I have undertaken repair and restoration to a huge number of pieces .
Below is a cross section of work I have done, showing many pieces before restoration and afterwards. Long Scroll!
Note: every image on this website is of a piece of furniture I have worked on – no library images.
1. Warped Georgian Mahogany Longcase Clock Door
Click here to see the full story of this clock door repair
2. Edwardian oak Dining Table
Edwardian Oak Extending Dining Table with removable centre leaf. The work entailed stripping the existing finish by hand and french polishing. Stripping is done using chemical paint stripper, a scraper and, on oak, stainless steel wire wool. Any sanding is last resort and this table didn’t need it. Alot of finishes can be saved and revived but the finish on this table was too far gone.
The leaves all french polished and lightly waxed – this image shows the table awaiting delivery to the clients home in Bishopston, Bristol. This table is of particularly good quality having the top leaves made from quarter sawn oak with some attractive figuring.
3. Victorian Mahogany Longcase Clock
Severe hinge area damage to a Victorian mahogany longcase clock case as a result of the case falling over in the owners home in Malborough, Wiltshire and the trunk door wrenching off. There are two options to repair this 1) to insert, glue and cramp the original timber fragments 2) build up the pine substrate and patch in new veneer. After talking with the client, I went for the former option to preserve originality.
The completed repair. You can still see slight traces of the join but it’s an honest repair that will last well. The hinge was re screwed with extra long screws that pass through the repaired area via widened pilot holes otherwise when tightening the screws, the repair would have popped out.
4. 20thC Oak Desk
A mid 20thC Oak bureau in poor condition with a possibly original dark stained finish and needing complete restoration including removal of the polished finish – belonging to a client in Hertfordshire.The leg frame was also loose and needed re gluing. The missing handle was in the drawer thankfully.
The desk now finished. There is some distortion to the locking bar of the tambour and of the horizontal desk surface where the two meet which I have left as is. Sometimes it’s better to accept a fault as an honest defect and part of a pieces character. The polished finish was hand stripped and refinished to a natural oak colour showing all the nice variations to the grain colour, with shellac polish and then waxed. This was a sentimental piece handed down within the owners family and she was delighted with the end result!
5. Georgian Mahogany Kneehole Desk
Early Georgian Mahogany Dressing Table or small desk. Measuring only 31″ across and retaining original brasswork. The above image shows the piece before any work commenced! After much work, the item returned to its former glory! Some of the components were beyond repair and have been replaced. Namely – new feet and base mouldings all the way round, new centre door and frame, new veneered facings to all the drawer rails all of which have been constructed from period cuban mahogany. The piece was then revived, new timbers stained and distressed and a hard wax finish applied to the whole. In all about 35 hours work and completed early 2011.
6. William 4th Mahogany Library Bookcase
Superb quality Mahogany Library Bookcase with flame veneers 93″ high. Circa 1830. In dry storage for the last 6 years and before that located for 30 years in the Chairman’s office of an Insurance Company in London. Needing around 20 hours work.
The completed Bookcase awaiting the final work – replacement of broken door glass with very thin period glass that has the ripples and defects showing (never use modern glass in period pieces – it looks terrible) . The bookcase retains it’s existing polished finish having been sympathetically restored. There were some minor veneer losses mostly to the plinth. This piece has some stunning flame mahogany veneers and the quality of the construction is superb – probably one of the best quality library bookcases I have worked on. (completed in 2010 for a client near Wotten Under Edge, Glos)
7. Victorian Mahogany Clock Hood
Click here for the full story of this clock hood restoration
8. 19thC Specimen Table
9. Victorian Burr Walnut Games Table
10. Victorian Mahogany Wellington Chest
Victorian Mahogany Wellington Chest inherited by a private client and used by the clients elderly relative as a tool chest in a workshop. The piece needs extensive restoration to both the cabinet work and the polished finish as can be seen in the image. There were some lifting veneers as a result of damp ingress and a drawer knob missing that needed turning using old timber.
The completed work with repairs undertaken to missing beading and loose and missing veneers. The entire polished finish was carefully removed and the piece re french polished using traditional methods and materials. It was not practical to retain the original finish due to severe sun damage, oxidisation and drying out. (completed 2009 for a private client in Redland, Bristol)
11. 18thC Oak Dresser
A leg of a 18thC oak dresser base that was chewed off by a dog! The original leg was kept and the damaged area carefully rebuilt. (Note – in this image the dresser is lying on padded stretchers not the floor)
The finished work. This repaired really well and the client who lives in Brentry, Bristol was delighted. The dog was also delighted as I received a phone call a week later from the lady saying my repair was discoloured so I returned to the property to see that the dog had been licking at the repaired area due to me having used traditional scotch glue within inside the repaired area – dogs love the taste of the old glues and can smell it a mile off just like our dog who comes into my workshop and tries to lick the gluepot. See below!
Milo, the workshop dog
12. William 4th Dining Table Leaf
13. Carved Victorian Walnut Couch
14. 19thC Mahogany Wall Clock
15. Georgian Mahogany Secretaire Chest
16. 1970’s Hardwood Speaker Box imported from Jamaica
17. William 4th Mahogany Dining Table
For a client near Thornbury, Bristol this substantial William 4th mahogany extending dining table needed complete restoration and a new centre leaf making up. The table had been in the family going way back and had been used as a work table in an outbuilding. There were multiple knife cuts to the top of the leaves so the top had to be heavily sanded. The whole table was in very poor condition.
The finished table ready to be delivered to the client just in time for Christmas dinner with everything working as it should and all leaves intact. The table underwent complete french polishing from the bare wood up.
18. 19thC Mahogany Longcase Clockcase
19. Victorian Burr Walnut Sutherland Table
A stunning Victorian Walnut Sutherland Table with Burr Walnut veneered top belonging to a client in Gloucester. This table is of very unusual design and has four complicated swinging legs that support the flaps. I undertook alot of work involving repairing the underframe and legs.
The table was completely dismantled, all the leg frames were reglued. The top underwent some veneer repairs and was completely re french polished as per the clients instructions
20. Victorian Oak Wall Clock
21. 20thC Bedroom Chair
A severe leg break at the worst place possible. I told the client it was not repairable in a way that I could warrant. They wanted me to repair it anyway and I gave the proviso that the chair must have very light use ie as a bedroom chair for decorative purposes. The chair was of great sentimental value so weakness of any repair was not so much an issue.
The completed repair. Whenever a client comes to me asking for a chair repair I always assess whether the repair can be long lasting. If I cannot make a repair that lasts indefinitely, I don’t take it on thus I never get work back that has gone wrong and the client never feels short changed. It’s pointless for all concerned taking on a repair if it’s going to fail 2 years later.
22. 19thC Skeleton Clock Bases
An interesting little project, that of making some bases for a couple of skeleton clocks. The bases are made from period mahogany, in this case taken from an old table leaf.
The two bases now completed. One is ebonised.
23. Victorian Mahogany Carved Hall Chair
A Victorian mahogany hall chair of typically weak construction. Most of these chairs end up like this. To repair well, the whole chair needs knocking apart and re gluing usually with new glue blocks.
The finished chair. The original finish was gently cleaned and waxed.
24. Victorian Oak Couch
The front section of the scroll arm of an Edwardian oak Couch. The image shows the repair section glued into the arm ready for shaping. As always, old period timber was used for authenticity.
The finished repair. The new section has been carefully carved and blended into the original detail of the arm then coloured to create an exact and seamless match. Also on this couch, the rear joints needed re gluing. To do this, the rear frame needed removing from the seat and this was effected by unpicking the upholstery from the back seat rail and re tacking back on when the couch was back together. I don’t undertake upholstery but will work round upholstery issues in order to execute a repair to a frame.
25. Victorian Mahogany Wind Out Dining Table
Victorian Mahogany Extending Dining Table in derelict condition missing it’s two centre leaves. This piece needed extensive work to all aspects and condition wise was as bad as it gets.. The missing leg is not actually missing, it’s just parted company with the table! The sliding runners needed repairing as they had developed wear which meant when you extend the table, the runners separate. The table has it’s original Joseph Fitter winding mechanism
Completed table in the workshop and ready for delivery. The two loose centre leaves have been made from scratch in period timbers to match the originals. The missing leg has been repaired also numerous repairs to the sliding runners, underframe, existing table leaves and built up moulded edging. The whole table top has been french polished by hand whilst the table base including legs has been revived and waxed. (completed 2006) This example is one table of dozens that I have completed over recent years of varying sizes with one measuring up to 20 feet long. NOTE I no longer undertake work on large extending dining tables.
26. 19thC Mahogany Longcase Clock
A 19thC longcase clock case outside my old workshop after collection from the customer. The base has fallen apart shattering the figured mahogany veneer in the process, and needs completely rebuilding.
The finished case awaiting delivery with all damage rectified. The original finish was retained and carefully cleaned then wax polished and came up really well. Another happy client!
27. Victorian Mahogany Extending Dining Table
A 19thC mahogany extending dining table in kit form and needing extensive work.
Here, the completed table. A long list of work has been completed – dismantle and reglue loose legs, making up of additional leaf, repairing splits to existing leaves, new castors, repairs to sticking sliding runners, complete french polishing of the table top, legs and underframe. NOTE I no longer undertake work on large extending dining tables.
28. 20thC Oak Office Chair
A lovely little oak office chair dating from mid 20thC. belonging to a client in Bradley Stoke, Bristol the chair needed completely rebuilding and broken joints repairing. Usually when a piece is in this state of disrepair, it has to be totally rebuilt.
The finished chair showing its original polished finish which was just cleaned, revived and waxed. It’s often surprising how well a tired looking finish improves with cleaning and waxing.
29. Victorian Mahogany Pembroke Table
Victorian Mahogany Pembroke table. Image shows the rule joint broken away in the hinge area – a very common fault on these type of flap tables and for restorers a tricky repair.
I did a seamless repair which consisted of new timber being scarfed in to the damaged area – the trick is get an exact match with the new timber which is of the same age and type as the original table. I and most restorers have large quantities of old timbers for these type of repairs.
30. Edwardian Mahogany Inlaid Bookcase Cornice
An inlaid mahogany edwardian bookcase cornice with various damage to the mouldings.
another invisible repair completed!
31. 18thC Elm Box
19thC Elm box in quite a bad state and alot of wood worm damage. The piece was just about repairable.
Now completed with all the repairs done and the box cleaned and waxed. The original finish and colour needed to be saved on this as it was so attractive. I also treated the box for woodworm free of charge for the customer.
32. Georgian Oak Chest of Drawers
A georgian oak chest of drawers. The oak drawer fronts are cross banded in mahogany. Alot of work needed here as the image shows. I completely rebuilt the carcase but the top was too damaged to save so needed replacing. For this I used some period oak which once fitted was crossbanded in saw cut mahogany veneers and decorated with ebony stringing.
The finished chest. The handles are replacements from a supplier which makes period brassware from original moulds. The whole chest was repolished and waxed. This image shows the chest on display at a trade clients stand at an Antiques Fair in Oxfordshire in 2008.
33. 1930s Oak Bureau
A mid 1930’s solid oak bureau of really good quality. This is the image emailed to me by a Bristol client in 2015 for which I provided a quotation for it’s complete restoration. The work consisted of rebuilding the leg frame as the stretchers had broken joints also completely stripping the existing polished finish. I do all my stripping by hand using chemical strippers (no tank dipping!)
The bureau now completed. The finish comprised of a medium oak stain finished off with a hand applied shellac finish to a satin shine. A new leather lining was fitted to the interior. These type of pieces always finish well and I am finding more and more customers are inheriting them from older family members and wanting them restored for sentimental reasons.
34. Georgian Mahogany Tripod Table