Horizontal Heavens Observatory "...From  A Galaxy Far, Far Away"
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This page was last updated on 10/08/14.


FOR SALE 10in Meade LX200 EMC

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05/09/2014 Storm Damage


1912 Sideboard Restoration

(Below Left) Restored Sideboard                (Below Right) Before Restoration

(Below Left) Door Details - I had to create and build the doors for those that were missing. All I had to go on were the old hinge holes and the latch pin on the center post.  Images I found of a similar sideboard showed simple panel inserts.  I chose to try using a raised panel insert, having never done so.  I used my tablesaw set at ~5 degrees and ran the panel through vertically along the fence to create the raised portion of the panel.  I was a bit careless here in that I did not build a tall auxiliary fence to safely hold/guide the vertical panel.  I got away without, but thinking back I will build such a tall fence for any future projects of this type because it is just a bit too dangerous not to.

(Below Right) Manufacture Date on Mirror - When I took the mirror out to stain and refinish the upper portion of the sideboard, I was pleasantly surprised to find a date stamped on the mirror.  It took some forensic type font matching, but I was able to decipher the year of manufacture that had been smeared when it was stamped.  This matches a known timeline that Leslie shared with me.  This sideboard was her Aunt's parents and was acquired just a year after her aunt was born and three years after her parents were married.  I keep telling Leslie that she needs to ask her aunt if my restoration looks anything like what her aunt remembers of the sideboard.  Leslie's Aunt Zelda is now 101 years old and still living in upper Michigan.  I would really like to know if I did this piece of furniture justice after 100 years, you know?  

Below is some detail of the upper splash that I designed and carved using a piece of Red Oak from a big box store.  The floral swirls came from Kennedy Hardware Restorations and the central 'flower' I carved to match the existing feet on the front of the upper part of the sideboard.  I found just one similar style sideboard when researching eBay and other online auction sites.  Nothing really matched, but it did give me some ideas.  BTW, the pre-carved floral appliqués and the embossed appliqués all date to this same timeframe in that this was the primary method for most working class folks to have such 'carved' craft furniture.

Believe it or not, my 30 year old freebie scroll saw still worked and I was able to utilize it when cutting/carving the trim of the splash.  My very biggest complaint about this project relates to just how difficult I found it to match the stain and finish of the original piece.  Geez, I spent whole days trying to mix and apply combinations of Walnut, Cherry and Golden Oak stain until I was FINALLY able to get everything reasonably close to matching.  This also required me to set pieces out in the summer sun with temperatures around 100F for several hours at a time, in order to get the heavy coats of stain to harden/cure.  Of course, and I knew this at the time, I was using the Minwax Stain system incorrectly but I needed to get things darker than the stain would have done on its own.  Live an learn... ;-)  NEXT TIME I might try some other products, however it is my hopes NOT to be refinishing furniture.  I would rather built it from scratch and leave THAT to the next generation.