A Bit of History, and New Life
We are called upon to take a piece of history, break it down, and breath new life into some old wood. Our customer called us one day and stated he had a really old settee that he wanted modified and made useful again. The piece is dated to the late 1700's and quite frankly I was not sure what we were going to do with this. But after receiving some excellent feedback from our client, and injecting some of our own ideas we have come up with a way to make this old place to sit, a new place to sit, while respecting the original builder, and the style and craftsmanship.
You'll see in our photo montage of the dis-assembly to the rebuild, we are very deliberate and careful not to break or destroy any of the original wood or hardware. We have in mind to build another project from the lumber taken out of the settee, using the old square cut nails and the old growth lumber. So without further adieu, enjoy the progress of our settee.
UPDATE: December 8th, 2012 We have applied our stain and a the first coat of finish. The first coat of finish is a boiled linseed oil that brings out the richness in the wood. This will dry for a couple days, before we apply a 2lb cut of Amber Shellac. We follow the finishing schedule the way it has been done for hundreds of years. As you can see in the last few photos of our montage, the grain comes alive with the oil. Absolutely beautiful!!!!
UPDATE: February 12, 2013 We are in the final finishing stages of our colonial settee and my does it look incredible. The grains are translucent and 3 dimensional, and we have captured the original glory days of this historical piece. We are very proud to deliver this to our customer in the coming week. Please see last photo below in this montage. In the photo the deck boards are not installed yet as the finish is curing. We want to install the deck boards after final curing to allow the boards to expand and contract with the seasons, ensuring generations of use, once again.
We also fitted the settee with reproduction casters from Horton Brasses Inc. You cannot get closer to original then reproduction hardware from Horton Brasses of Cromwell Connecticut. The casters we purchased from Horton Brasses were dead on accurate to the originals.
Curly Maple Colonial Wall Cabinet. (Displaying of Pewter Molds)
All wood joinery, dovetails secure the main case at all four corners, while sliding dovetails secure the shelving to the main case and the vertical divides. The crown molding is built up from individual layers of solid curly maple. As you can see our customer provided us with a photo of a dish and plate display shelf, our mission was to pay close homage to this wonderful piece of furniture history, and I believe we accomplished this.
The finish is yet to come. We are working on a custom dye mix as I type, once the dye is applied, we will follow up with a coat of boiled linseed oil, then a 2 lb cut of shellac topped of with a coat of fine varnish. The end results will bring out the curl and tiger figure in this lovely lumber, and it should look amazing.
UPDATE: July 21st 2012 We installed the pewter cabinet into our customers home and it looks very nice. Once his pewter molds were placed, the cabinet took on a completely different personality. I think we can call this project a success. He loved it!