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Repurposing furniture
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Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 15 5:17 pm    Post subject: Repurposing furniture  Reply with quote    

Actually I hate the word repurposing, furniture butcher is more apt in this case.

I've been picking up the odd bit of cheap oldish furniture for the house as it's cheaper and better quality than modern flat packed stuff. I've also picked up the odd bit of rough stuff for the workshop.

Whilst looking at bits you often see something that's not ideal for the house but just seems too good to go in the shed. For example, I've seen a small mahogany side board. Now it's a solid two cupboard unit that could be picked up for a 10, ideal for tool storage etc. On the other hand it's possibly 150 years old and it seems wrong to get it dirty or even drill holes in it for a vice.

Thing is, if I don't buy it it could well end up in a skip. So, to butcher or not?

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41738
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 15 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Use it. Stuff was made to be used. Or post some pics and see if we want it.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41738
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 15 6:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Repurposing furniture Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
Actually I hate the word repurposing, furniture butcher is more apt in this case.


Upcycling is the word nowadays.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33078
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 15 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

deffo get it,chop it or use it with or without adaptations .it will have more than a few sq feet of good timber for less than the price of the same area of mdf

ive recently reused an old oak piano case for a variety of nice things such as gas meter box ,interior window sills etc etc and any odd bits of carcass,offcuts etc are good firewood

Bodrighy



Joined: 15 Aug 2008
Posts: 2157
Location: Near Devizes
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 15 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I get a fair bit of my wood for turning from old furniture, off cuts, factory rejects etc. Some woods, spanish mahogany is a good example, are no longer legally available and elm in any decent size is scarce so often this is the only way to get this sort of wood.

Pete

Woo



Joined: 19 Sep 2011
Posts: 780
Location: Mayenne, Pays de Loire
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 15 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Defiantly use it. we have a workshop full of huge old French dressers, buffets, to be turned into our kitchen in the near future. we will be cutting and chopping and painting it to taste. they all came from Emmeaus centres and none was more than 50
My Mum and Dad started being all sentimental about keeping it wood colour and its such a shame... but IMO its a means to an end and would be fire wood or worse landfill if not up-cycled!
we are looking at getting a cheep kitchen for this year as we are running out of time but were horrified at the price of plastic covered toot!
you would be honouring the artisan who sweated over the piece by putting your tools in it!!!

sean
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41738
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 15 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Woo wrote:
Defiantly use it.


That's the way to go. You can do what you like but you have to perform a clenched-fist salute before you do it.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33078
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 15 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    


Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 15 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: Repurposing furniture Reply with quote    

sean wrote:
Treacodactyl wrote:
Actually I hate the word repurposing, furniture butcher is more apt in this case.


Upcycling is the word nowadays.


Just as long as no one mentions shabby chic

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 15 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
ive recently reused an old oak piano case for a variety of nice things such as gas meter box ,interior window sills etc etc and any odd bits of carcass,offcuts etc are good firewood


Funny you should mention pianos, I saw one that was made of a superbly figured wood, thankfully it eventually sold and didn't tempt me any longer.

My problem is I buy something intending to cut/paint/modify and then can't bring myself to. I picked up an old Target metal and wood hi-fi stand, with spikes etc, for 1. Intended to use it as workshop shelving but then dug out my old hi-fi separates.

If it's damaged then fine, but if it's in very good condition it just seems a little wrong.

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 15 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Repurposing furniture Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
sean wrote:
Treacodactyl wrote:
Actually I hate the word repurposing, furniture butcher is more apt in this case.


Upcycling is the word nowadays.


Just as long as no one mentions shabby chic


Just shabby here. I am trying to nerve myself to paint quite a bit of ours. I do not want a bedroom full of old but dark, dark wood. I don't think I'm going to be brave enough.

I am having serious doubts about the oak shelf I got Jack to put into an old clothes press. It's currently a much more useful cabinet for glasses and an awful lot of sloe gin. I looked at it yesterday and thought it was probably much older than Victorian. I'm not sure Victorians ever bothered with carefully panelling the back of anything.

Anyway Treac, we are expecting before and after pictures of waxed and carefully distressed edges, delicate sloan colours...

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 15 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Speaking of dark furniture, that's one thing I'll take up with any old ghosts I see wandering about the place. Why on earth was it fashionable to stain everything so dark?

I've got an nice roll top oak desk, very useful and well made. It would be lovely in natural oak but it's a bit dark at the moment as it was stained dark brown. Sadly it looks like a spirit stain so, apart from the worn edges, it's going to stay mostly dark I fear.

I don't mind painted furniture, by the way. It's the take-a-faily-decent-looking-piece-paint-and-then-scape-it-about-a-bit-to-make-it-look-worse-than-when-you-started look I'm not keen on.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43965
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 15 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We're "repurposing" MIL's sewing machine cabinet as a bedside. Old furniture is way better than new, that's why we ended up making some; everything we could afford was crap

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33078
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 15 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

the dark staining of oak etc was a victorian gothic fashion statement that carried on up to the 1930s it was intended to simulate the colour of ancient wood that had many applications of linseed oil/wax/smoke ,oxidation etc etc .the real stuff started off pale but they missed that thought.

a bit like the "shabby chic"thing with paint and a wire brush.

if the timber has the depth to make it worth while a run through a thicknesser to take a few mm off the surface will often get down to the natural colour .it depends somewhat on the type of oak as some is non porous and some you can use as a drinking straw but tis worth a go .

a plane and a sander is hard work but will also do the job

ps what looks like stained wood is often a dark varnish that only sunk in a little which will come off with caustic or nitromors and a good sanding,at the mo im looking at a bit that was varnished dark and part of a fire surround which has come up to just darker than a manilla envelope colour by that method.

with good timbe tis worth experimenting before you go for the primer /uc and gloss

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 15 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack, did I ask you already? I want to paint floorboards white including the dark stained surround, you know proper Victorian edging round a carpet, finish. Will ordinary floor paint cover it or is it likely to bleed through? It's a bedroom and won't get much wear and nice and smooth so I don't want to fiddle with it too much.

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