So my plans took a back seat to SWMBO's again. I had to go pick up a
convertible sofa table that her mother wanted to get rid of. The table
is form the 1930's and in very rough shape. I took it apart (damn
slotted screws), pulled the 2 1/2" roofing nails (previous repair),
glued and screwed it back together (damn slotted screws!).
Unfortunately I had to add a few screws to hold everything tight (just
until the glue dries). Luckily none of the nail holes or new screws
can be seen without flipping the thing over.
The plywood inlay (1/8"?) top is beyond reapir, delaminted and a large
piece broken off. So I am probably going to try and replace the top.
The inlay covers most of the top and is about 16" x 60" with the
bookmatched grain in a diamond pattern like so:
/ / / / / / / \ \ \ \ \ \ \
/ / / / / / \ \ \ \ \ \ \
\ \ \ \ \ \ / / / / / / / \ \ \ \ \ \ / / / / / / /
I think that you would get this by slicing a board into 4 pieces and
flipping/turning them to get the pattern, but what is the term for
this? Where would I find something like this? I am in NJ and don't
even know where to buy lumber (went to ten places just to find 5/4
Any help would be appreciated.
For any purists,I doubt this table has any antique value. It was a
give away with a dining room set and appears to be a mixture of pine,
oak and maybe mahogany
Not a purist, but ... don't write off the value completely. I
managed to acquire an old desk, one of those with all the cubbies
and fancy drawer handles, etc etc. I found a date on it,
apparently a delivery date, of xx-unreadable-xx37.
In the 50's, it was ending up its life as a table in a gas
station, the hutch part going to a bon fire one evening may years
ago, so the story goes. The one fine evening someone lowered a
big ol' Buick straight-8 on it, and, well, the desk just laid
down! The solid wood top though, didn't break or split. It
lived thru the crash, but the rest of it turned to firewood
pretty much. Even most of the drawers survived in tact, acting
as levers to pull th erest of it apart.
My brother in law got hold of it and between a bunch of bondo
and other repair materials, and a very dark stain, managed to
make it look pretty good again. It lived in elegance in their
farm house until the late 90's when he died.
Meanwhile it did duty at my nephews for a few years until it
was just too big and ugly for their tastes, whereupon my sister
took it back as a computer desk. But it was too big, front to
back. So I made her a new computer desk, to her own specs, which
she really loves. It came out pretty good and I managed to match
the other furniture fairly well with it. Since I wouldn't take
payment for it, she gave me the old desk.
I took it, cannibalized its internals to get matching pieces
of wood to do the visible repair areas, removed all the bondo et
al, and scraped it all down to the bare wood. I had never seen
an all solid-wood piece of furniture before; it was interesting.
The only repair problems I had was the fancy wooden drawer
handles, most of which were badly broken and missing pieces.
Fortunately two were in perfect condition, so a little sawdust,
some wood putty and my late Mother's dremyl tool put those back
together into pretty good shape. They stained fine, too! It's
Shortening the story a little now, first an auctioneer offered
me $400 for it. Then a neighbor $700. Then, a guy who tried to
get it from my sister before I got it, and offered her $650,
called me and offered me $1200 when he saw it. No activity
since, though . This is a small rural area here. BTW, I'm
typing on it now; it'd hold several straight-8's now!
I wonder what I'd have if I had all the pieces? I also
have an old pump organ out on the back porch waiting to be worked
on; it's in tact except the mirror is broken; even the leather's
still soft in the bellows! Or, it was, last time I looked. Hmm,
better go check that out!
When I'm gone, those goes to my daughter and her family. But
that was a pretty good inflation for a freebie that could no
longer stand up to the weight of a straight-8 resting on it. Oh,
and I forgot to mention the falling down a stairwar coming out of
the home on the way to the gas station.
Life is just plain good sometimes.