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  • Writer's pictureRupert Eachells

Restoration and fix ups

Many pieces are more of sentimental value to clients than monetary, and that’s priceless. Over the years I have been asked to restore many of them to their future glory.

These drawer handles were burnt/damaged in a fire. I had to carve a pair based on the burnt sample.

When asked to restore a piece of furniture, I always advise the client what is best before I start. Sometimes, I have to restore pieces that have previously "restored", unfortunately by someone who had no idea what they were doing. It's frightening how some "restorers" can quite literally destroy a lovely piece. I’ve re-restored chairs, where someone had made special metal brackets to hold the frames of the chair together, and also used super glue! An excuse often used, when they can’t fix a piece properly, it is to tell the client that the fault is part of the character.

I designed and made this wing chair upholstered in the green fabric a few decades ago, using American White Oak. I then restored in and re-upholstered in 2020.

Copying furniture is a real challenge, and time consuming. When copying a chair for example, the new chair has to match the existing chair perfectly and that is more difficult that creating a stand alone piece.

This clients coffee table was damaged by their Pet dog. The bottom photo shows it lovingly restored.

To my knowledge restoration is not taught here in Perth, and quite likely not in Australia. This means that many local so called craftsmen, do not have the knowledge or ability to restore furniture correctly. This can result in some dodgy workmanship and an average result at best, or a downright disaster at worst!

These are picture of a Jarrah Pipe Organ in a Private Catholic school, that I restored in 2018. Someone had decided to lacquer the carcass with Scandinavian oil, Not a good idea.

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