Recently, the folks here at PWR had the opportunity to restore a 100-year-old pool table. This unique piece came to us from the owners of a local business that sells quality antique billiard and pool tables. Here is a picture of some of the damaged pieces of the pool table before we stared work.
The pool table was built by the Brunswick Billiard company and is called the Alexandria. Before we began work , we decided to do more research. (The following information was found on the Brunswick website and is a excerpt from a 1912 advertisement):
“The Alexandria (with six legs): Is a strikingly handsome and substantial billiard table. A table that will lend tone to any billiard room. Massive, rich, and in strictly good taste….The magnificent design marks an era in the highest class of billiard table construction and ornamentation.” The first of these tables was manufactured in 1892. Two main types of wood were used to construct the table- Circassian Walnut and Black Holly (Brunswick Billiards) .
Ok..Let’s move on to how we repaired and refinished this beauty.
- Step 1– We hand stripped every piece with ethanol. This gently removed all the dirty finished that had accumulated over the years, revealing the natural beauty of the wood.
- Step 2– After the wood was clean, we repaired the damage to the feet of the table. This involved replacing the damaged veneer with fresh cut pieces made of the same wood originally used (Black Holly and Circassian Walnut). We dyed the new pieces to match the stain on the rest of the table. We also added new inlays of Black Holly in the feet because some of the originals had fallen out over the years.
- Step 3 – Next, the rest of the damaged veneer on the peice had to be repaired. To accomplish this, we glued down the loose pieces carefully and covered up the seams. To replace missing veneer, we followed the same process described in the previous step.
- Step 4 – We then needed to fill in the small cracks that had formed in the piece after years of use. First, we filled the cracks with wood filler and let it dry. Then we sanded of the excess filler to create a smooth surface to work with.
- Step 5 – Shellac was padded on the entire peice to give us a preview of the finished product. This also allowed us to be sure that all peices matched.
- Step 6 – We took out all cracked and damaged mother- of- pearl inlays on the rails and replaced them with new pieces.
- Step 7 – The entire table was coated in shellac to seal in the color. Finally, we french polished the rails to give them a mirrored look.
- Pictures of the finished parts of the table:
The piece turned out beautifully (if we do say so ourselves :)). It was a lot of fun watching the transformation and this pool table will look great in a game room.
Brunswick Billiards. Antique Tables. 7 8 2103 <http://www.brunswickbilliards.com/our_rich_history/antique_tables/alexandria_6_leg.html>.
It’s officially July 4th! Two hundred and thirty-seven years ago today, the founders of our nation declared America’s independence with the Declaration of Independence. They also declared our “unalienable rights” of ” life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Since then, America has become known as the land of opportunity- a place where people can pursue and achieve their dreams. In honor of this great day and nation, we want to show you some furniture stains we offer that are extremely patriotic:
So let’s don our red, white, and blue and wish the USA a happy birthday!
God Bless America!
On Wednesday, May15, Michelle Veit and John Hurn of Precision Wood Restoration attended the opening sessions of the 2013 conference of the Professional Refinisher’s Group (PRG). This conference is an important part of Precision Wood Restoration’s commitment to continuing education. In the first photo, John and Michelle are standing in front of the dais of the Kansas State Legislature. This important historic artifact was refinished by PRG member Dave Macfee and his team. In the second photo, Dave Macfee explains to Michelle one of the technical solutions used on the Kansas statehouse project. These contacts help keep Precision Wood Restoration in touch with the finest refinishing techniques currently available so that we can provide the best services possible to our customers.
The gnats are still here. I think the nearby creek and the puddles from the recent rain have something to do with their annoying appearance. I certainly don’t mind me some nature, but I think the bugs would have a better chance pollinating things outside as opposed to inside.
Last week I told you about a register that we were working on – the one from the 1890’s. The labels on it are still in good condition, making it more valuable.
I decided to investigate where it came from, which means I went to google and typed in the name on the label. I saw variations of the business name but nothing solid came up. Either the name changed or the place isn’t around anymore. So it could be a candy store like I was hoping! But there’s still the possibility of it being a manure store. Or a book store. I could deal with that too.
The register had some burn marks on it, as well as some other “aged” characteristics (ie. dents, scratches, missing pieces, etc.). I’ll show you some pieces so you can see our process.
Let me put up the picture I had from last week’s post.
See in the corner there? Under the black design? That’s one of the burn marks I was telling you about. The unfortunate thing about extremely burnt wood is that there’s nothing to work from. Carbon can’t be stained, glazed, colored…it’s just black. So we had to excavate. (As a side note, digging on a piece this old is something we do only when requested to by the customer. Some marks on old pieces add value due to the stories or memories associated with the mark. In this case, the register needed to look almost new.)
Here’s the piece after it’s been cleaned. The nice thing about these old pieces is that they’re finished with shellac which makes clean up easier. I’ll have to get into shellac later as it’s a blog post in and of itself, but I’ll let you know that it’s a finish that’s easy to apply, easy to fix, shines up nice, rubs out beautifully, and easy to strip!
The lighter colors you see are new veneer pieces. The register, which is over 100 years old, has seen lots of dirt, sunlight, grease…many things that caused the wood to change colors. That begins our next step, which is to color the new wood to match the old wood.
Now on to the final reveal!
Tada! In the end our process included cleaning, taking burned pieces out, re-veneering, button replacing, and color matching. The whole register was then finished in shellac, which kept it historically accurate (shellac was THE finish used on furniture until the 1920’s) as well as beautiful!
I hope to get a picture of what it looks like when the customer puts it all together. I’ll share it if we get it!