Saturday, July 01, 2017

Can I get a little privacy here?...

Like the meme says - I don't always work on older pieces of furniture. 

There are just too many variables that are thrown into the equation.  Broken or cracked wooden components, stripped screws, missing hardware - you name it, and it'll pop up during your repair. 

But this re-vamp of an old Mid-Century Modern desk has been fun. The privacy panels on this desk were in decent shape, but since I raised the height of the typewriter return desktop, so that the entire desk is now 30" high, the old privacy panels had to be re-engineeered. Luckily, my client is handy with photoshop and came up with a few sketches of exactly what she wanted. 

I bought some Walnut and machined it, then drew the graceful curves that she wanted on the front trim board. My regular pencil wasn't cutting it on the Walnut - too dark to see, 

so I pulled out the white pencils and got to work!  

It was much easier to make a template and rout the curves, rather than cut each on the bandsaw. 

Too much room for error, so each one was placed in the jig, and then routed to shape. 

Making the frame around the curves was easy,

 and made easier with the Domino, which was recently repaired. 

Here it is clamped together, and sitting on top of the existing caned panel, just to check all of my measurements before gluing it together. 

About 24 hours later, both privacy panels were glued, sanded and attached. 

All that's left is giving a little TLC to the existing wood components; I like to rejuvenate older pieces with this stuff - Formby's Furniture Refinisher.  

It's pretty great for rejuvenating an old finish - I scrub it in with a coarse rag, like a piece of burlap, but a Scotchbrite pad or steel wool works great, too. It dissolves the built up layers of crud on the wood, replacing it with a a mellow rejuvenated surface. 

I'll be doing that this afternoon, and then this piece will be on its merry way to a new home. 

But one last detail.... I still have a missing handle.

 I've sent one of the original brass ends to be 3D printed. I have no idea if it'll work, but if it does, this restoration will be 100% complete. 3D printing is a whole new ballgame for me, and I'll be very interested in learning more about it. 

Stay tuned!....


John Frame said...

Wow, that really turned out good. What is the panel behind the walnut?
I look forward to seeing the 3d printed hardware too.

Wood It Is! said...

That panel behind the walnut is the original caned material. It's in OK condition, a little darkened with age, but basically intact. I have to build another piece for this set, and will have to find some caning material to match this... that's going to be a challenge!