Sunday, February 1, 2015

Found it! The little ottoman.

There was a little voice in my head that told me I should return to a store that I SWORE I would never walk in again. It was, to put it mildly, a junk heap, barely arranged in vignettes of mostly kitschy stuff in poor condition and with goofy-high prices. 

But there was that voice. It reminded me of the corners literally piled with partially assembled, mostly damaged, midcentury stuff that could've been something if someone, anyone, had an attention span of more than 5 minutes. And that was exactly what I was looking for.

In one of those corners is exactly where I found it. Behind a screen and a surfboard. On top of a pile of who-knows-what. 

It has a problem that the little chair didn't have: missing hardware replaced with some that doesn't work. The wood may be a different color, or it may have been stained an ugly late-70s tone that we all want to forget. The weave of the cord is different, but quite nice. And it has a label-- made in Yugoslavia. All in all it looks like it will be a good match for the little chair.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Summer will be here soon

Ya never know when something fun will pop up. In ths case, after lunch at Fellini's we stopped at a moving sale in a building across from Kimball House. I spied this fan.

I've looked at a lot of vintage fans with silly prices. This one WORKED and was cheap. (bundled with 2 planters, a vase and a decanter, the total was $35). Coupled with the color and Scott's eye roll, I knew it was the one.

I've cleaned it up. Once we're sure it's safe and still working, I may paint it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A bit of Craigslist success

After finishing the cord chair and a couple of other items that were quite literally left out in the cold while the chair tried to make its deadline, I began looking for an inexpensive chest for my office.

Pretty frustrating, really. There were lots of large chests of drawers, media cabinets, and bar cabinets. But nothing smallish that could nicely fit in my office.

Finally, I snagged one on CL for $50.00. Maple, with a mid-century vibe. A little rough; I think it had been out in the weather, but it wasn't trashed. In the end, a very good purchase.
Preparing veneer strips for the top

Gluing the loose veneer
I promise to get better about taking "before" pics, which is a nice way of saying that there are no before pics of this one. Here's a few during the process.

Waiting for the feet to dry
I used Howard's Restore-a-Finish on the drawers, insides and sides and followed that with Feed & Wax. I felt that the top needed more, however.

So I sanded it to nearly-bare wood after replacing the chipped veneer. I used pre-glued veneer stripping from Highland Woodworking. (and yes, once again, they are my favs). It stained well and applied easily.

Then I applied Varathane oil-based stain -- 3 coats, sanded in-between with 0000 steel wool. After a day to cure, I applied General Finishes' Armour-Seal Satin. Four coats, with at least 8 hours each to cure and followed, again, with 0000 steel wool.

Preparing to replace veneer.

And here is the final result. Just don't look to closely at the veneer patches. They'd be nearly unnoticeable had I sanded the pieces more agressively before staining. Lesson learned!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Little Chair

Here's a story about a little folding chair that went to live with a young couple in, oh, about 1960.
The young couple
They were just starting out. He was in grad school and she worked in an office. When they were able to buy their first pieces of furniture, they went to the factory stores in High Point, NC and returned with 3 pieces: a sofa, a table and our little chair.  They were told it was from Europe. Several decades before the "global economy", Ikea North America, and chinese imports everywhere, this was exotic indeed!

 The little chair went along as they moved from Durham, to Morristown, NJ and finally to Atlanta. By the time they got there, 3 little boys had joined them.

The chair moved into the oldest boy's room. He enjoyed sitting in it while reading and so, when he went away to college, guess what went along? 

Its party-chair phase. 1988?
The years went by (insert old-school flying calendar pages here).  The chair went along with the boy and later, his wife, to apartments, condos and houses. It lived folded in a closet or in a corner as an extra. Guests often asked, "what kind of chair is that?" 

Eventually, the now-much-older boy and his wife began asking the same question. The initial answer, "it's a Hans Wegner danish cord chair", was a bit of wishful thinking. No matter; even though it now seems to be a more-common Yugoslavian Italian copy, it's still loved and appreciated. It has history. And a story.

But it also has a problem. It's kind of tattered. Its cotton cord (not Danish paper!) is frayed and stained. The finish is... well, there's not much left. Follow along as I share my progress giving this chair a new life. It'll be an adventure for both of us.