Grandbabies Rocking Horse

My first real woodworking project after my workbench was a rocking horse for my grandkids. I started in the fall of 2014 and finished in the spring of 2015. I bought a plan online at Toy Making Plans and can really recommend them.

The lumber is ash and poplar, ash for the rockers, saddle and smaller pieces with poplar for the body.

This is my power tool workshop. During the winter months
I moved my workbenches to the basement.

I think I got the idea for the saw benches from Stumpy Nubs, but not sure. I did get the idea for the 2X4 workbench top from one of his plans. I quickly found that dimensioning lumber by hand is the most fun, relaxing, and cathartic part of woodworking. Hand planing lumber down to size and thickness is very zen like (as if I know what zen like actually is).

Cutting some of the poplar
to rough size before tracing out the design and cutting on the bandsaw.
One thing about the blue Rockler holdfasts that I did not like was the paint had to be sanded off the pads before I used them. Otherwise the paint got all over everything.

My Sargent joiner.

Using by LED lantern to check my progress. That lantern was one of the best purchases I’ve made for the workshop. I’ve hung it from the ceiling when the power was out, used it like
a flashlight, and used it for raking light when sanding/finishing.

Glued up the rockers before cutting out the shape. Since the curve for the rockers is very shallow and the rockers very thick, there was no short grain to be worried about. Otherwise, I would have done my first bent lamination. This horse ended up being built like a tank.

The black and orange clamps were just some cheapos I got at Menards, but they turned out to be some excellent clamps. Really surprised me.

After the bandsaw.

The 3 pieces of the body after the bandsaw.

Body, rockers and all the fiddly bits ready to go.

Drilling the eyes out. Not as painful as it looks. And the handle of the brace is making the bit look off, but it really is perpendicular. I did not have my beautiful apprentice helping me at this point. I think she was in her studio.
Drilling for the handles.

Drilling for dowels. This is the initial rocker set up.

In the back, you can see I’ve started the glue up of the legs onto the body. I really needed much more thought and planning for this portion. I relied too heavily on the plans and did not pay attention to the tiny variations in the legs, hooves and location on the body. This ended up being the most aggravating part of the build. I know exactly how I will do this next time. I’ll mount the legs on the rocker first, then set the body in and clamp.

Again, this was just a mess of a glue up. By this time I was cussing a blue streak.
And here she is. Actually looks like a rocking horse!

I only included this picture to show off a bit of the fence I put up a year or so earlier. Hand dug the holes with a post hole digger and shovels because there was so much rock and brick. This was one
of those things you do once and swear, “never again”. But the fence turned out very nice.

Awkward, but ultimately effective way to ‘clamp’ the rockers to the body for glue up.

Once the weather got too cold for glue
to set, I moved my workbenches and hand tools into the basement. Again, was I spoiled or what? The basement was 900 sq/ft and stayed a beautiful 64 degrees Fareinheit year round.

I used Real Milk Paint for this and even though I had no idea how to prepare or use milk paint, my first project did not turn out horribly. I learned quite a lot while doing this. Primarily that milk paint needs to settle before using. Also, it’s a good idea to strain your milk paint before using.

I also found that thinning it for the first coat will act as more of a stain or a wash. You can then add thicker coats. You will also want to sand between thick coats, otherwise it gets globby.

For this project I used Pitch Black, Lexington Green, Barn Red, and Medium Brown.

I used local beeswax and Citrus Solvent (from Real Milk Paint) over the paint and it worked very well.

My Little Poopers (Ruby) running up to see what she’s missing out on.

This project was such a great experience that I knew I wanted to take on something quite a bit more aggressive. As I look back on it, I see so many things that just bug the crap out of me, but it was something for the grandbabies and it serves its purpose well.

And even though UPS did their darndest to destroy it before reaching my daughter, my son-in-law was able to glue up the broken feet and the kids were able to use the horse. Apparently a box rated for 250 pounds with masses of stuffing and signs saying this end up and don’t stack, don’t mean squat to them.

One modification I’d make is to carve the rockers to be a bit more ‘rockery’. I don’t want the kids to go flying off the horse, but I also don’t want them to get bored. All in all a successful first real woodworking project, aside from the workbench.

Mission Style Prairie Settle (not settee).

My first piece of furniture was a Mission (Arts and Crafts) style Prairie Settle that I started in 2014 and finished in 2016. I had been reading about the Stickleys and was drawn to the American Arts and Crafts so I wanted my first piece to be of that style.

I had been through the old Stickley catalogues online and did some searches for mission style plans. I waffled between chairs, bookcases, tables, and couches (settles). I thunk and thunk and thunk some more, then I talked to Holly incessantly until she said, “just do something and stop talking about it!” I took that as a mild suggestion that it might possibly be time to stop thinking about it and just make a command decision.

I ended up purchasing several sets of plans from Popular Woodworking, Wood Magazine, and one from a website dedicated to furniture plans. I then took bits from each plan and some bits and bobs from other plans I’d seen and came up with my plan. I didn’t want it to look like every other settle I’d seen, so I modified the spindles, length, and seat frame.

I didn’t want to spend the extra on White Oak, so I chose Red Oak. Even though it was good lumber, I didn’t like working with it nearly as much as the Ash I’d worked with earlier. A lot splinteryer than the Ash.

Finished product.

I started this before I had finished the rocking horse, so it began its life in the basement. One thing about choosing something this size was that I could not do any final glue up in the basement because then I would not be able to get it out, so it ended up being a good thing that it took 9 months to finish.

I started with my very favorite part of any project, prepping the lumber.

My Millers Falls plane in the background.

My Sargent joiner.

Since this was a piece of Stickley Mission Style furniture there were many, many mortise and tenon joints.

All were cut by hand since I had not purchased the mortiser yet.

Eventually, I did get a mortiser (a Steel City benchtop), and it did work great. Really nice quality for the price. I used it on a couple of small projects, but later on
when I started the chair project I still preferred to do my mortising by hand.

And the tenons. Lots of tenons. Little tenons, big tenons.
Mitred tenons.

I also cut all of the grooves for the corbels and channels for the spindles by hand. Again, this was very therapeutic and cathartic. I’d spend days in the basement, mallet and chisel in hand. tap, tap, tap. Reposition my hands. tap, tap, tap Reposition. tap, tap, tap.

tap, tap, tap…

And then cleaned them out with the Stanley #71 router.

Next came the corbels. Cut on the bandsaw, then finished with hand tools.

The tongues were all done with the Anant rabbet plane.

I had read a few bad reviews about Anant planes, but I was able to look at this one before buying it and couldn’t find anything extraordinarily wrong with it so I bought it. After using it for a while the threads for the fence started to get loose and blade cap screws and threads started to do the same. I used this plane through quite a bit of this project,
but eventually got an old Stanley #78 with both fences. I won’t be buying Anant tools anymore, but I wouldn’t have that knowledge or experience if I hadn’t made that mistake. You don’t really know what a tool is like until you’ve used it yourself. Online reviews are a great general guide, but they can’t make that decision for you.

I started dry fitting in the basement, but knew right away that I’d have to move to the garage for the big glue up. I did, however, glue up the side panels in the basement.

What a monster. This is when I started realizing how big this couch was going to be.

Some more fitting and fiddling before I started with the spindles.

The flooring that these are laying on is for another project I have going on upstairs. We had already ripped up the carpeting from the entire top floor of the house and had been walking on plywood for almost a year. I eventually took some time off from work so I could get going on this. It was all cabin-grade ash (the lowest grade of flooring you can get) with a lot of color variation as well as some damaged pieces. But it turned out to be the best thing we could have done for the house. However, that story is for another post.

After fitting the spindles and spacers. This was a very fiddly process, since I was working with spindles that had to be symetrical as well as gradually increasing in width. I ended up with two thin ones on each side, then increasing the width by 1/8 inch for each of the others (I think). I messed around with this formula until I got something that looked right to me, so it probably wasn’t an 1/8 for each one.

I also had to keep in mind that each side had to be mirrored.

The pair of sides. Almost ready to take it to the garage.

And back in the garage. And you can see just a wee bit more of the fence (you can’t tell I’m proud of that dumb thing can you?).

Now I’ve started measuring out the spindles for the back. This was just as fiddly as the sides, but with the number of spindles and the area to cover, I ended up increasing the size of the spindles after every second one.

I spent hours just looking at spindles. I had bunches of different widths to play with and would get them spaced, look at them, take them out, put different ones in and spaced, look at them, take them out… yadda, yadda, yadda, and I’m finished.

I like this look and will probably try a variation on this sometime in the future, when I make my next piece of Mission style furniture.

It’s starting to look like a couch. And Ruby was feeling a bit camera shy.

The 1/4 sawn Red Oak, looked beautiful. The medullary rays were the star of the show. The arm and back rest had not been glued on yet, I was still getting the grooves to line up. Rather than just do dowels between the top and the body, I made long tenons at the top of each corbel and then transferred those to the bottom of the arm and back rest. This was not easy, but it did make for a very sturdy construction.
Showing the tops of the corbels and the tenons that went into the bottom of the arm and back rest.

The top has been fit and glued. You can see on the left that a splinter had snapped off. I filled and did my best to color it. Once the stain and shellac were put on, it was less visible. If only I’d had my training with Graham and Clare at Chippendale Furniture School then 😉

Here she is on some mismatched workbenches. Did I say I was spoiled? Got my jammin’ sound system on the wall so all I had to do was plug my phone in, start Pandora, and go to town on some Dropkick Murphys. Up above (you can see the ladder to the side) there was oodles of storage in the rafters. You can barely see my Steel City mortiser to the left, gathering dust before I sell her.

The color of the stain is called Provincial. We had looked at walnut, gunstock, light oak, dark oak, light walnut, and ebony, but settled on Provincial, which Holly and I really liked. I don’t have the shellac on yet, but it already looks nice.

The roll at the back is the fabric we chose and of course the thing in front is a Dell Compellent Storage system that I was getting ready to install somewhere (I think).

I had read some articles on different alternatives for seat frames and I latched on to the woven seats like…like…well, like something that latches onto things.

I looked at some weaving techniques and decided that I would do a very simple weave for this. I also chose twisted sisal because I wanted something durable and natural. I didn’t want nylon or anything similar.

I did the warp first and then the weft. Pulled each row tight and then straightened and tightened more before moving on to the next row.

Here’s a corner showing how I have the ends. No tacks or nails. I just have them cinched under the neighboring warp and weft rows.

As for the durability of this kind of cinching. We had this couch for several years and not only did it hold up, but it didn’t start to sag or need tightening at any time. And this was even after moving twice.

And after nearly a year, we finally have the most comfortable couch/sofa/settle we have ever owned.

Three coats of clear shellac and a couple of coats of beeswax and she was ready to rock and roll.

Mission Style Chair

I had been planning to make a chair in the same style of the Prairie Settle because I wanted to fix a few mistakes I’d made with the couch and I just wanted the chair because it’s cool. I still went for the Red Oak because I’m a glutton for punishment. Actually, I don’t remember why I still went with Red Oak, but I’m sure I had a very good reason. There were some measurements for the chair that came with the original plans I’d bought for the Prairie Settle, so I basically made it as a very short version of the Settle.

The build process for this one was rather sporadic, as we moved twice while making it. I started out with the spacious and wonderful garage and basement combo that was a dream.

We then moved to a smaller place with no basement. This was not too much of an issue except in the winter. The garage was not insulated and we were not allowed to heat it (we were renting).

The oak log bench to the left is my bowl carving bench.
Our Dining room as my winter workshop.

When the temperature drops below 10 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period it is difficult to use iron or steel tools. That winter we had snow and cold snaps so I ended up bringing the chair into the house to work on. This introduced some interesting obstacles but also got me thinking about what woodworking and furniture making meant to me and how motivated and dedicated I might or might not be.

But that was not the last move in this build. Alas, we had one more move to go before I finished the chair.

My cozy workshop.

Our final move before the chair was finished was into an apartment. This kind of downsizing introduced so many new challenges and compromises that I honestly think this is where I cemented my love of woodworking.

Our downsizing was all part of a grander scheme so it was all self-induced and not due to a personal crisis or anything.

You can see my fresh air workshop in the background. Working off the back of a pickup and using my carving bench very creatively was actually kind of fun.

I’m going to use the constant moving as an excuse (not a legitimate reason, but an excuse) for some of the issues I had with the chair build. Lack of decent lighting was a constant obstacle and unfortunately, it reared its ugly head during the worst time possible, while I was sanding and finishing. I wanted to try something different and the plan was to use some amber shellac and then a brown wax to kill the orange. As you can already see, my plans went awry and my time limitations kept me from getting the wax on. This was one of those moments where I really questioned some of my life choices. In the badly lit apartment it looked very nearly like I wanted, but as soon as I got it outside and into some halfway decent light, I damn near cried.

But I get ahead of myself. The build itself was fairly uneventful.

Again, prepping and dimensioning the lumber by hand was the fun part. I cut the grooves and spindle channels with mallet and chisel, like the Settle project.

The cauls I’m using here are actually all that remained from a coffee table we got from World Market. A lot of their furniture is made of Rubberwood. When Rubberwood trees are finished providing latex, after 20 to 30 years, they used to be burned. Now they are being used in furniture, especially those in the plantations in Asia. What I saw of the wood in this furniture (that I destroyed and used for cauls) is that the colour could be interesting, but not necessarily pretty. It’s a fairly tight grain and not as splintery as Red Oak. It works easily with hand tools and sands well. Since the colour can be kind of offputting, it’s usually heavily stained.

Just as I was getting ready to start my dry fitting of the frame, the temperature dropped and I was forced indoors. This is where I had to be creative and compromise on some things that I would normally do. Without a large surface on which to rotate, flip, support, and clamp, I had to make sure that I had clearance whenever I wanted to move the chair because the clamps might bang into or damage something in the room. This meant that my clamping was not as aggressive as I would have liked and eventually required modification (fixing).

Once again, the 1/4 sawn Red Oak was beautiful.

I made sure to get the medullary rays to flow away from the chair on each arm. Kind of a nice effect.

This is where we moved once again, so the next piece of the puzzle was done at the aparment. Here I started with the seat frame, doing the same weaving and materials as last time. If something works, go with it.

Using my saw benches to clamp the seat frame. This is most certainly not an optimal setup as the saw benches are not heavy enough to keep the frame still while weaving.

I really miss my workbench right now. 

A closer look at the weaving. I talk more about this on the Prairie Settle post, but I got the idea from one of the plans I purchased and then just modified it a bit for my situation. It’s a simple over under through the warp lines. I used the same twisted sisal that I had before as it is a natural fibre. I did not want to use nylon or anything similar. The only bad thing about working with this twine is that it’s rough on the hands and on the fabric. The upholsterer that we used for this piece came up with a wonderful solution that you will see later.

This shows the clinching I used instead of tacks or nails. In this particular situation, the clinches work better than any tacks or nails. I will definitely use this again on future builds. I did the same on the Prairie Settle and the seat frames did not come loose or need tightening at any time over the years of heavy use.

This shows the clinching for the warp line.

The finished seat frame.

We used Niola Furniture Upholstery in Bloomington, MN for this project. He did an awesome job and even wrapped the seat frame to protect the cushion from the sisal

With the cushions.
And in the real light.

The medullary rays do still pop.

Arts and Crafts style mirror with gilding.

One project that really took me by surprise while at the Chippendale school was a mirror that ended up requiring more brand new skills than I would have thought possible.

I already knew that I wanted to do letter carving and I knew which quote I would use. I first saw the quote “The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.” in a picture of a fireplace mantel in a craftsman style home of Gustav Stickley, who was one of the first, and most well known, US mission (arts and crafts) style furniture makers. I then did some research to find out that it is from a poem by Chaucer, called “Parliament of Fowls” which is about how love and life are crafts that take a lifetime to learn. It is also thought to be the origin of St. Valentine’s Day. That said, I only knew it as a quote about traditional crafts and still think of it that way.

It started out as a simple drawing. At this point, I was so focused on my other project that I didn’t put a lot of thought into the scale or proportion, but I knew I wanted an arts and crafts style mirror.

This plan lasted long enough to start dimensioning the lumber and then went through several modifications (in my head). Then, when we ordered the glass I realized I had designed the frame too large, so it went through another major modification.

I thunk and thunk and then thunk some more over the resizing and what shape the mirror should take but had already started laying out the letters since the letter size and font would tell me generally what shape the mirror would take. I knew from the beginning exactly which font I wanted to use on this as I’d seen it used quite often for arts and crafts lettering, but I just didn’t know what it was called. I searched several font websites and found it on and also on

This is a public domain font and is free for all kinds of usage.

Dyer Arts and Crafts font.

I didn’t want the letters too small as that would make the carving more difficult so when I settled on a size I printed them out, cut and spliced them into their lengths and lay them out on the lumber. Here I needed to make sure my kerning was consistent because I was splicing groups of letters together.

I was worried that as I started to outline the letters onto the wood with the gouges that the letters would move and I’d lose my place, so I also used graphite paper (carbon paper) to trace the outside lines of the letters. This turned out to be overkill and actually created more work for me because I then had to remove the tracing afterwards, which turned out to be more difficult and fiddly than I had planned.

You can see the result of the tracing paper in a few of the letters.

The letter carving itself was very enjoyable and cathartic. I would be so engrossed in my carving that hours would fly by and I’d have to force myself to take a break, stretch, grab a cuppa, chat with the other students, and then dive right back in.

Once I’d reached a point that my rough out of the letters was finished, I shellacked the letters. This was to exaggerate the roughness and show me where I needed to concentrate my efforts to smooth the sides and the outlines.

I’d shellacked the top row, but not the bottom yet.

The roughing out of the letters was the quick part. I spent more than twice as much time smoothing the sides and edges.

After the rough out of the letters. Next I’m on to the smoothing.
Getting there.

Once I’d finished the smoothing of the letters, I was ready to stain and then gild. I later found out that this was the wrong order and next time I’ll gild and then stain. The reason being that when I finished gilding I had to sand the surface in order to create the crisp edges, but doing that removed most of the stain. I then had to restain after I had finished sanding. Not a huge issue as the restain cost me a part of a day and I had to let it dry overnight before shellacking.

I also had to regild the letters as I initially didn’t follow the tutor’s instructions correctly. Richard Walker at was the visiting tutor for our gilding instruction and was great to work with. He never cracked a joke and we always knew when he was being serious. 😉 After realizing my mistake and regilding the letters, I sanded then restained using my super secret mix of water dyes.

Some of the testing I did for the mirror frame. Not all, but some.

After letting the stain dry overnight, I shellacked the front side. This was so I could finish staining the edges without it bleeding into the front.

As I was doing all of this I also worked on the side pieces and created the mount in the back to hold the glass. I don’t have pictures of that, but may add some at a later date.

I also didn’t take pictures of the glass/water gilding on the glass, and I’m really kicking myself now. That process was incredibly interesting and I can’t wait to do another project like this. Again, Richard was excellent to learn from as he was able to walk me through the process several times (I kept getting sidetracked on other stuff and would come back and say, “uh, I can’t remember what you said to do here”). Very patient and a great teacher.

First, I laid out the background, which was white gold (I think it has an Italian name, but can’t remember). Then, I scratched out the outline of the roses. For each rose I started with red gold, then added white gold to the center. I then scratched out the leaves and used green gold. I finished by scratching out the stems and then painted over the back with black acrylic paints. I’ve really condensed the process here because I don’t have a photographic record of the steps, but even though there are a lot of steps here and I had to wait overnight for the water to dry before I could move on to the next portion, it went surprisingly quickly. I will post pictures of the process when I do my next glass gilding project.

And the finished product, with 7 coats of shellac. I’ll add more pictures later.

Chair caning project.

A few months ago, my wife and I picked up a couple of chairs that we wanted to work on. Both had caned seats and one (the Empire style rocker here ) also has a caned back.

Two projects we picked up several months ago.
Caning before removal.

I’d been reading about seat caning for a while and have been following Ed Hammond and The Wicker Woman on YouTube. The book I got was “The Craft of Chair Seat Weaving, with Cane, Rush, Splint, and Rope” by George Sterns. The book is a very good starter and I referred to it quite often for the basics. The YouTube videos are much better for the details and to better be able to adjust for the curves and other fiddly stuff. I also used Ed Hammond and The Wicker Woman as guides for the “no knot” method for the underside.

To start out, I stripped the chair and then prepped it for a new paint job. I went with milk paint and initially tried what I thought was Barn Red, but turned out to be closer to Hot Pink. Rather than remove this and start over I just painted Pitch Black over it. I did not want to distress this, but I figure that it will distress naturally very nicely with the red/pink underneath.

I stripped the chair and then had a good look at the joints to make sure everything was solid. The chair was in great shape so I didn’t need to redo any joints.
Not the colour I was looking for.
Much better! A few coats of Pitch Black and then a few coats of wax later and it’s ready for caning.

I had several false starts on the caning portion. As I got past the verticals and into the horizontals I had to unweave several sections and start over. It took quite a bit of thinking, doing, undoing, thinking, doing, undoing before I got the verticals and horizontals that I thought would work.

This was attempt 3 or 4. Can’t be sure.

Once I got into the diagonals I realized that there were still issues with spacing in the horizontals and verticals. I had to figure out how to either work around some of these obstacles or redo them. I ended up doing both.

I will probably redo this seat in the future, but once I get the border finished it will reside in our kitchen for a while.

Still need to add the border around the sides and front. This has been a huge learning experience, but I do feel better about getting started on the Empire Style Rocker, once my repairs are finished on that one.

Update 26 July 2020: I finally finished the last of the border and cleaned up the underside.

I ended up doing more of a hybrid ‘no knot’ with a couple of knots due to being unable to plan ahead or stage my cane ends well enough. I surprised myself with how strong these cane seats are: I’ve already sat in this chair a few times and I’m a rather large person.

I have a couple more caning projects coming up am ready to improve on this one.

Small Oak Serpentine Dresser

So, my glacial progress on these first restoration and repair projects has been a bit disheartening, to say the least, but I’m within spitting distance of finishing the small oak dresser, so here we go.

This is the 2nd project in a group of about a dozen that I’ll be working on in between my day job and getting my workshop insulated (which I will write about in another post). It is an oak dresser that originally came with a mirror. The mirror may be in the group of mirrors that I received with these projects, but I have not tried pairing them yet. The dresser is likely early 1900s or, less likely, late 1800s. The drawer fronts and top are solid oak and the interior is in good shape. The casters are original wood wheel and brass and the drawer hardware appears to be original as well.

Serpentine front small oak dresser. It’s in pretty good shape except for some burns, water stains, and other discolouring.

The dresser was not in bad shape but required some work done to the damaged top, so I got out the card scrapers to remove the burns, then filled the shallow divots with shellac which I coloured to match the rest of the top. Some alcohol and a scrubber got out most of the rest. I then put a few coats of shellac and then some dark wax (Kingdom Restorations). Clare, a tutor at the Chippendale International School of Furniture used to say, “Dark wax can hide a plethora of sins.” In this case, it helps even the tone across the top.

I also needed to replace a damaged runner. This was the only “woodworking” needed for the project.

Damaged runner on the bottom.

I then cleaned out the corners of the panels of the frame and panel sides. This may seem like a nit-picky thing, but in this case, I wasn’t going for a heavily patinated look. Getting rid of the black gunk in the corners just sharpened the edges and “youngened” it up a bit.

I replaced the old casters with reproduction casters from Van Dykes Restorations. The new casters are beautifully made and all I needed to do was plug the old holes, then drill new holes for the new casters.

New caster wheels were just a wee bit larger than the old ones, but the larger wheels roll more smoothly over carpet or rugs. The new casters also have ball bearings – very nice.
This picture shows a hole that has been plugged and is ready to be drilled for the new caster.
This shows that on one of the back legs there was some separation between the different sections of the leg, so I used the glue squeeze out from the peg to put those back together.

While I was working on the casters I noticed that when they were making this dresser, they used a table saw or similar to cut the mortises for the side rails.

On this side you can see the kerf of the saw, so it looks like it took 2 passes to get the right width for this tenon.
For the two top short drawers, the saw just went the entire length.

After this I noticed that the stiles for the side panels were starting to separate so I cleaned the old hide glue out and cooked up a few ounces to re glue.

The hardware was not in horrible shape but a few of the bail pulls were either missing rosettes or the rosettes were damaged so I searched E-Bay and found some nice ones and also found some that I liked at Van Dyke’s Restorers. Even though I found some knobs there as well, I decided to keep the original.

Old knobs and new pulls.

One thing I didn’t replace (yet) is the missing escutcheons for the two top drawers. Why, I can’t even begin to say, except that brain farts are real.

I just have a few fiddly bits to finish up like the escutcheons and runner blocks for the drawers to keep them from jamming, but other than that this has turned out to be a very pretty and usable piece of furniture.

Don’t look at the missing escutcheons!
Before re gluing the sides.
Top turned out beautifully. The cigarette burns and other stains came out very well. There is one divot that I didn’t fill because it was wide but shallow and I figured it was not very noticeable. If I had this to do over again, I might put the time into filling and colouring it, but probably not.

I’ll probably take a look at some brighter, shinier hardware for this one, but I doubt that I’ll go with it. I like the darker hardware on this. I will probably post some pictures with the brighter stuff though, just for comparison.

Slant top secretaire restoration. Part 1

This is a quick post to introduce one of my current projects. This one is a Victorian slant top secretaire that I have recently started. It has some beautiful oak veneer as well as solid pieces that need some love. There will be quite a bit of small repairs to the finish, so some color matching. But the part that I’m excited about is the glass for the doors, as I have not had to replace this kind of glass before. So I’ve been busy researching this and finding out what my options are (find original glass or have it made). Anyway, it’s going to be a fun project, and I’ll be posting about my progress soon.

Slant top secretaire.
The gallery is in good shape and looks like it just needs a good cleaning.
I have it apart now and am going over all the pieces, cleaning and assessing their state.