Refinishing Antiques can be a tricky business. Altering a antique can often remove any value it holds. Option like turning it over to an professional, or simple cleaning is often the best option for a piece with value.
It is well known that many collectors seized with the urge to do their own work start with refinishing and gradually progress to repair work. To the beginner, refinishing looks easy, anyone can do it. Just keep applying remover until the old finish has disappeared, rub a little with sandpaper and put on a coat or two of varnish or shellac. But anyone who tries it usually has his doubts about its being "easy" long before the process of removing the old finish has been completed.
One word about refinishing antiques is sufficient. Don't. It's not that you can't physically remove the old finish and put on a new one, the problem is that the old finish, no matter how dark and ugly, is extremely valuable to antique collectors. The original finish is part of the provenance, or history of the piece, and therefore can't be removed without losing the most visible proof of its age.
If you are an avid watcher of the television show The Antiques Road Show or other similar shows, you will know that it is a BIG no, no to do any work, as in re-finishing, re-building or re-storing to old antiques.
Anyone who has ever owned antique or just plain old wood furniture knows that sometimes you need to give it a deep cleaning. Some people believe the only way to clean old wood furniture is to refinish is, but often all the furniture needs is to be cleaned.
I have many years of experience in cleaning antique furniture, and have explained how to clean wood furniture many times before while liquidating estates, running an antique business and while participating in historic restoration projects. Cleaning antique furniture just requires a little common sense, a gentle touch, and a little instruction on how to clean wood furniture without using harmful cleaning products.
Every once in a while, you run across an old piece of wood furniture that just looks like it has been part of a war zone. The wood appears faded, water spots are scattered along the surfaces, and something waxy or gummy is streaked down one table leg. Everything points to only two ideas; either trash the piece or refinish it.
Garage sale and flea market hunting used to be one of my favorite pastimes. I loved seeing what treasures I could find hiding under the coats of paint, damaged wood and warped exterior of furniture others had thrown out or were selling for a few bucks.
Restore a Vintage Handsaw for Everyday Use
Handsaws come in two basic forms: handsaw and back saw. Back saws are (typically) short saws with very thin blades and fine teeth with a rigid steel or brass back to stiffen their thin blades. They are mainly used when a very accurate cut is needed such as when cutting dovetail joints. Handsaws are like the one pictured in this guide, blades of spring steel with wooden handles attached. They come in a variety of sizes from about 20" to over 30". They are generally used for cutting stock (boards) to the proper width and length. Saws on the shorter end of the scale are often referred to as panel saws, they make excellent toolbox saws and are easier to use in tight spaces or when sawing at an odd angle. However being shorter they cut less wood per stroke than their longer cousins.
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