Furniture Repairs and Modifications

We repair furniture in our local area around the Pacific Northwest.  We usually work on antiques.  We enjoy working on them, and quite often they were originally built to last,  and are worth preserving. 

Examples of repair work and modifications we have done:

  • fabrication of new parts to match the old

  • replication of old patina on new parts

  • adding shelves

  • adding a pullout or swivel

  • adding or subtracting length / width / changes to size

  • making doors retractable

  • repairing water damage and sun damage

  • correcting poorly-done, previous repair efforts

  • salvaging parts of a piece (like bed rails) making a whole new item (like a mirror frame)

Here's a great example of a repair combined with a specialty finish.  The right side of this bookcase had been cut off.  Our clients wanted that right side to be rebuilt to look like the original left side, which has frame and panel construction, crown moulding, and base moulding wrapping the corners.  Our thumbnails to the left will show how we fabricated new solid oak moldings identical to the old profiles, and fitted a new frame and panel side onto the old work.  The final finish was to be a slightly rustic and unique blue ombre fading to grey, with a hand brushed exterior.  The result was perfect for the space, and the case (which was well-built originally) was preserved and enhanced.  

Look at the "before" pictures on the thumbnails on the bottom left:  this was represented and sold to our clients in California as an "antique chestnut farmhouse table".  They bought it, moved it to Portland and asked us to refurbish it.  When it arrived in our shop in Portland, it was discovered to be solid teak and had construction typically found in Indonesia and similar countries.  We recognized the shape and size of former workbenches that had been presumably used to piece together the top.  Portions of the top had been so cut up by carpenters' saws that the piece was literally unusable.  The top was falling apart, and large gaps had opened up.  Furthermore, there was not enough knee room for comfort.  We fixed all these problems - added support to the top, subtracted width from the aprons, planed a lot of material from the top to get a somewhat smoother surface without ruining the character, adding a piece to each foot for extra height, and recolored / refinished the piece to have a friendlier tone.

Oh I do wish I would remember to take "before" photos but usually I forget and gallop off to do the improvements.  You will have to take my word - this was covered in thick black gloss latex paint below, and the top had great random swaths of oily and very very dark, greasy residue that needed to be stripped.  Remaining color of the top was a strong, dark orange characteristic of old fir.  The structure was sagging severely in the center, all the joints were loose and wiggly, the drawers were bound up, gappy and soiled, and part of the top had been cut off so it would fit against a side wall.  Large nails held the top onto the base.  It had presumably been used as a workbench.  You can see a structural addition at the very bottom:  a "beam" Buck added which strengthens the lower shelf and ties together the lower legs.  He re-glued all the joints.  I placed pegs in the top where the nail holes used to be.  

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