Friday, September 22, 2006

Grandma's China Cabinet

In July we packed up the Hillbilly Cargo Carrier the we leased from Redneck Rentals and hauled my Grandmother's China Cabinet from my Father's house to ours.

Over the last couple weekends I have been cleaning and tung oiling the cabinet. Other than dusting Grandma hadn't done much to take care of her china closet the last 15 or 20 years. Then it sat untouched at my parents house for about 6 years. Fortunately it survived all this fairly well. I didn't want to refinish the cabinet. I just wanted to restore what was there. I don't like the look of refinished antiques. They always look, well, refinished. I prefer to refurbish the finish in order to preserve the patina and wear patterns that make old well used antiques so attractive. Tung oil is my favorite cure for older antique furniture. It will soak into the wood and protect it without significantly changing the look of the piece.

Once the wooden part of the cabinet ws taken care of I had to get the windows and door reinstalled. The glass had veen removed for tranport. The four side windows sit in a rabbet that is cut around each opening and are held in with half-round trim pieces. The first couple went in pretty easily. But once I had one window in place on each side it got tougher. I wasn't able to reach in through the sides anymore and could only work through the open doorway. It was pretty tough to get twisted around inside so I could hold the window into place, position the half-rounds and then tap the brads into place. Tapping the brads into place is difficult because I don't want to be hammering near the glass so I had to hold a nail set onto the brad while I tapped on the end with a hammer. So if you were keeping track that's one hand on the window, one hand on the half-round, one hand on the nail set and one hand on the hammer. So I twisted around through the door (without resting my weight on the bottom of the cabinet) and got my four hands into place and eventually got all the half-rounds nailed back into place. Then I settled down with my friend, Mr. Heating Pad to relaxe the kinks out of my back and neck.

Here's what Grandma's china closet looks like right after my dear wife started filling it up.

Grandma's China Closet

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