Restoring a Vintage Bookstand

I never stop looking for antiques that I can bring to life back in my workshop – hopefully with just a little effort. So, when I spotted this forgotten, expanding bookstand I knew it had to come home with me.

I start each project like this, by first carefully vacuuming off the dust and dirt using the soft bristle attachment on my shop vacuum.

Since the original finish was intact but dry, I decided all it needed was a coat of Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax. I opted for Minwax’s darker version of the Paste Finishing Wax, as it also disguises any nicks and scratches in the dark oak.

Once it began to harden, I buffed the Paste Finishing Wax with a soft cloth to bring out a protective sheen.

And while this method of restoration does not always result in a dramatic change, it always feels good to know that you have saved a vintage piece while preserving its original appearance – all in just a few minutes time!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

 

 

A Table with Mid-Century Flair

 

I love these pre-glued flat panels for making small tables, so I picked up a couple at my local home improvement center when I decided to make a mid-century end table for my son’s apartment.

The end tables from this era were simple. Oftentimes, they were little more than a box on legs. This means you can decide on the dimensions you want, then cut, nail, glue, and clamp the two sides, top, and bottom together quickly.

Speaking of the bottom, the next step was to screw four “hairpin” steel legs to the underside of the box. If you are lucky, you might find a pair you can salvage off another table in a second-hand shop.

Mid-century finishes were often light colored, so for my son’s table I skipped the stain and went directly to a great new clear finish: Minwax® One Coat Polyurethane. It’s water-based, so clean-up is easy, there are no fumes to need to vent, and it dries in a matter of minutes!

Naturally, I couldn’t wait for Blake to come home for a weekend before seeing how the table would look in my office. Maybe he won’t remember to take it back…..

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

 

 

A Portable Make-Up Station

Mobility is always important, even when it comes to putting on make-up. Rather than having to always work in front of a large wall mirror, I decided to devise a portable make-up center to make things a little easier when Leigh Ann is on the go. I spotted this 18″ unfinished pine table top at a craft store, cut it in half and glued the two halves together to make a thicker base.

I then drilled some 1″ holes into (but not through!) the base to hold tubes of make-up, as well as a slightly angled slot across the back to hold a small mirror.

I like pine because it is inexpensive and lightweight, but when stained it tends to turn blotchy, so after a light sanding with #150-grit sandpaper, I brushed on a coat of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.

Fifteen minutes later, I returned and applied a coat of Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “Classic Gray,” let it soak in for about five minutes, then wiped off the excess stain.

After it dried, I opted to spray on a few coats of Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish to lock in my stain, add a pleasing sheen and give it some protection.

Then it was just a matter of setting it on our bathroom counter and letting Leigh Ann decide which make-up to add to the make up station.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

Two-Towel Rack Shelves

While you might wonder how copper pipes fits in with a woodworking project, I think you’ll soon agree that pairing up unexpected materials can make an ordinary project — like kitchen or bathroom shelves — very unique.

I found these pre-made shelf brackets in our local home improvement center, along with two 24″ oak boards and some inexpensive half-inch copper pipe. I first drilled half-inch holes into the inside of each pair of brackets, then sanded my boards lightly with #150-grit sandpaper.

Small projects like these shelves are perfect for Minwax® Wood Finishing Cloths. Each of the eight cloths in a package come saturated with a stain and finish. This means they wipe on both color and protection in one step. For these shelves, I selected “Maple” to compliment the copper pipes.

Once the stain and finish had dried, I slipped each copper pipe into one of the corresponding holes, then attached each pair of shelf brackets to the underside of the oak boards.

In hardly any time at all, I had two handy display shelves that can be used in any room of the house.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce