Restoration Of A Shapland & Petter Mahogany Coal Cabinet

This Barnstaple based company manufactured some of the finest pieces of furniture in the Arts and Crafts style.

The coal box was missing it’s pierced splashback

coal cabinet 1 (3)

Four of its spindles were missing

missing spindles 2 (2)

To make the missing spindles I glued together between newspaper, billets of mahogany the same diameter as the original spindles, this enabled me to separate them later in the process.

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The profile was then planed and sanded on both sides.

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The billets were then separated and re-glued with newspaper between each one again and the process repeated.


Finished spindles ready to be separated with a sharp knife

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 Sanded and ready to polish


For the splashback, corner brackets and moulding I used a piece of  reclaimed timber that was already polished the same colour.  The design for the pierced hearts I took from a similar item of Shapland and Petter furniture of the same period.



The top had water marks on it and was meths stripped and re-polished.


Any digs and scratches were filled, touched in and finally the whole piece was waxed.


Finished Coal Cabinet



Restoring A Biedermeier Tambour Desk Part 2

Replacing the missing gallery rails

I made a simple scratch stock  from a hacksaw blade and a piece of scrap timber. The hacksaw blade was ground to the profile I required. I then draw it up and down the length of the rail to scrape the profile out on both sides.  This could have been done with a router but I find this method far quicker on short lengths of timber.


The rail was then papered with 180/240 grit, dampened with a cloth to raise the grain and  repapered using 240 grit.


The rails were tenoned into the four corner posts.


Turning the gallery spindles

CIMG2512When turning the spindles, I stained and friction polished them on the lathe to save time later, again I dampened to raise the grain and repapered.

CIMG2515Sixteen spindles later …


Turning the feet

These were turned using some reclaimed feet.  They were turned in the same style, but the size was reduced.


The finished feet


Restoring A Biedermeier Tambour Desk Part 3

Restoring A Biedermeier Tambour Desk Part 1

Repairing the leg of a Shield-Back Chair


This chair was brought into my workshop with a broken leg which had been badly repaired in the past using iron brackets.

Photo0088The leg was moulded on the two face sides. Rather than use new mahogany on this project I decided to conserve as much of the original chair as possible.

Photo0093Cutting the moulding off the damaged leg as a veneer, I then trimmed an old mahogany table leg down to size and applied the moulded face sides, giving me a leg that matched the original retaining both the mouldings and patination.

Photo0094I re-cut the mortices, repaired the tenons on the frame and glued and cramped the frame together. The previous bracket screw holes were filled, touched in and the chair was waxed finished.

Photo0095The finished article was a satisfying job conserving as much of the original look and patination of the chair as possible.


Copy Of A Miniature William lV Breakfast Table


This is a copy I made of a miniature William lV Breakfast Table that came through the workshop. The top being Mahogany veneered and inlaid with an eight point marquetry star in ebony and satinwood. It has an octagonal tapered column on a platform base, terminating in bun feet.

Height: 5.3” (13.5cm) | Diameter: 7” (17.8cm)

The table top in a tilted position.
I have used a thimble to give an idea of actual size

The top is veneered in Mahogany

Inlaid with an eight point marquetry star in ebony and satinwood

On a platform base, terminating in bun feet with an octagonal tapered column.

Miniature copy of a full size mahogany chest of drawers

I have always loved working with wood and in-between restoring antiques, inspired by the furniture I have worked on, I have made a few miniature pieces of furniture.  These pieces have been earmarked by my children and with grandchildren coming along I think I need to produce some more.

Mahogany Chest of Drawers C1790-1800

Based on a late Georgian bow front chest of drawers all the details were copied exactly. The Pine carcass is mahogany veneered and the top has a cross grained moulded edge.  The backboards are of pine and the drawer linings and bottoms are made of oak.The dovetails on the oak linings were cut with a scalpel and the front edge of the drawers were cock beaded in mahogany. The interior has dust boards and drawer stops.

Height 7”(17.8cm) Width 8” (20cm) Depth 3.7” (9.4cm)

I have used a thimble to give an idea of actual size.

Pine backboards, oak drawer linings and bottoms.

The dovetails on the oak linings were cut with a scalpel.

The front edge of the drawers are cock beaded in mahogany and the bottom has swept French feet.

The bottom is blocked in the traditional manner.

As Featured on BBC’s Antiques Road Show

This lovely late 19th Century Inlaid Chest of Drawers was featured on BBC’s Antiques Road Show at Hartland Abbey last summer and was brought into my workshop earlier this year for restoration.

The chest is inlaid with Ebony, Ivory, Abalone Mother of Pearl and Horn.  There were over 200 missing pieces of inlay which I had to create individually and fit by hand.

19th Century Inlaid Chest of Drawers (Restored version)

Close up of the drawers

Side view

Top of inlaid chest of drawers

Restoring an Antique Picture Frame

Welcome to my first post! This is how I restored an antique picture frame in need of some tender loving care …

A Picture frame missing some mouldings and damage to the inside edges

Making the mould

Filling the mould

Pieces of mould ready to fit

Matching the pattern and fitting to frame

Patch inside edges

Touching in with Gold Finger and pigments

Ready to wax

Finished article

Eh Voila! Before and after.