Full Chisel Blog

November 29, 2012

Hand Carved Mirror Frame/Looking Glass – Restoration

A friend picked this up in Oregon, he didn’t buy it the first time he was there, but when his wife traveled to Oregon, he had her go find it, which she did with much trouble.  For some reason he doesn’t like the color paint and wanted it restored?

I used a citrus based stripper [in a modern spray can, well it was modern paint] to remove the paint, I did one section at a time, masking the surrounding surfaces with modern blue painter’s tape [it was modern paint!].

After the stripper had been washed and scrubbed of with an old modern plastic toothbrush [it was modern paint/stripper], and water, which I allowed to dry completely.   I washed down with alcohol to remove the residue of stripper.  I also used a brass wire brush to remove some of the residue in the grain and fine crevices of the details of the carvings.

This is a picture with half of the frame treated with Moses T’s Reviver, showing the difference, I then treated the entire frame with Reviver.

I then used a bit of Reviver and added some burnt umber, yellow ocher, and red iron oxide dry powdered pigments and applied a thin coat of this stain over the entire frame.  I also stripped the back and treated it in a similar manner, taking special care that the rebate for the mirror was stripped and stained.  Failing to do so, it will show up when the mirror is installed.

The final photograph is with a coat of very thin shellac.  After I took this picture, I did some minor touch up with shellac and burnt umber and red iron oxide pigments, then applied another fine thin coat of shellac.

The next step will be gesso and bole then gold leaf on the sun carving.  Should be fun.



November 26, 2012

Michael Thonet Child’s Arm Chair with caned seat

Filed under: Documentation,Furniture,Historical Material,Of Interest,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 10:56 am

This is only the second old Thonet chair I have ever seen and I am not sure of the age of this chair, but I think it might be an early one.  It belongs to a friend and it was given to him by his mother for his children.  Well the kids are too big for the chair so he was going to give it to his neighbor, but wanted me to look at it first.  [He is not giving it away now].

The caned seat is in remarkably good condition, they are usually damaged.

The caned back however was damaged and the replacement of the back would require the bent wood spline from the back to be removed to expose the caning holes and groove for the caning.

The spline is difficult to see but it runs around the back in two pieces, one straight one at the bottom and one curved piece for the sides and top, nice touch.

Here is the Shop label on the inside front of the chair seat.

There are also well worn paper labels, I can make out ‘Beware of Imitators – No Goods Certified without this Trademark’.  There are also several small pieces of paper with ’24’ printed on them and glued to the undersides of the arms and inside legs, see left hand side of the picture below.

I think I am going to try and talk the owner into allowing me to restore this nice little chair.  I did some research but have not seen another image of this chair.



November 6, 2012

VOTE: North American Woodworking Hall of Fame

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 11:47 am

Where do you think it should be located?  And don’t you think it is about time one existed?  Other activities pat themselves on the back, why shouldn’t we?

There are many fine craftsmen and women that should be nominated and inducted into this prestigious institution.  If we don’t do it, who will?

So take your time right now and make a comment, and VOTE!


November 2, 2012

I don’t fix furniture.

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Restoration,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 4:20 pm

Years ago when I first started out as an apprentice cabinetmaker, I was talking to a librarian whom I use to work for at a local library.  I was an AV assistant when I worked there but did learn the Dewey Decimal system.

During the course of the conversation I said that ‘I fix furniture.’  She paused and then asked ‘do you attach it to the wall?’.

No, I replied.  ‘Do you arrange the outcome of the game?’  Again I said ‘no’.

She then inquired if I spayed or neutered it?  The answer was no.

She finally asked ‘do you give it a narcotic injection?’.

Again the answer was ‘no’.

Then she said ‘well then you ‘repair’ furniture you do not ‘fix’ it.’

Ever since that time I pass this along to anyone who asks me if I fix furniture.


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