Thursday, March 09, 2017

Adventures in Furniture Restoration

The most unique piece of furniture we own is a hand me down. It's my Grandparents-in-Law's former TV / Radio / Record Player console. We haven't been able to properly date it, but we think it's possibly from the late 1940's or early 1950's. Years ago I spotted it in my Mother-in-Law's basement and remarked how cool it was. And just like that, it was ours. For being over 50 years old, it was in fine shape, yet it was certainly showing its age:

After renovating our dining room, it seemed like the right time to try to restore this piece. After poking around, Shira came up with Dovetail Restoration as a solid recommendation to the do work.

We've never done any sort of furniture restoration before, so we had no expectations. I was quite prepared to be unimpressed, willing to consider the whole experience an experiment to learn from. We really didn't give Dovetail any useful direction, either.

Dovetail did their thing and a few months later they got back to us. Our piece was ready. When they finally delivered the console I was honestly floored:

Somehow they had taken this vintage piece that was rough around the edges and turned it into a masterpiece. All I could ask was: how'd you do that?

Of course the photos don't do the work justice. It's not just that they got the scratches out, and made it so that the doors opened and closed smoothly. No, they managed to change the entire wood surface into dark-cherry perfection.

The process wasn't fast, nor was it inexpensive (but what furniture related activities are?), but it was absolutely worth it. Who knew one piece of furniture could change so dramatically?

Next up: I need to order a monitor to put behind the glass in the TV location. Then I'll hook up a Google Chromecast, and we'll finally be able to sit around the set and watch TV, just like Grandma and Grandpa did.

3 comments:

  1. Hopefully you can use an old vacuum tube monitor for the display, it would probably look great but only with a resolution... not too much

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  2. don't forget to put a chromecast audio in the box too.

    as for the TV? what are the dimensions? I'm guessing you will have a hard time finding a CRT (http://venturebeat.com/2017/03/03/what-the-death-of-the-crt-display-technology-means-for-classic-arcade-machines/)

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  3. > Hopefully you can use an old vacuum tube monitor for the display, it would probably look great but only with a resolution... not too much


    Ha! We left the original monitor at my mother-in-law's house when we took the TV console. I was pretty convinced that any attempts to transport it would have resulted in broken glass or getting a massive electric shock.


    > don't forget to put a chromecast audio in the box too.

    Definitely! That's the plan.

    > as for the TV? what are the dimensions? I'm guessing you will have a hard time finding a CRT

    I figured I'd find an LCD screen and just wedge it in place behind the glass. Step one though is properly measuring the dimensions of the space I have to work with.

    Ultimately, I just want to throw a chromecast behind there and turn on a live YouTube stream of a fishtank or something.

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