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Working with Wood , Refurbishing Furniture

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white_swan53 On November 07, 2019




n/a, New Mexico
#1New Post! May 27, 2016 @ 15:15:05
I enjoy finding old furniture that is in need of some TLC .
I don't mean antique pieces because they lose their value if any changes are done .
I'm partial to home made cupboards and cabinets built around the time of the depression . Back when money was hard to come by and a lot of imagination was needed to make a house into a home .
Electricity could be had if you lived in a city a large town but was still more then a decade away in most rural areas .
Because money was short most households couldn't afford ready made cupboards and cabinets .
And so with a hand saw ,a hammer , some nails and lots of imagination men who were use to working with their hands and doing it right the first time , 'knocked together ' chest of drawers , kitchen furniture , end tables and cabinets in all sizes and shapes to store linens or dishes or clothing and anything else a wife decided she needed a cabinet for .
I found this one large kitchen cup board that had been painted with battleship grey paint . That paint was named that because it was used to paint battle ships . Stripping that cupboard down to the wood took some real elbow grease and lots of time .
I really like the look of unpainted wood . So any time I find a piece that has been painted I strip the paint off . That old pine lumber really looks nice sanded smooth with a couple of coats of flat varnish applied to protect it from stains .
I have a set of bedside cabinets that was made with rough cut pine lumber that I refinished . 3 kitchen cupboards that was made with finished pine lumber . I've done a half a dozen bathroom medicine cabinets I kept one , I gave one away to friend , two to family members and sold the other two .
I tried my hand at building cabinets . I made two , one with a door and one without a door. They turned out okay but in doing so I found that I enjoy refinishing whole lot more then building .
bobbimay On about 22 hours ago




Tucson, Arizona
#2New Post! May 27, 2016 @ 15:39:18
@white_swan53 Said

I enjoy finding old furniture that is in need of some TLC .
I don't mean antique pieces because they lose their value if any changes are done .
I'm partial to home made cupboards and cabinets built around the time of the depression . Back when money was hard to come by and a lot of imagination was needed to make a house into a home .
Electricity could be had if you lived in a city a large town but was still more then a decade away in most rural areas .
Because money was short most households couldn't afford ready made cupboards and cabinets .
And so with a hand saw ,a hammer , some nails and lots of imagination men who were use to working with their hands and doing it right the first time , 'knocked together ' chest of drawers , kitchen furniture , end tables and cabinets in all sizes and shapes to store linens or dishes or clothing and anything else a wife decided she needed a cabinet for .
I found this one large kitchen cup board that had been painted with battleship grey paint . That paint was named that because it was used to paint battle ships . Stripping that cupboard down to the wood took some real elbow grease and lots of time .
I really like the look of unpainted wood . So any time I find a piece that has been painted I strip the paint off . That old pine lumber really looks nice sanded smooth with a couple of coats of flat varnish applied to protect it from stains .
I have a set of bedside cabinets that was made with rough cut pine lumber that I refinished . 3 kitchen cupboards that was made with finished pine lumber . I've done a half a dozen bathroom medicine cabinets I kept one , I gave one away to friend , two to family members and sold the other two .
I tried my hand at building cabinets . I made two , one with a door and one without a door. They turned out okay but in doing so I found that I enjoy refinishing whole lot more then building .



I have a house that was built in 1880 by the masons with lots of hand craved doorway..fireplace..etc.. I am the third person to own this house in 136 years..in 2009 the 2ed owners did a land contract to try and sale the house...That idiot..went and painted... in this off white paint...all the hand built cabinets..doors..and doorways...

and then abandoned the house for 5 years before I bought it...

I have been working for 2 years now to get all that paint off...tried all kinds of chemical crap to remove it ..but found that steam works best.... I understand your love of making old things new and also share that love...
white_swan53 On November 07, 2019




n/a, New Mexico
#3New Post! May 27, 2016 @ 16:09:52
@bobbimay Said

I have a house that was built in 1880 by the masons with lots of hand craved doorway..fireplace..etc.. I am the third person to own this house in 136 years..in 2009 the 2ed owners did a land contract to try and sale the house...That idiot..went and painted... in this off white paint...all the hand built cabinets..doors..and doorways...

and then abandoned the house for 5 years before I bought it...

I have been working for 2 years now to get all that paint off...tried all kinds of chemical crap to remove it ..but found that steam works best.... I understand your love of making old things new and also share that love...



I think I would of had to hunt that idiot down and smacked him with something hard and solid just once or twice to make having to remove his paint from my old wood more enjoyable .

My grand dad built a large & 7foot tall, 4 foot wide and 21/2 feet deep cabinet back in the 1940's . In the early part of the 1970's my uncle was using the cabinet in his kitchen . His girlfriend at that time took exterior enamel house paint in forest green and painted that old bare pine wood with two coats . I worked on that cabinet for almost 6 months . What I had to settle for is a very pretty slightly green tinted pine cabinet. the lumber grand dad used was rough cut 2x10's and in trying to remove that paint I took the down to 1 3/4 x 10's .
With old wood ,I found that the more water I use while working with paint stripper makes the stripper a lot more effective and an added bonus is that sanding the damp wood makes for a nicer finish plus the dust mixed with a clear wood glue makes a perfect repair for that piece . Sanding wood when it's dry the dust is very fine almost like talcum powder but when sanded damp its more like corn meal .
bobbimay On about 22 hours ago




Tucson, Arizona
#4New Post! May 27, 2016 @ 16:20:13
@white_swan53 Said

I think I would of had to hunt that idiot down and smacked him with something hard and solid just once or twice to make having to remove his paint from my old wood more enjoyable .

My grand dad built a large & 7foot tall, 4 foot wide and 21/2 feet deep cabinet back in the 1940's . In the early part of the 1970's my uncle was using the cabinet in his kitchen . His girlfriend at that time took exterior enamel house paint in forest green and painted that old bare pine wood with two coats . I worked on that cabinet for almost 6 months . What I had to settle for is a very pretty slightly green tinted pine cabinet. the lumber grand dad used was rough cut 2x10's and in trying to remove that paint I took the down to 1 3/4 x 10's .
With old wood ,I found that the more water I use while working with paint stripper makes the stripper a lot more effective and an added bonus is that sanding the damp wood makes for a nicer finish plus the dust mixed with a clear wood glue makes a perfect repair for that piece . Sanding wood when it's dry the dust is very fine almost like talcum powder but when sanded damp its more like corn meal .


this summer I am working on the indoor wooden storm shutters...

did not realize how hard that is... 130 years old varnish..decided to take as much off as possible..then stain them with dark mahogany..to match the window frames....

the wood is so thin I am afraid I will punch a hole in it....
white_swan53 On November 07, 2019




n/a, New Mexico
#5New Post! May 27, 2016 @ 17:02:20
@bobbimay Said

this summer I am working on the indoor wooden storm shutters...

did not realize how hard that is... 130 years old varnish..decided to take as much off as possible..then stain them with dark mahogany..to match the window frames....

the wood is so thin I am afraid I will punch a hole in it....



You shutter to think you might poke a hole in your shutters ,,
I know dumb joke ,

I've never worked with wood that thin .
Have you worked with that varnish that has the stain in it. I tried it but didn't like the results. I don't know if it was because , in my mind stain should be applied with a cloth and not a brush or I just wasn't doing it right. I have a friend that use to refurbish old wooden boats and he taught me how to put a finish on like they do in those old boats. And that means using soft cloth for staining , fine grit sand paper and natural brushes , so I gave up on that mixed varnish/stain real quick .
My house is one hundred years old this year . It's a rock house with 18 inch thick walls . when my great grand dad built it the only wood used was in the door and window boxes and the roof. That may be why I've spent so much time filling it with bare wood furniture . You don't need any imagination to refurbish rock walls rock floors or rock fireplaces.
bobbimay On about 22 hours ago




Tucson, Arizona
#6New Post! May 27, 2016 @ 17:45:45
@white_swan53 Said

You shutter to think you might poke a hole in your shutters ,,
I know dumb joke ,

I've never worked with wood that thin .
Have you worked with that varnish that has the stain in it. I tried it but didn't like the results. I don't know if it was because , in my mind stain should be applied with a cloth and not a brush or I just wasn't doing it right. I have a friend that use to refurbish old wooden boats and he taught me how to put a finish on like they do in those old boats. And that means using soft cloth for staining , fine grit sand paper and natural brushes , so I gave up on that mixed varnish/stain real quick .
My house is one hundred years old this year . It's a rock house with 18 inch thick walls . when my great grand dad built it the only wood used was in the door and window boxes and the roof. That may be why I've spent so much time filling it with bare wood furniture . You don't need any imagination to refurbish rock walls rock floors or rock fireplaces.


the first house my husband and I bought was all river rock..and 140 years old....yes I love OLD houses...at one time my rock house was a bordello.....when we were redoing the upstairs we found a small passage about 3x 8 feet that still had old Prohibition bottles with alcohol in them...that is what set me on my way to loving old homes...

My home has 12 inch outside walls but about 3/4 of the windows still has that old bubbly window panes in them and 4 of the windows upstairs still have the original stain glass...

My husband would have loved this house...
white_swan53 On November 07, 2019




n/a, New Mexico
#7New Post! May 27, 2016 @ 18:08:59
@bobbimay Said

the first house my husband and I bought was all river rock..and 140 years old....yes I love OLD houses...at one time my rock house was a bordello.....when we were redoing the upstairs we found a small passage about 3x 8 feet that still had old Prohibition bottles with alcohol in them...that is what set me on my way to loving old homes...

My home has 12 inch outside walls but about 3/4 of the windows still has that old bubbly window panes in them and 4 of the windows upstairs still have the original stain glass...

My husband would have loved this house...



So what did you do with the alcohol ? I ask because my husband was a drinker and I could see him trying that old stuff just to see if it was still drunkable ,if you know what I mean .
This country is red sand stone and my grand dad told me it took 1000 wagons full of it to build this place. It hadn't been lived in , in over 50 years and in one of the rooms the roof had caved in . People had been sneaking and stealing rock out of the walls in that room also . It took me and my kids almost two years of pretty steady working to rebuild that room and get a roof on it . we had to replace the rest of the roof because all the old tin had blown off so the lumber was damaged . what we did was slap a semi temporary roof on the largest room slapped together some window boxes put in sheets of glass my youngest son was 11 and had spent the summer working with my dad rebuilding an old barn for someone, so he built a barn door complete with the Z brace .( we were proud of that door) we got the pack rats moved out and cleaned their nest out of the fire place and we moved in. We started in June and had that one room ready by the first snow.
Then went to work on the room that had caved in . I'm telling you this., you don't want to live in a one room house with 3 growing kids for very long. It was just the incentive I needed to get the rest of the place up and livable quick as humanly possible. when we were finally able to spread out everyone in their own bedrooms and a kitchen that was just a kitchen with no beds or sofa in it , we felt like we were living in a mansion for the first few months.
bobbimay On about 22 hours ago




Tucson, Arizona
#8New Post! May 27, 2016 @ 18:59:20
@white_swan53 Said

So what did you do with the alcohol ? I ask because my husband was a drinker and I could see him trying that old stuff just to see if it was still drunkable ,if you know what I mean .
This country is red sand stone and my grand dad told me it took 1000 wagons full of it to build this place. It hadn't been lived in , in over 50 years and in one of the rooms the roof had caved in . People had been sneaking and stealing rock out of the walls in that room also . It took me and my kids almost two years of pretty steady working to rebuild that room and get a roof on it . we had to replace the rest of the roof because all the old tin had blown off so the lumber was damaged . what we did was slap a semi temporary roof on the largest room slapped together some window boxes put in sheets of glass my youngest son was 11 and had spent the summer working with my dad rebuilding an old barn for someone, so he built a barn door complete with the Z brace .( we were proud of that door) we got the pack rats moved out and cleaned their nest out of the fire place and we moved in. We started in June and had that one room ready by the first snow.
Then went to work on the room that had caved in . I'm telling you this., you don't want to live in a one room house with 3 growing kids for very long. It was just the incentive I needed to get the rest of the place up and livable quick as humanly possible. when we were finally able to spread out everyone in their own bedrooms and a kitchen that was just a kitchen with no beds or sofa in it , we felt like we were living in a mansion for the first few months.



wow your house is a true centennial...I'm jealous...What a wonderful thing to be able to pass down to generations of family...

Does NM let you register your home in the national archives..sometimes ..depending on the state you can get property tax credits..for being a centennial...

here in Michigan the same family has to own the property for the 100 years to qualify...

hey 2 years and counting..
white_swan53 On November 07, 2019




n/a, New Mexico
#9New Post! May 27, 2016 @ 19:43:53
@bobbimay Said

wow your house is a true centennial...I'm jealous...What a wonderful thing to be able to pass down to generations of family...

Does NM let you register your home in the national archives..sometimes ..depending on the state you can get property tax credits..for being a centennial...

here in Michigan the same family has to own the property for the 100 years to qualify...

hey 2 years and counting..



I checked into the deal of making this a historical landmark back when we first moved into the house in 1997 ,but when I read the info and it said that for all intents and purposes the place would be open to the public I decided against it. I hadn't thought about the national archives. I live in a densely populated part of the state and the majority of the land in this county is ranch land so property taxes are very reasonable . I'll check into this . thanks.
Isn't any house that is 100 or more years old a centennial or is it the part about being in the family 100 years what makes it different ?
I'm jealous of your original window panes so that makes it even .
Antique glass is impossible to find and if you do it's never for sale at any price.
white_swan53 On November 07, 2019




n/a, New Mexico
#10New Post! May 27, 2016 @ 19:54:52
I have three 8x4 sheets of tempered glass that was in a filling station that was built in the 1940's. They will some day be my South facing wall of my kitchen .
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