Sunday, June 11, 2017

Where does the time go?

 I don't have a good answer for that, but I know that I've been churning more and more pieces out of my shop at an amazing rate, along with teaching four nights a week.  And sadly - there is just no time to take pictures and write about what I'm doing. 

So - sorry for the disappearance - hopefully I'm back for a while!

While I don't do very much refinishing or repair, I'm a big fan of mid-century modern furniture. My parents still have a gorgeous walnut bedroom set that they bought when they first got married, only now it's down in their basement. You know what - the style still holds up and it still looks wonderful, some 60 years later! 

So I couldn't turn down working on this very nice mid-century modern desk - complete with typewriter return. A desk with a return is usually an L-shaped or U-shaped set-up, where one of the surfaces is a lower, so that a typewriter can sit on the lower desk top, making it the perfect height for typing. But - in this day and age, most people don't have typewriters anymore - so not much need for the lower desktop. The desk below is probably from the 60's, and the right side of the desk was a good 4" lower when if found its way into my shop. 

The first thing I did was raise the right desktop up, and luckily, I had an extra set of legs to use under the right drawer pedestal. My buddy Hugo made a flat metal plate for the level attachment, but old legs had to be adapted to work with the new height. Working on a piece like this is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. 

Since the owner of this desk loves the whole retro look to this piece, she decided to add some privacy panels around the desk, that will look like the rendering below. That will come later, but for now - I need to get the shell in shape. 

The drawers are pretty much toast, and I've decided to remake them. I've never seen  drawer slides like these before, but that's OK - I'm installing new ones anyway. 

Most drawer slides take up a 1/2" of space on each side of the drawer opening, so a drawer box is one-inch smaller than the opening. Not these! 

I've never seen this type, and the clearance is much larger. 

Oh well, the new drawers will have to be be built larger, to fit the new slides. 

Problem solved. 

The important thing is saving the drawer fronts, so I can re-use them on the new drawers.  

And - I'm missing one of these handles. Since the center part is wood, I think I can duplicate it, but the two brass ends will be hard to find. Maybe I can get them 3-D printed, I'm checking a few places for that. 

To save this drawer face, I had to remove this lock, and damn - 

the screws  on the back were stripped. 

Not to worry - I bought this thing a while back, and have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to use it. It's a pretty handy set of extractors, used in reverse in your drill. 

Pick the right size for the screw, grind the head in reverse, and then flip the other end into your drill and pull the screw out. The description says it removes bolts, screws and nuts screws #4 to #24, bolts #10 to 3/8 of an inch - and I'm here to say - this little device saved the day. With a little grinding, the stripped screws backed out like a breeze. 

Next step - new drawers, new slides, and then onto the privacy panels. Stay tuned!

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