Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Singer Cabinet Rehab Part 3

Let me just start off by saying I LOVE that I have enough knowledge and a little skill to make something like this happen.  

Cabinet before.
Joe A from the Stroudsburg Home Depot was helping me decide if I should use a chemical stripper.  I was unsure if the top was a laminate or veneer, or just a thick finish.  After sanding and testing some MinWax, we determined it should be stripped.  It's the only way to repair a finish that is this damaged.  
Before stripping.  I used BIX brand.  You spray it on, let it sit, and use a plastic scraper to remove the finish. 

Cabinet top stripped and sanded.
This is hours of work.  After the chemical stripper is washed off, I used a detail sander, hand sanding with various grits of paper, and also steel wool.  

I applied 2 coats of the MinWax Poly Shades, and then remembered that I decided I liked the color/finish of stain and a gloss.  I think the PolyShades can finish a little streaky.  It's never as smooth as a clear finish over stain. Luckily, I had stain in a good color, and had already purchased a gloss clear coat.   

This is after the PolyShade was sanded, before a coat of stain to even it out.  

This is today, after the regular stain, and with one WET coat of clear Minwax Polyurethane.  Challenging photo day! 

Two more coats to go, and then 3 on the bottom of this.  So far, I'm LOVING the look of the wood grain, and the color.  Much better than the PolyShades.  

More on the cabinet later!  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cabinet Rehab Take 2

So, I've been working on machines, with a little bit of quilting and stuff thrown in.

I got a nifty Singer 15-91 in a rare Trapezoid cabinet (also called Spinet).  I decided to take the machine in to be rewired by Pocono Sew & Vac, my favorite machine dealer, and I would refinish the cabinet, because it was in really bad shape, but hopefully would look good when I finished.  I want a machine I can have available just for piecing, with a good 1/4" seam allowance, plus good straight stitches.  I do almost everything else on my Viking, but sometimes it's set for quilting, and I want to just piece.  It's a different use of my brain and energy, and I need to be able to do both tasks.  So, enter $30 garage sale find.

See my previous post on the stripping part.  After I posted that, I realized I would also need to strip the bottom of the flip top.  So, I got out the chemical again, and went to work.  Then it got colder, just a bit too cold to work outside for a few hours.  Today it was in the 50s, so I decided to spend about 2 hours on this project.  I got the machine back last week, so I want to get it back in the cabinet!

I've also been thinking about this, and how I want this to look.  Since parts of the actual cabinet had a very shiny, thick, finish, I wanted the refinished cabinet to also have a thick shiny finish.  I went back to Home Depot and picked up a can of Polyurethane Gloss, thinking I would use it over the stain/finish I had already done.

BUT, after 2 coats of the all in one, I remembered why I didn't like using that product.  It's very difficult to get a pretty, even, smooth finish with that.  The last restore I did, I used a stain and then semi-gloss clear coat, and I liked how that looked much better!  So, today, I sanded down the stripped bottom, and sanded down the coats of all in one I used.  I had a can of just stain, although it was darker than what I had intended on using.  After applying it, I used paper towel to remove it, and now I love the color!  It shows off the wood grain beautifully, so after the coats of clear gloss, it should be exactly what I was hoping for.

Here's the photos from today.
Side 2 after stripping and sanding.  

Side 2 after the regular stain.  I worked a little more after the picture was taken to make it more evenly colored. 

Side 1 after sanding off most of 2 coats of all-in-one finish.  I used just the stain on this side, too, to make the color 

Friday, October 18, 2013

What have you missed??

I didn't write much this summer.  I'm not sure why, but I was busy.  I had fun, and also accomplished a few things.

I sewed a pirate shirt!  I enjoy doing things like that, and when a friend joked on Facebook that he wanted to be a pirate on the fishing boat, I decided to make him the shirt, so he really could be a pirate.  Hopefully he smiled when he got it.  My friend took his picture, standing in front of his painting of a ship, holding a stein (maybe of grog??) and with his gun.  I'm cutting off his head, so he can't be identified.  Isn't that something a pirate would suffer?  lol
I listed it in my Etsy shop as a custom order, and have already made and sold another.  That's fun.

I also worked on some quilt tops.  I'm in the process of quilting them, so I'll share those later.

And, when I heard my brother John's West Hempstead Kiwanis group was honoring Veterans at the spaghetti dinner on 9/11, I asked if we could also present Quilts of Honor to the vets.  I wanted to give my dad a QOH, for his service after WWII, in Japan.  So, I worked on making his quilt, and obtained 6 more from Team Quiltsy on Etsy, the wonderful seller's group I'm lucky to be a member of.  I contacted Tink Linhart, a QOH rep that I've sent tops to, and was able to get more.  This was all accomplished in less than a month.  I couldn't believe how supportive Quiltsy and Tink were, to make sure I had enough quilts to present.  There was an article in the Long Island Herald about the dinner, with lots of photos.

Here's Pam's quilt being presented.

And John presenting my father his quilt.  It's a Double Irish Chain.

This is what the top looked like, before quilting.

I hope to get another good photo of the finished top soon.

There was also a wonderful Girl Cousins Weekend at Liz's beach house in Rhode Island, and also a day and evening in New York City for Quilters Take Manhattan.  Christine and I had a really good time at the main event and at the cocktail party.  The beginning of October was Airing of the Quilts in Tunkhannock, PA.
The weather was perfect, and the quilts and company were wonderful!

So, I've been busy doing lots of fun things.  There's always quilting in there, too.  More about the quilts later!  Thanks for reading.

Singer 15-91 Find and Rehab.

Back in August, my brother called and said he saw a Singer machine in an interesting cabinet, with pencil legs at a garage sale.  Did I want it??  Hmm.  Pencil legs?  How much?  $35.  Hmm, see if she'll take $30?.  Yes, she'll take $30.  Okay, give me a few minutes and I'll be over.

So, I get to the garage sale, and find this unique trapezoid shaped cabinet, and a vintage 15-91 machine, which dates to 1954.  Both obviously need some work, but I'm happy with the price.  Similar machines alone cost over $150 on Ebay, and although this needs some wiring work, the body is in great shape, and the decals are bright with very little wear.

We got it in the back of my Magnum, and then Dad helped me re-load it so I could get other things in the car, to go back to PA.  At that time, I knew I didn't have time to work on the machine, so it was placed in my garage.  I'll update later what I've been doing.

As the weather started to get colder, I knew I needed to get the machine in a more stable setting, so after a few tries, I got the machine out of the cabinet (with help at Pocono Sew & Vac) and they are cleaning and rewiring it, while I tackle the cabinet.

 I asked a guy at Home Depot, who I've gotten good advice from before, what he thought about the wood.  It almost looked like a veneer or laminate because of the depth of the finish and the scratches, but as we played with some sand paper and tested some stains, we realized it may just be a thick coating of some type of varnish.  If the stripper chemical damaged a veneer, I would have problems trying to fix it.  I decided to try the BIX wood stripper, and went to work on the damaged surface.

Here's how it looked before applying the stripper.  You can see some of the PolyShades test colors.  I picked the lower one, Antique Walnut.  It seemed to match the red undertones of the back side of the top. (See the left section in the first photo, which is the underside of this piece).

The whole left side had no finish on it! I did some sanding to smooth it out.  The right side has a horizontal crack in two places, and I opted to sand that, too.  This wood seems thinner, so I'm more worried about using the BIX there.  If I don't like how it looks, I'll find some pattern envelopes from the '50's and mod-podge them on.  That will give the cabinet some period character!  You can see how much damage there is.  The back and front are just as bad.

So, after 2 applications of BIX, here's the sanded smooth top.  Hours of sanding, with a detail sander as well as hand.  Lots and lots of red sawdust.  BUT, it's beautifully smooth.

And one coat of Polyshades but taken in the garage, without good light.

I have more sanding between coats, and at least 2 more coats to do on this.  I need to strip the bottom of this piece, too, and work on the coats of the rest of the cabinet.

I enjoy doing things like this.  I love seeing the wood grain come through, and it gives me satisfaction to take something so damaged and be able to restore it.  I'm not perfect, but I'm always satisfied knowing I can do this.  More to come!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Destash Sale

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I realized it's been months since I wrote about what I've been creating.  I'll have to catch you up later, but today, I'm linking with the Quilters Autumn DeStash sale at Fingertip Shopping.  

I'm helping friends who own a quilt store in their quest to retire.  I took quite a few fabrics, and their supply of Star quilting thread, and two Accuquilt GO! or GO! Baby compatible Value dies.  These items are listed in my Etsy store.  

Here's the deal:

Fabrics are sold by the yard, unless you want to create a bundle, and purchase more than 3 yards, I'll cut exactly what you want, as long as it's over 3 yards total.  Convo me with your list, and I'll create a listing for you to purchase.

Threads are sold as a minimum lot of 4 spools.  Convo me if you wish to mix and match from the variegated and solids.

I will bundle your items together in one listing, and calculate the shipping on your items, then email or convo you with the link for your listing.  AND I will add a coupon code for an extra 10% off your purchase.  

This may mean a little more work on my end, but I want to be able to share the news of sales with my friends.  They are getting the bulk of the sale price from this section.

Here's the link to my store section.  I hope you find something you need!  Thanks so much for looking.

Just remember to CONVO me through Etsy (Under my store name, it says "contact seller") and say you heard about me from Fingertip Shopping to get your discount code, and link to your listing, so I can get all your items bundled and one shipping quote.  

Have fun shopping!  

This deal expires October 28.  You have 2 weeks to take advantage of this special and get your coupon code.  You can either use Paypal or direct check-out through Etsy. When you purchase the listing, the payment info will be available for you to choose.  It's easy!  

There is another section of vintage fabrics, kits and patterns.  Those can be included in this deal.  Mention Fingertip Shopping and I'll send you a code for 10%.