|Links to Eclectic Restoration Pages | 1 | 2 | 3 |
"Eclectic Restoration "
Restoration leads down many paths, and it's not always furniture! An eclectic array of restoration projects have found their way into our shop, offering us a challenge and a variety of new examples for our website. If you have something collectable or antique in need of care, please contact us! We're happy to provide direction even when our services are not appropriate.
Decoy Geese - An art form in itself, decoy carving produces some of the most realistic and detailed carvings known. Pieces range from folk art to almost life like. These two waterfowl are registered artistic works, but unfortunately found themselves damaged in shipping. Restoration was a basic task, reattach a wing.
Model Horse - This is not an antique, and obviously has nothing to do with woodworking. It's a plastic model, pretty much a band new plastic model. It's hear an example that almost anything can be fixed, especially when there's a clean break. Some careful epoxy work and within a few minutes this horse was back to new again after a nasty spill off an entertainment center.
Chestnut Door Restoration
A door is a terrible thing to waste, they carry the years of your home and provide a comforting entrance every time you come and go. This particular chestnut door has every sign of its age, the finish is shot, several layers of paint lay within the joints under the finish, dry rot prevails, fasteners are rusted and barely hanging on.
Restoration of doors isn't as simple as you may think. Disassemble is often difficult, if not impossible, depending on the joint work involved. The wood is often rotten, and in the case of chestnut, not easy to replace.
To the right, the photo shows the center layer of this door. Removing the planks required digging out finishing nails, screws, glue; both the original and years of attempted repairs.
Chestnut, in particular, turns very soft when in the conditions a door experiences. Tannic acid in the material turns dark black around any steel or extended exposure to moister. The patina runs deep, as the oxidized layers are almost 1/8" thick. We had not choice but to plain down the surface planks on both sides of this piece. They were so soft that a finish would never hold, and reacted with the acids to turn almost entirely black. Years of ground in dirt in the grain also excreted from the pours of the wood preventing a proper finish bond.
The entire door was assembled using an adhesive, which is flexible and bonds to almost anything. The wood was so soft that using only the original screws was impossible. Oak plugs were secured in areas requiring screws.
The refurbished door, shown left, is set to last another generation or so if properly cared for. Doors are exposed, so they require constant care. A yearly cleaning, light rubdown, and a fresh coat of varnish is best to keep them intact. Maintain secured kick plates, and be sure proper pitch is set to your doorjamb so water drains below, and that your drip guards are in place to prevent rain from entering the top and edges.
Please note - Artisans will work on doors and other woodworking, however we do not offer finish carpentry services to remove or hang doors. We do not perform restoration work onsite, all pieces must be removed to bring to our shop.
Hand Carved Original Solid Oak Door
The time has come for another door project - this one is definitely defined as unique. Origins are being researched further, but it arrived in America from Denmark and this solid oak piece for obvious reasons appears to be a European Oak. Both sections open, and the door is all tung and grove solid oak - this is not a sandwich design.
This door is full of symbolic hand carving, stained glass, small detailed iron work, and has a great patina hidden under paint, varnish, and a boatload of surface dry rotting.
The door's symbolism includes:
The Bee: Often associated with prosperity, wealth, and creativity. Also has meaning in industry and efficiency.
The Snail: Perseverance and discipline, staying ones course slow but sure.
The Butterfly: Art & Culture
The Spider Web: The "web" that holds all of life together. Somewhere we're sure is a spider, which is often deemed as the great mother with a devouring aspect.
The scroll: Symbolic of life and time - sometimes knowledge.
Raindrops: These vary in meaning based on color and application, but each are based in showing those who endured in battle. The door has white, meaning water. Raindrops in color in the celtic origin Yellow is gold, Blue is Tears, Green is oil, Black is tar, Red is Blood.
Flowers, vines, and weaving of carvings all have a symbolic meaning including fertility, harvest, good luck, warmth, and life. More on this later!
The Ring: Fidelity, commitment.
All this in the first day of observing this piece ... we're sure there's more to follow!
An obvious difference in texture and appearance from start to finish. On the right side - the refinished and restored doors show a rich brown oak patina.
Circa 1950 Lauenbrau Beer Wagon
This unique piece arrived with two issues, one it's incredibly dirty and has a layer of fireplace grime from years in it's mantle post. Second, the driver seems to be asleep at the reins.
This was a new one to us, so we had to work out a few new techniques to inject some new life into this tired sleeping driver, while livening up the faded paint on his clothing. The horseman also requires a little pick me up, and likewise some touch up to his attire, plus a general dusting and cleaning.
Back in Action - Brightened and Awake!
This unique piece is a child's vanity, a scaled down double drawer with a mirror perfect for a little girl to mimic her mother's grooming habits.
The drawers on this piece were completely shot, covered in contact paper, made of balsa wood and barely holding together.
The case was long overdue for an overhaul. We stripped it, disassembled it, and completely rebuilt it including new drawer cases so it's ready for another young generation to enjoy.