Thursday, May 30, 2013

Exactly 4 views short of 40,000 as I write this post! For a person that is so irregular about posting, I feel honored! Thanks! Oh yeah! and another project piece! Sweet little bar rehab!

When I started this blog over two years ago I originally intended to see if there was any interest out there in Heywood-Wakefield refinishing and facilitate some conversation on the subject. I'd throw in some other mid-mod stuff to help fill the page. It started very slowly and it took quite a bit of time to pick up even a few lookers to see what it was about. I was only refinishing as a long term hobby and had a regular job to pay the bills and I started following other like minded mid century modern bloggers. Yes, I was a real rookie at the blog thing. Just something to say and maybe someone might be interested!
By most blog standards I'm really small potatoes as far a views and followers but I'm greatful to all that take the time to take a look. I now own my own successful store here in Tampa and feel I've really found my niche. H/W is not neccesarily my main focus anymore but I still work on vintage pieces on a regular basis for customers that need help and I'm always happy to offer advise to those that want to go the DIY route. Just wanted to give a big thanks to you that love rehabbing anything MCM and for following along!
My wife recently picked up a small bar that she "surprised" me with during a recent road trip. She just loves to find me project pieces and although we are moving pieces through the store so quickly, it was still a pretty nice find...

This particular piece used to have an extention off to the right side that was totally missing. Well the rest looked worth the trouble. It has a drop down bar that originally lighted with the drop down lowered and a very nice art deco fixture with an old fluorescent bulb that no longer worked.
It was obvious that at least the outside of the case had absorbed a bit too much use over the years for just some Howards RAF and needed to be redone. The manufacturer had done a really nice job with the finish but it finally succumbed to the sander. Not quite as easy as expected!

To keep this story a bit shorter than the time I've spent, I'll just say that as much as I'd have loved to keep the chrome art deco fixture intact, it wasn't really visible from standing in front of the piece unless you were laying on the floor and the bulb was so obscure that even my best sources had never even seen one like it and I'm sure they were outlawed years ago so I had to retrofit with a newer fixture. Thankfully the compression switch still worked and I was able to rewire so it works great!

The last two lighted pics don't do this justice but shoud have some better pics up on our Facebook page once we get into the store. If you don't already like us on FB take a sec and you can see some of the other things I've had the pleasure to rehab but haven't had the time to post about here.
I'm always happy to help out fellow rehab types with tips and hints on H-W or any mid-mod pieces you'd either like to have restored or would like to do yourself!
A Modern Line

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Herman Miller DCM chair rehab and perhaps some more useful information...

I have been so very far behind in posting or even catching up on posts from others it's almost embarrasing. The good news is that we have been so busy at the store and with rehabbing and refinishing that I haven't had the time!
Second post for the day and a bit of catch up while it's still fresh.
Had a customer contact me a week or two ago about an Eames style chair that the back kept falling off from. I was thinking a lounge chair and how could that be? Bring it by and I'll take a look at the problem. Well, he stopped in about 5 days ago and the problem was pretty obvious. Not a lounger but a vintage DCM that someone had attempted to repair probably multiple times without much success.

The shock mounts had broken loose from the back and seat at some point and it appears someone had tried to use some Gorilla glue to reseat. I would definetely NOT recommend this adhesive as it tends to expand and bubble outside the project area and obviouly not strong enough anyway.
The repair may a mess of the finish and the chair needed a complete rehab. Quoted a price and here we go!
Above you can see what appears to be a date stamp and looking closely you can see DCM embossed into the wood above it. The chair appears to be all original with stainless steel rod legs that need a cleaning but otherwise in good shape and all the original leg ends were intact. I thought the chair would pop more in a different finish but the customer wanted back in the original black. I'm grateful in hindsight as some of the original black was pretty heavily inbedded in the wood and some pretty obvious factory fills. Likely why it hit the black line! Still very structurally sound.

Lots of scrapping off the old glue and the first sand. I could actually see the original symmetrical clamp marks from the bending process which I pretty much, though not totally eliminated during the final sanding.


After cleaning up the rubber shocks it was apparent that there was no way to attach the shocks back to the back in their proper place unless they were already mounted to the frame. I didn't want to put a finish between the shocks and the frame that would break loose, so these had to be glued into place on the bare wood. Necessity is the mother of invention it is said and and I'm a believer. I'm always having to come up with creative solutions to resolve different problems!

I decided on a two part epoxy glue made by Lock-tite that was supposed to be good for 3200 lbs. Messy stuff to work with but it turned out to be a good choice. Twenty four hours after my impromtu clamp job and everything seemed to be holding nicely. Time to start on the refinish!

The glue job turned out better than expected and the squeeze out under the shocks sanded off pretty easily. Taped out the shocks and the date stamp (I always try and retain original factory marks). I told my customer that I would try and replicate the wood grains showing as best I could to match the original. I have to admit, I was outside my comfort level at this point and was crossing my fingers that I could actually pull this off!
One coat of black satin lacquer left just the right amount of grain showing through and I top coated with two coats of semi-gloss clear with a final coat of satin clear to knock down the glossyness just a tad and here's the finished product with a good 0000 steelwool and lacquer thinner cleaning on the frame before installing the seat and back.

Yes, I did under quote this particular project for the time and materials but I absolutely love the way it turned out! Although my customer was hurried he seemd to love the end result and a good reference for future work and I've learned along the way. Hard to put a price on that!
Next up another learning curve with how to remove finish from the "new" Heywood-Wakefield furniture!

Finally some pics of some Pearsall and a couple of unusual pieces just yearning for some rehab!

I've been more than a bit behind keeping up with my posts but you may remember my past posts on the extensive Adrian Pearsll pieces I acquired a while ago. This particular piece came to me either painted black or in the original ebony finish. Bit hard to tell, but it was not getting any love here in the store so I decided to refinish the frame and recover. Here's how we looked originally. Not too inspiring for potential customers:

Although beautifully lined, the black and the somewhat worn goldish fabric wasn't bringing the love. The rehab looks great and it likely won't be hanging around long! Top pics!
I've had my hands full here at A Modern Line trying to keep new merchandise on the floor as business has been brisk in the last couple of months. Trying to balance acquiring new stuff with some fun refinish projects for others. More about these in another post!
My latest rehab/refinish are a couple of pieces I'd never crossed paths with until now. Two small chests manufactured by the Grand Rapids Furniture company under the name Sligh furniture and the suite name is presumably "Cross Country". These are very well made cabinets with, fortunately, nice thick veneers as they weren't in the best of condition.

Obviously I had some work to do to bring these up to speed!

I opted to only sand the faces of the drawers and doors as getting into the balance would prove to be too labor intensive and the two-tone look worked for me. They looked pretty good after the staining.
The doored unit has 4 drawers behind the doors but there was a couple of cross supports below the second drawer that made a nice frame to insert a masonite board shelf below and still have the drawer close smoothly. A nice clean inch and a quarter hole in the back panel and voila, a place for your video components with the drawer removed!

It's always nice to be able to offer options to my customers and this modification should certainly help sell the pieces!
Looking pretty on the floor with the new clothes!
I'm finally finding a little time to get caught up on some post ideas and next up will be a rehab of an Eames vintage DCM chair that had some serious issues. Stay tuned!