Pool, Anyone?

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.

100-year-old pool table100-year-old pool table

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.

100-year-old pool table


  • 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.

100-year-old pool table

  • 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.

100-year-old pool table

  • 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:

100-year-old pool table100-year-old pool table100-year-old pool table100-year-old pool 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>.

The Sanity of a New Vanity

Well, a new looking vanity anyway. Spring is in the air!

The weather is changing, the clothes are changing and so is your furniture (or it could be).

It might look like it, but we did not make a new door and drawer for these cabinets (though we could).  We took the door off to do a color sample for the customer before the picture was taken.  In any case! Here’s a before picture of a bathroom vanity that’s seen a lot of showers, spilled water and hairspray.

The Sanity of a New Vanity
Insanity vanity

And here’s an after:

The Sanity of a New Vanity
A vanity to be vain about

The new look is pretty dramatic! We took the doors and drawers and colored them in the shop and we did the frames on site in one day.  That would be a nice surprise to come home to.

If you have some cabinets that are in need of a refresher give us a call!


Out, Damned Spot!

The gnats are gone (finally) and I have the cold weather and building improvements to thank for it!  I much like the siding repairs on the shop but I still have to make up my mind about the weather.  Our place is rather large and when the heat is on it’s only noticeable in the wood shop area (where John is).  Not to mention, when we have the spray booth fan on it requires makeup air to work properly.  It gives me a cuddly, warm feeling to think that I’ll be spraying finishes with 10,000 cubic feet per second of arctic wind rushing past me this winter.  If the blogs cease to be updated for a length of time it’s safe to assume I’ve frozen.

Now, onto the piece that inspired my outrageously ingenious and creative title!

wood damage repair

Do you see the area that needs to be fixed? That was done by one of those melted wax smelly devices.  It accidentally spilled on the table and ate through the finish. Lesson 1: be careful if you have those things sitting directly on a table.  Here’s a closeup so you can see it a bit better.

wood damage repair


To get started, I needed to remove the old finish.  Once I taped it off and figured out the right solvent to dissolve it, the finish came off relatively quickly.

Once wiped down and cleaned, I had to color the ‘new’ top so it matched the rest of the table… and under lighting that I hoped was similar to the location the table will be in its home.  This is the most difficult part as different lighting (ie. daylight, fluorescent, tungsten, etc) give your project different results.  Something that looks great under the shop’s ‘neutral’ lighting might be terribly obvious under daylight. Thankfully the big windows in the shop give us plenty of daylight to help.  In this instance, the table top required stain and multiple layers of glaze as well; which I like. It’s best to start out lighter (with the stain) and then sneak up to the color with numerous applications of glaze.

After the final clear coat and a finishing rub out, I ended with…

wood damage repair


Much better, don’t you think?

wood damage repair

Gosh I’m good.