Golden Oak Restorations
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Golden Oak Teacher's Desk
This was a good find, maybe there's hope yet for good garbage picks! In the shop now, this is an early 1900's Teacher's desk or simple office desk. Eric discovered it along the way of his daily migration to work. If we could just find one piece of furniture like this a day, we would be set with a great source of income! The desk was restored, and posted for sale shortly after completion on Ebay.
Restoration is simple enough, we decided to strip the piece of it's lacquer finish and sand down several sections beginning to splinter. A few veneer bubbles to repair, and apply a hand rubbed tung oil finish.
Hand Crafted Family Heirlooms
This unique oak table was crafted by our client's grandfather - apparently a furniture maker of reasonable skill. The angles of the legs, mortis and tenon work, inset butterflies in the surface, and we're not sure who did the actual carving all indicating someone took a great deal of time to design and create this table. Hand made or mass produced, furniture is furniture and faces it's lifetime of abuse. This table apparently became a picnic table somewhere along the line, and perhaps a workbench within its life, we couldn't imagine that it was intended for outdoors with the original work to create it.
In any case - the table arrived with the classic gray patina of outdoor oak, approximately 50 years old. The wood was extremely dry and brittle, the top was separated and the glue long gone, butterflies shrunk out of their useful holding positions, and the hardware was rusted almost into nothing. Many pieces come into our shop in seriously poor condition such as this, a good portion are beyond repair - but this one had potential and was of sentimental value to our client.
We set out completely disassembling the piece and cleaning out old glues, repairing the joints, saving the old dowels, and rebuilding the entire piece. Imparting moister, restoring the life to the wood - and brining a new rich finish to the piece turned it into a work of art. Although we thought to attempt maintaining the gray - it was too far gone resulting in the surface turning black with contact of the finish. We sanded it through, and uncovered the oak beneath brining out a very warm rich honey color without application of any stain at all - just the use of a quality garnet shellac and multiple coats of tung oil varnish.
Not a true antique - but still worthy of note, we enjoyed this project and did our part for a family's heritage to continue into their modern life.
Stickley Style Library Table
This was an interesting restoration, what to do with a completely shot veneer top in quarter sawn white oak. The piece is technically worthless without a top, the damage went through not only the decorative surface veneer layer, but into the underlayment as well.
Many golden oak pieces were double layer veneers, a cross hatched (perpendicular grain) of either oak on oak or oak and poplar were the most common configurations. In this case, both the oak and poplar layers were removed to reveal the substrate.
Once the top was cleaned, we prepared a 3/16" book matched white oak laminate to replace the damaged surface. For mirrored patterns, all sliced from the same plank were secured and banded with mitered corners to create a unique and ornate tabletop.
Golden Oak - Coffee Table
Arriving in pieces, this flood damaged table will soon be returned to a fully functional refinished piece.
A common failure of substantial water damage is the old glue. Often hyde glue or a water based glue, these already deteriorated adhesives usually loose their grip when exposed to moister. We can clean out the joint work, and reassemble most pieces back to better than new condition!
Oak Rope Twist Leg Table
This oak table has seen better days, so it's aware of what it's missing, the trick is to help it reach its potential again. A complete disassembly, removal of years of layered old finishes, and a fresh coat of Early American, then a tung oil finish is all it took!
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