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>.
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.
What do you think the most used piece of furniture is in your house? The dining room table? Dad’s favorite chair? More than likely an answer that you won’t think of is: your cabinets. Those silent onlookers that see your bacon splatters, the flour you poured in that mixer on high speed, water from rinsing your salads off, and yes, even that grease fire. Unless you’re the most avid of cleaners (the type that gets on the floor and peers up at your cabinets to see the messes in every available light) cabinets get dirty and they can stay that way.
We have a solution! A few solutions, actually.
We can clean your cabinets; and here’s an example:
This cabinet has seen some use, as whatever lay behind its door was highly sought after. I’ll assume it’s flour for baking delicious cakes and muffins. As you can see around the handle, hand oils can do a number on finishes.
Here’s the same door after cleaning:
Now that looks better! If your cabinets are just dirty and you wanted them clean, well you can stop there. But, if you have scratches, scrapes or dings like…
..the one in the lower left hand corner of that door, then maybe you’ll want to get some touch up work too.
Here’s the finished door cleaned and touched up:
What if you want an entirely new look? We can do that too!
Here’s an example:
This home owner wanted a completely different look to her kitchen. She wanted cabinets to match her vintage style as well as something to lighten the place up.
The great thing about the way we refinish cabinets, is that you can keep everything in the cabinets while we work on them. Depending on the style of drawer you have, we might be able to take the fronts off or you might have to clean them out as we’d need to take the entire drawer back to the shop. But let’s face it, you needed to clean those anyway.
And here’s after:
A completely new look for not at all the cost of refacing or replacing your cabinets. It’s a lot faster, too. We did these cabinets in less than two weeks. Turn around time will depend on your cabinets and what you want done, but we tend to be pretty fast.
So if you’re in the mood for a new look or just want your hands to be clean after retrieving the sugar, we can help.
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!
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.
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…
Much better, don’t you think?
Gosh I’m good.
Welcome to our first post! Take off your shoes and stay awhile. Adventure with us as we explore the unique problems and solutions of Wood Finishing. Come back often and you’ll see how we restore and fix a variety of objects from antique cash registers to the kitchen table.
Although the business is fairly new, our knowledge base is not. We were taught by one of the best of Wood Finishing, Mitch Kohanek. As well as teaching us finishing in general, he also instilled in us the attitude to never stop asking questions. Sure your desk started to crack down the middle, but why? It was in grandma’s house for many years and it was fine, so why did it crack here? What can we do (if anything) to stop that from happening again? We’ve found that each piece is unique and so are it’s problems (and sometimes solutions).
This week we’re restoring pieces to an antique cash register (the one I mentioned in the first paragraph). It’s from the 1890’s and once you start cleaning it you can certainly tell.
I tell myself that it’s dirt is from years of use in a candy store. Little kids with grubby hands handing over change they have in their pockets for a tasty morsel, maybe homemade taffy (yum!). With my desk full of the dirt and grime we’re cleaning off this piece, I’d much rather believe my candy story than John’s. He thought it would be a shame if we found out it’s dirty from years of use in a manure store. Licorice please!
We’re still in the process of cleaning the piece but we’ve gotten far. See the little circles around the black design (click to enlarge the picture)? You’d never guess those were brass and they shiny up nice! I’ll show some more pictures the closer we get to finishing.
Drop by again, and often, you’ll learn something new! Besides, we have so much in common; you have furniture, we like furniture, we like fixing furniture. I think this will be the start of a beautiful friendship.