Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Restoration Projects

What good is living if you don't step out and take a chance every now and again?  The same client that I did the What Not Cabinet and re-caned the chairs for asked me to take a look at these two items:

 What you see is a wooden waste basket that is also caned, trouble is the cane has a few holes in it and the finish is pretty bad.  Although I'm not a refinisher and it's not a priceless (as far as we know) antique I said I'd take it on.  Interestingly enough, there's a tag on the bottom that says W.A. Hathaway Company, 51 West 45th. Street, New York City.  I Googled that name and found some items for sale that were dated to 1917 so it is a genuine, old piece.
The table it's sitting on needs some attention as well. Once upon a time there was a shelf on the bottom which would have provided some structural strength.  We know it originally had a shelf because there are dowels in three of the legs and there are notches where the shelf should be.  The plan is to build a shelf then cane it using the same material used on the chairs and waste basket, and then re-install it.  That's the tricky part because the shelf would have been attached to the legs before they were attached to the table.  It's pretty obvious there have been several previous attempts to repair the table judging by the amount of glue there is on the legs and apron.  It's also missing a drawer and I was told that I could either make a false one or replace it if it didn't run into a hundred dollar project.  At this point I'm thinking it may be a good project for half blind, hand cut dovetails.  It's a rarity to make any money hand dovetailing but I enjoy the challenge and it would have been the way the piece was originally constructed.  Any chance to work on that skill is a good one as far as I'm concerned.

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