Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of the year teaser - Blonde 50's sofa

Just one last post for 2011...

Couldn't quite get the sofa finished before the New Year but should have the finishing touches on in the next couple of days. The hole repair in the bottom frame turned out pretty well and if you didn't know it was there, I doubt you'd ever notice.

The last of 4 coats is on the frame, arms and legs and except for adding a couple of small brackets to reinforce the back frame to the bottom area and some reassembly, I'm pretty much just a few hours away from finishing!

Got a call yesterday from my upholstery super heroes, (your cushions are ready)
Yes!!! Perfect timing! Want a peek?
These are going to look so great on this sofa! Vintage bark cloth that my wife had picked up a while back. We likely had over 20 yards that she almost stole and probably have enough left for another whole sofa. It was all I could do not to take out and drop on the frame to adore. I'm holding out until everything is ready for the total impact which I should be posting in the next couple of days. 
Looking forward to a great new year and here's wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

One last post before the holidays...50's sofa update and some cool shades...

Didn't plan on posting again until after Christmas but thought some may have an interest. I'm working on a 50's blond birch sofa that we picked up on our recent roadtrip and have had some success getting back to new. If you've been following previously, this is very reminicent of the Heywood Wakefield Aristocrat line. Although not a H/W piece, it is still a very nicely made solid birch frame and hope to get the cushions back from my upholstrey pro next week or soon thereafter.

This is the sofa when we picked up in TN.
As stated in an earlier post I needed to remove arms and legs to get into the van for transport and realized it originally had a center leg that had been broken off and discarded.
Someone had also given up on the original screws for the front legs after trying to fill with some type of putty and had drilled through the outside frame and had installed carriage bolts to stabilize. This fix was actually worse than a proper cure for the problem area.
Now the drill through holes need to be filled to try and match the original finish. I ended up moving the front legs back about an inch or so from their original location under the frame to get back into some solid wood and this worked out fine. The remake of the center leg took me a couple of hours and a cannibalized leg from an end table that I'd already removed pieces from for other repair jobs.
 Had to remanufacture the cross brace and reshape the leg a bit and although a bit more delicate than the original legs for this sofa, I don't think it detracts from the appearance and may actually inhance a bit! After install I had to get it on it's feet to see if this would work...

Yes!!  It all sits level and is so far looking as planned! Now to the problen of filling the holes in the frame. Deep holes through the entire frame need to be mostly filled before I use a laquer stick to top off. I use "rock hard" powder that is mixed with water to fill larger gaps, although it's really not substantial enough to fill screw holes and expect it to hold. That said it works fine as a filler for these type of repairs. I have some lacquer burn in sticks that pretty well match my finishes and although not perfect, work for the smaller locations.
After sanding these out and the first coat of finish the original holes are starting to fade away. Won't ever be original but as close as I can get...
Should only get better as this is just the first of 4 coats of finish and hopefully be almost invisible after I'm done.
Just one more quick addition to the shade/lamps postings recently...
We have been collecting shades for a bit of time as these are almost always harder to find than the lamp bases. We always have people coming in to ask about shades for sale and as much as I'd like to accomodate, I really like our collection and hope for matching lamps. I really can't break up pairs of swell shades unless I had a couple of lamps that could use the same shade.

It's much easier to find the base than these shades and I'm guessing we may hang on to these for the short term for future lamp base aquisitions!
Here's once again wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! and may get a chance again to post before years end!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Heywood Wakefield (rare?) nesting tables, new vintage lamps and a fun MCM sofa!

In taking a closer look at the factory marks on my H/W nesting tables I discovered that they are clearly marked as C312 models not the M312G. Now for the average H/W fan this is not a big deal. However in both the Rouland and Schiffer catalogs currently available there is no listing for this particular model number and the C designation is reserved for pre 1950's production. One of my particular tables is factory stamped with Dec. 29 1948! Hmmm, did the authors miss an otherwise unknown version?

I know this is likely TMI for most following the blog but I still found interesting as I've been fooling around for the last ten years or more with H/W and haven't come across this particular conundrum. The Schiffer book has production listed from 50-54 and the Rouland book from 49-53 for the M312G model. What's a couple of months anyway and the tables are the same dimensions so who cares? I guess we all have our own hairs to split on what we specialize in and this is mine. Here's some after pics with the ladies in their new champagne oufits...

Definetely one of the most delicate and still utilitarian set of pieces that H/W made. It's no wonder that there are so few still around as with the petite design, most probably met their demise being carelessly moved to new homes. I will definetely be taking into the store tomorrow! Carefully!
Met a new MCM lover a couple of weeks ago that had hosted a Brady Bunch themed party at his home and had some leftovers he was unloading on CL along with this sofa. I should have taken some pics of the elaborate props he had made just for the party but didn't have my camera with me. Yes, it was a little more traditional than my usual taste but still way fun...

This is the only shot I got before loading and may post more going forward. Nice early 70's style!

Last up are a couple of nice but not particularly wow table lamps that I picked up sans the shades. Both needed a really good going over, some rewireing and new hats. Fortunately we have a pretty nice collection here at home and I found a way to punch these lamps up a bit.

Topped the first one with a bit of wooly greenish vintage topper. This would look so good on a Broyhill Brasilia end table! The other is a walnut flare that looks pretty with it's mod fiberglass swirl motif. Yes, it is a bit of mismatch for periods, but in my humble opinion still looks swell! I should have spent a bit more time setting up the pics but had bigger fish to fry...

Just got started on the 50's blond sofa and hope to post after Christmas on the ongoing results and the new recover and refinsihing...Here's where we stand as of today...

Probably won't get a chance again to post until after Christmas so here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!! Hope to post more before the New Year....

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hunt for new stereo console...Score!! and some progress on the H/W nesting tables...

We recently sold a vintage Oriental motif Magnavox stereo console that was in the store with sliding lids and had a hole to fill, and as stereos/credenzas of any kind are kinda hot right now, I had to go take a look across the bay at a CL posting. This was a dealer that had given me some decent pricing on some Heywood Wakefield pieces and some Lane tables. It was good enough so we both made some and were happy and sometimes that's all you can hope for. He didn't have as much wiggle room as I would have liked, but the stereo had such nice lines I couldn't walk away.

Cabinet was in pretty good shape with only some minor surface scratches and I'll clean them up and the interior tomorrow. Stereo works well, but turntable needs a little push to get it moving. Haven't had a chance to check the needle yet, but am guessing it's not perfect. Still had the original booklet and some maintanance paperwork from "71" from after the sale. Didn't have the original bill of sale, but I'm guessing late "70" or earlier. This too is a GE and although I can't say I likely got the great deal Mr. Mod got on his Granville GE it was good enough so it was worth the investment. There was also an Amercan of Martinsville 4 door credenza that was available, but it had some veneer issues along the edges and although a very salable piece, I was on a budget but did pick up a nice A of M 3 tier magazine table and three MCM lamps that need some TLC and some shades. Story of my life is working on one piece or another. Go figure!
Speaking of working on pieces, I couldn't resist starting on the H/W 312 nesting tables even though it was late and the neighbors probably are getting to hate the sound of my sander and compressor after I get started on a new project.
The smallest table has aprons front and back and the others are only aproned in the back of the tables.  I don't use chemical strippers and sand all the old finish off and thought these aprons were probably doweled to the sides. And I didn't want to have to totally disassemble because of the large wood plugs covering the screws from the sides to the top that I can't replicate. After a quick inspection I found that the geniuses in the design/engineering dept. had only screwed the aprons into place and I wouldn't have to tear down or slug through a bunch of hand sanding to make right. It's as if they knew that someday someone would need to take apart for repair or refinsihing and they made this furniture very user friendly. I've seen this time and again with all the H/W pieces.
Got about two thirds of the way into the prep work last night and as I have to be in store tomorrow I won't get another chance until tomorrow night to keep moving forward, but should be able to get the first two coats of finish on by Thursday and done by early next week and in house. Here's how we look after the first couple of sand preps...
Tops had a few minor stains but I was able to work them out and these are going to be just gorgeous when complete! Next up will be the 50's Blond sofa or who knows what else might fall into my lap by then. Post more soon!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

So, How much stuff can you pack into a Dodge Caravan??

We had originally slated our road trip for 4 days, but after jamming the van at the first stop it would just be heartbreaking to window shop with no room left to put anything so we made it home on the third day. Here's what the van looked like before I started to disgorge the haul.

Thankfully the van has two side doors or I could have never pulled this off. Like I'd mentioned in the last post we had originally gone to pick up a couple of sofas.
 Nice vintage 3 piece Heywood Wakefield Ashcraft sectional. Yes, it really needs to be reupholstered and the frame needs a few wraps replaced and a good cleaning up. Really like the original fabric and I'd like to go with something close to this if I can find for a reasonable price.

This 50's blond sofa had lines that were so close to the H/W Aristocrat line that I couldn't pass it up. I did cheat a bit and removed the legs and arms to get in the van. Put the arms back on for the pics and hopefully in a few weeks you can see it in it's recovered glory. Cushions and nice barkcloth fabric have already been taken to the shop for it's new look and I should have the frame up to speed by the time they're ready.
How about a nice vintage cracked ice serving cart? The chrome on this is in great condition unlike most of these you see. A wrought iron table that's begging for a new top to replace the floor tile someone thought looked just dandy, and an industrial hat/coat rack, and yes!! a fun and unusual 2 light floor lamp!!!

A pair of  carved funky faces. These are so light they may be balsa wood..I think I may have a plan to make these babies pop!

Two gold plated 3 legged marble top tables and a pair of fun vintage lamps. Too bad the shades aren't vintage, but I may have another vintage set that would "cool" these up a bit and hey, they came with the lamps so I guess I can't complain too much.
You probably didn't notice in one of the first pics that underneath everything else there's a little bit of a 50's gray industrial full size desk hiding in there. I ran out of energy to unload just to take pics and it went straight to my wifes store. It was almost the deal breaker for space! We also had a few bags of smalls, ashtrays, glassware, etc. And just when you'd think that must be it and how did he do it, the last of the haul are probably my favorite pieces.

These M312 G nesting tables were not going to get left behind even if I had to take a bus home. We really need a full size van in the family.I had to drive with my knees up my nose for hours! Sure they need to be refinished, but hey this is what I love and you don't see complete undamaged sets like this everyday. Sweet!!! I can't wait to get started on these and the sofa and hope to get some finished "after" pics up soon.
And yes, the pole lamp looks great in the store and I'm sure it will be going to a new home quickly! It looks like it may have been made by the same manufacturer as this funky bent teak "frond" beauty we already have in the store..

Post again soon...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Road Trip!! Plus Sputnik update and some other incidental stuff...

Finally gave up on finding some reasonably priced "starlite" bulbs for the Sputnik lights. Non available locally and the auction sites were running 4 bucks a bulb plus and as I needed twenty for the two lights I figured I'd let the new owners buy their own so I wouldn't have to pass the cost along. They may even be happy with the current ones until they score some at a better price.

Both are really nice lights and very much vintage. The first is a flush mount 8 arm and would be great for a hall or foyer and the other is a stemmed 12 arm chandelier that's really stunning. Hopefully the new owners will spring for the correct bulbs...
Had a pretty good week on the furniture side as I finally had someone with great taste take away this H/W M320 desk and rayback chair that I'd refinished and recovered the chair seat with an atomic print barkcloth material. Not exactly correct for the chair but just too cool and I only had enough material to recover the one seat, so there you go...

Also out the door was this very nice danish sofa and chair that I'd cleaned up and restored the frames and we had our friends recover. I really need to get a good commercial sewing machine and try my hand at this, but this is how I could never make it look anyway with this material.

Pic isn't the best but the chair is the high back version that you don't see every day. I think the last sofa seat cushion in this pic is accidentally turned around but the couple that does our upholstery work have been doing for years and are really good at what they do. They can redo literally any job and I'm so glad to be able to call on them...

With a few holes to fill I put this fully refinished H/W "Riviera" vanity out along with the pouffe stool (recovered by my pros). Really should have gotten some better pics before I cluttered the top but you get the idea.
We're on the way back from a buying trip from Tampa to Clinton, TN (somewhere northwest of Knoxville) and we picked up a whole van full of new aquisitions that I hope to get up on the blog soon...It was only supposed to be a trip to go after a  H/W knockoff sofa and 3 piece H/W Ashcraft sectional that both needed work but this dealer had so much fun stuff in their place at reasonable prices we filled our poor little van to almost bursting. I'm guessing we are still going to have to make a few stops on the way back home and try and stuff the remaining crevasses with a few smalls and make plans for the next go round.
Hope to get some cool pics up in a couple of days with the "haul" and how much you can cram into a Dodge Caravan. Don't you just love productive "road trips"!!!
As always you are free to comment. Talk to you soon........