep with the theme, here's a before and after, just for kicks....(this was my Great Grandmother's, Grandmother's, and now my Mother's... part of a whole set ((Luce Furniture Co. from 1920))...More on this later, putting together this post now, so this is just a taste..)



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gilbert Rhode Museum Restoration

This piece I felt was worth a posting.....(I know I rarely post nowadays, by the way, this has been said way too many times, by way too many people, but I'm saying it again. Sorry. This job and twins keep me pretty busy. )

  As well as loving and restoring MCM pieces,  I love when Art Deco and MCM get together and create something...That being said, this is one fine example of that trend , Designed by Gilbert Rhode  (even though he is known as one of the founders of the Modernist movement) for Herman Miller in 1933. It seems  he was very ahead of its time.

  I am also restoring several other pieces from this same series (an Upright bar cabinet and tea cart), as well as a maple barrel chair designed by him. I will also post some pics of these as they are completed. For now, we'll focus on the credenza..

  This one was not in very rough shape, but definitely in need of some restoration. I am giving a little glimpse here into the process (hopefully not to give everyone 'tired head'), just so you can see how extensive the refinishing process (especially with a two tone) is on some of these pieces.

In the first picture we have it dis-assembled somewhat and ready to go on the stripping table, the second is stripped, sanded and just about completely prepped for the spray booth sans a few minor scratches and chips to be raised and filled...

And, once we finally get it into the paint booth, here are some of the pictures of the process for the two tone... I have to tape off one section to add the darker color (for the burl), then put a coat of clear 
(I just say 'clear' because its more of a 'generic' term. I have spent many years developing this combination of finishes and I can't reveal it all here.)
 so the color won't bleed through the tape when I reverse tape it to do the other color, then, reverse tape it (after I have sanded and refined the lines of any bleed), stain that 
(this staining is a specific system  also I have developed that doesn't mask the grain of the wood, but just adds enough color to bring it up to the natural aged color for that wood/finish) and blend it ,, let it dry and finish it out ...
 (also, another long process...don't want to give everything away here)

I will say that, like Sam Maloof's finish (not the same but similar in many respects), I use a combination of an oil and lacquer for the clear coating which really brings out the beauty of the grain and breathes like a traditional furniture finish should, so it won't crack and peel, like a plasticized finish will. Anyway, here are a few pics....

taped off to stain burl 


Drawers Stained and oiled, both colors 

Cabinet stained and oiled both colors

We normally dis-assemble cabinets somewhat to have more of a uniform finish (ie: handles, glass, doors, drawers out and sometimes the back removed if the inside is to be done) and this was definitely no exception, especially since it was being readied for  a museum. (I am not privelaged to know which museum yet, unfortunately, but excited about the prospect, nonetheless)

Here are some pictures of the inside...The drawers and doors were done inside and out as well as all of the accessory drawers. I love the way the drawer slides encompass the whole height of the drawer and instead of just one top drawer with a couple of trays, you also get a whole bank of drawers to house different utensils. Very cool. 

Cabinet finished and re-assembled without handles

And finally, the finishing touch. Here is is all assembled with the handles and the base all cleaned up and mounted. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Furniture from afar

Well, I haven't had much time to blog lately. Been overwhelmed a bit by life in general and having two beautiful girls to help take care of. Your priorities change a bit. I wanted to add this to my story line though...
I have had furniture/clients come to me from all over Texas, Oklahoma and have regular clients in Austin, Waco especially. These people came to me all the way from Wellington Texas, which is in the Texas Panhandle (very close to Amarillo, where I spent some time as a kid)...I was really happy that they felt it was worth coming all that way to have me restore their newly inherited furniture. They were very nice people and super easy to deal with. I sent them pics along the way of the restoration process and tried to keep them well informed on the whole process.
There was literally a whole truckload (17' truck) of furniture when it was all said and done.
Two Gibbings love seats, one long Gibbings couch, a large and a small Gibbings coffee table, a china cabinet with a hutch, a dining table and a rocking chair in need of a refinishing and arm repair...When it was done, they couldn't have been more happier with the finished pieces. We helped them pack up and sent them back on their way home, hoping that everything made it safely. Well, soon after they got home. Katy sent me this picture and a nice note.

And here are a few pictures of the furniture in the works....

Small Gibbings Coffee Table Before Restoration

Gibbings Coffee Table Before restoration

Gibbings Love Seat Stretcher Repair

Two Gibbings Love Seats ready for the booth

Sanding and Prepping the large Gibbings Couch

Two Gibbings Tables in the Booth, one stained, ready to be finished

Dining Table with Lazy Susan Completed

Hutch Completed

China Cabinet with Hutch Competed

Gibbings Walnut Coffee Table Completed

It's dealings like this that make it all worth it. It's also nice to know that this stuff goes to a good home. What a pleasure. Thanks Charlie and Katy.