Monthly Archives: March 2015

Rescued Piano Bench

Nik found a solid wood piano bench in the dumpster a while back, so we decided to upgrade the bench we have, since this new bench has a lift up lid and area for storage. We’re both piano players, so this will be a place to hide our unsightly piles of sheet music.

bench 2 bench 1

We decided to keep this bench simple, since it was made of lovely wood that just needed some TLC. We first wiped it down, and then Nik and I used the sander to strip off the old finish/stain and water marks – its been too cold to use the stripper gel to get off the old varnish, but some 80 grit sandpaper on our sander got through the old finish pretty well on its own.

bench 3

bench 4 bench 5

We then did our medium and fine sanding and got ready to stain. The top panel looks like its mahogany, whereas the wood on the legs seemed like something different. Mahogany is a naturally “redder” wood, so Nik experimented with some stains, and found that the top panel would get special walnut, and the legs got a coat of special walnut followed by a coat of red chestnut to match the natural red coming through in the top panel.On the left picture, the left side is the top, and the thin piece of wood is one of the legs, testing out the stain combination.

bench 7 bench 10

After matching the stains, we gave it a few good coats of water based poly, and here’s the finished bench. I think the stain-matching came out perfect!

IMG_1601   IMG_1605

IMG_1604           IMG_1603

(sorry for the grainy pictures, my phone doesn’t like indoor light it seems.)

New (Old?) Works in Progress

This past week we revisited some projects started a while ago (almost 2 years ago for one of them!) to try to wrap them up. The first one is a designer coffee table from the Edward Wormley Precedent Collection, which is super high-end (when in good, probably un-refinished condition, of course). This table unfortunately had some water damage to the top level veneer, so Nik and I got some new Red Oak Quarter Sawn veneer at Capitol Lumber in Raleigh. We spent many tries color matching it to the veneer on the bottom level, and this came out the best.

Here’s the table with damage, and then stripped and sanded:

IMG_0587    IMG_0603

And here’s what the veneer looks like:

IMG_0820 IMG_0821

We bought plain 10mil veneer, so its very thin. Nik cut it approximately to size with a razor, then decided he couldn’t handle the anxiety of trimming it so it would fit perfectly. So I did this with scissors, and it came out alright. I trimmed it a bit too much on one side, but with some wood filler to fill in that little bit of extra space I think it’ll come out great.

IMG_1511    IMG_1513

Now we need to paste it down with wood cement, then sand and use wood filler, then stain the piece and seal it up! The wood cement needs 65 degree temps for 3 days to cure, so we’re basically waiting on the weather to get warmer for that. That cement stuff is serious business – it says to turn off all nearby pilot flames in your house if you use it (obviously we’re going to do this outside), so hopefully we don’t blow up the neighborhood. I’m not 100% sure how we’re going to get that perfect, because it IMMEDIATELY adheres upon contact of your two surfaces, so the veneer will have to be laid out perfectly the first try! I’m pretty sure Nik will go hide in a closet while this happens so his perfectionist anxiety doesn’t get the best of him!

The next project is a cool mid century china cabinet I picked up with the help of friends and their big truck and we’ve been storing it in their garage until it got warm enough to work on.

IMG_1273     IMG_1274

We had worked on it a while back, stripping and sanding some of the shelves and door fronts. Due to damage to the body, we decided to paint a large portion of it, and stain the top 2 shelves and door fronts. Here’s some pics of the sanding and some of the damaged areas we’re attempting to fix with wood filler:

IMG_1278      IMG_1277

IMG_1522    IMG_1523

We made some progress doing the staining and also priming the rest of it last weekend, and we also used our friend’s circular saw to cut new underlayment for the back panel since the old backing had issues.

IMG_1526     IMG_1527 IMG_1528

It’s starting to shape up! Next we need to finish shaping the wood filler for those problem areas, prime over that, get the whole body painted, and seal it up! We haven’t picked a color yet. White paint with stain is pretty classic for mid century modern furniture, but maybe we’ll mix it up a bit.