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ANTIQUE FURNITURE RESTORATION DISCUSSION BOARD

Re: antique trunk

Posted By: James Schooley (0-1pool246-206.nas2.sioux-city1.ia.us.da.qwest.net)
Date: 4/4/4 01:42

In Response To: antique trunk (kevcole33)

The right paper is hard to find, look for close outs so you don't have to buy too much. But the old paper had a fine design that is hard to locate. I buy several rolls when I find a good one so I don't have to look so often. If you have any of the old paper and the boarders save these for matching the paper to. As for the boarders and other designs, try to remove them carefully, steam should help. Press them between two pieces of wax paper and some wieght from a heavy book. Later you can take them to a good print shop and have them scanned for color copy. Tell them you need to cut and glue this paper so they will use the good ink and paper. I assemble all the best pieces on a seperate page with spray mount glue so I get the longest and best legnth to work with. Later I take the first few copies and assemble them on one sheet so as to reduce the number of copies I will have to buy. If you have a scanner and a really good printer you can do this yourself, but you must seal the ink and avoid water base glue, so I just go to a pro for the printing. Van Dyke's has a lot of the trunk items for repair. The clout nails are a must if you need to replace anything, use a needle nose vice grip and a sharp awl to loosen the old nails. Once you take off the paper they will show, clinched into the wood. Most will break as soon as you start to bend them, so just get new ones and toss the old, they arn't going to work again. When you want to replace a nail, get a heavy hammer and hold it inside the trunk where the new nail will emerge. As you pound in the new nail, the hammer inside will cause the nail to bend over. Hit the nail until it has clinched tight. You may want to darken the heads of new nails, a little cleaning ammonia wiped on with a Q tip will do the trick on brass unless coated, which can be scratched off with coarse steel wool or lacquer thinner, then recoat with brass lacquer after darkening. If the metal has not been painted you can mask it off while you strip and refinish the wood. I have seen a lot of golden oak or fruitwood type stains used on these items. As you strip the original color will start to show while the wood is still wet, that is my suggestion, rather than changing what was original. The black paint was a very thin wash like finish. I clean and sand lightly, then reblack with a very thin coat of black shoe polish. Buff this lightly with steel wool to bare the high spots and spray on a clear semigloss lacquer to seal the metal. The top coat can go over the wood and metal all at once, just tape off every thing like leather handels etc. Once the clear lacquer is done you can polish the wood parts a little to give them some extra shine. I paper last, and often a wood filler is needed where there is rough wood and cracks as well as some sanding with 120 grit paper. Often I need to put a 1/4" ply bottom in since the old one is all cracked and weak. A tight fit can be just glued in and wieghted down over night. As for the often missing tray, I like to make them from aromatic cedar for moth protection and to help control any mildew smell. Trunks are alot of work but they are also most gratifying, good luck, James.

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