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September 23, 2018, 07:49:55 PM
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Topics - SteveA

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6
General Discussion / No Charge ?
« on: September 18, 2018, 01:20:17 PM »
An ottoman came in with a broken leg.  Customer said could you also sew the rip between the base and top cushion.  I said sure - no worries.  I didn't add on to the estimate - I should have.
What a mistake.  To repair the leg I had to remove the cambric, tack strip, and fabric from one corner - 8 inches in each direction.  After the leg was repaired I closed up and I tried to stitch the fabric up top.  Too hard to get in there so I thought about how much time it would take to remove the base fabric completely now that I've already buttoned up around the leg. So  I start sewing it in place with 69 and as I pull the cushion up to make room for my hand I tear the thread stitches I already have in.  I switched to button thread - two hours later and the last few stitches using a hemostat - it was done. Never again - The stitches look a little like Frankenstein's head but they are strong

General Discussion / Nocliner
« on: September 16, 2018, 11:26:21 AM »
Service call to residence - Sofa w/recliners - handle doesn't raise footrest on one side.  Hoping it was just out of the slot - turns out one side of the plastic that captures the dowel pin was broken but the outside part of the plastic intact.  Sofa 9 years old - made in China.  I took the cable and handle off - With CA glue repaired the crack on the one bad side.  Roughed up the plastic in the cavity around the crack - put CA glue on the surface of the cavity than put a blob of plumbers epoxy in the cavity capturing the pin on the bad side and surrounding it with epoxy in place.  After that dried - more CA glue around the edges and put it all back together.  Nothing else I could think of to do to put it back together.  Maybe new handles are available but since this was my first handle/cable repair issue I had no spare parts with me.
If anyone knows a good place to stock up on recliner parts I'd appreciate the leads for the next time.  The repaired handle worked fine - should last a while -


General Discussion / Plaque
« on: September 14, 2018, 07:23:54 AM »
This job came in yesterday - the hard part is done.  Was broken in 5 pieces - forgot to take a before photo.  Epoxied it back together and inserted steel pins cut into the back for added strength -
cast masonry art work ( wine goddess) -  weighs over 100 lbs or so - I had a beer while I was gluing it fortunately no uneven joints :)


General Discussion / Staple Remover
« on: August 26, 2018, 10:49:52 AM »
Anyone try the staple puller plier made by Osborne - style # 600 - hadn't seen this before

General Discussion / Seats
« on: August 18, 2018, 12:09:24 PM »
I got 6 seats to do - Stickley side chairs - cherry.  The no sag was mostly torn away and the owners are sitting in a hole.  The foam is good and I will use webbing, burlap, and cotton and put the existing foam back - it's in good shape and sculptured nicely to the seat.  Over the old seat foam was a 1/4 inch foam wrap that was glued to the seating foam and to the sides of the wood seat.  I don't think many here (experienced upholsters) would take the time to razor off the foam from the wood.  I'm guessing you would tear it off and replace it with new.  It took time but now it will be easier for me to put it back in the original footprint - everything is labeled.  The seats were very tight and although the new fabric is thinner I still need to mill down the edges 1/16 on four sides and touch the corners.

General Discussion / Entrance Doors
« on: August 10, 2018, 04:09:51 PM »
This was Thursday's job.  Working on site - the up and down from working on the floor was a killer.  Below photos in no particular order - the bottom of the door was split because someone tried to force the door open without lifting the bolt that locks the bottom of the door.

General Discussion / Leatherman
« on: August 01, 2018, 11:39:09 AM »
Since the day I started working I've been carrying a pocket knife.  Buck, Gerber, than Benchmade with a pocket clip.  It's part of my anatomy.  The Benchmade blade is under 4 inches long.  My boys keep telling me although the blade isn't over sized - the knife can be snapped open with one hand making it illegal.  After a year of them hounding me I decided to go in a different direction.  I bought the Leatherman sidekick - didn't need the models with whistles, fire starter, scissors, etc.  I don't know about the rest of you but if you carry something and it's not a Leatherman - GET ONE !  I've had so many uses for this thing - it's the best  and it's legal.  The only modification I made was to add a pocket clip since one clip didn't seem to hold the knife secure in my pocket.  I'm thinking of turning the bottle opener into an awl.  What are you carrying if anything - firearms don't count.

General Discussion / Young Bulls
« on: July 29, 2018, 09:52:45 AM »
Last week was a little slow and I didn't have work Thur + Fri but on fri  I received a call  from a furn store who had a serious problem with a California King bed assembly.  The customer could not miss anymore work and asked if someone could come Sat.  The manager told me they already had 2 teams of young bulls out there and no one has been able to assemble the bed.  The bed was made in Vietnam - no assembly instructions included - 150 pieces of hardware w/full canopy.  Well, I mentioned I would need a helper and $ 400.00 should do it.  This manager jumped right on it and I thought they seem happy with the cost and I will make up the lost days from this past week. 
Sat morning I said to my Wife - how about taking a ride with me - I have a bed to assemble and need an extra pair of hands. She said sure - off we went.  It was worth every penny and more for this assembly.  What a pain putting this together - up and down 100 times - the side rails with half moon hardware secured with a lock washer, flat washer and nut.  The nut uses their crappy little wrench that's perfectly centered and you're turning the nut 1/5 of the time on each attempt.  The side with the drawers had me working in a 4 inch wide cavity.  4 hours later the bed was assembled.  The customer's Son walked into the room and said wow - I can't believe it's assembled.  Glad it was done I was finally ready to start speaking to people again.  Time for a little humor I said to the Son - I bet when you saw this old couple come to the door you thought my Mom's bed will never be assembled.  The Son a US Army service member looked right at me and replied without a smile or missing a beat - Sir that's exactly what I thought !   God love him but I wanted to deck him for his honesty and observation. 
When we got home I said I'm going to sit in the L/R chair for a few minutes than cut the grass.  She woke me up at dinner time - this old guy was wiped out.
Turns out the bed was designed to be used with or without drawers, with or without box springs.  Depending on how you will use it determines how the wood parts are orientated.
Since it takes so much time to make a hardware connection - if you do it wrong and have to reverse things you loose a half hour.  Assembly directions would have saved me a good hour and a lot of wear and tear on my knees.

General Discussion / Rough Day
« on: July 10, 2018, 10:14:47 AM »
An account sent me out to see what I can do for the piping on the back of a sofa facing the room where the designer said the customer disliked the look.  When I looked at the photo I wondered if it was just two threads that were objectionable or the gather at the seam.  Turned out the overlap was too fat -

I didn't have any extra made up welting from the designer's shop so went the route of snipping away some excess fabric and stapling it down tighter.  It was rough - the driveway was 10 feet away from the ground floor entrance - their air conditioning was on full blast and my staple gun got condensation on it the second I walked through the door. I had to separate the sectionals,  remove the dust cover, tacking strip, and the piping to fix it.  At least 10 - 12 staples had to be removed.  They made me coffee and it took 40 minutes to complete. I didn't get back until after 10:30am.  Rough Day !  But they were happy -

The Business Of Upholstery / Over Looked ?
« on: May 04, 2018, 07:34:30 AM »
I was visiting my buddy Jose a life long upholsterer - a customer came in and showed us a photo of a large French Settee that was just refinished.  The seat was ply wood and the finish high quality.  They asked how much would it cost to recover this and make the seat softer ?  Jose quoted $ 900.00. 
Without suggesting if the quote was too high or too low I asked him " how did you get to that price."  Without hesitation he said - I need springs, foam, cotton, burlap, webbing, and piping.

  He never mentioned the labor working around a newly refinished frame, matching the pattern, cutting around all the leg and backrest posts, and making the backrest and seat look well sculptured.  I thought to my self it's not quite the size of a sofa but $ 1200.00 would not have been out of line for this area of the World.

 I realize I'm doing the same thing - when a customer asks for a price I think about how much paint remover and lacquer I need - how much sanding - is it going to be a polished finish -  how far to go to pick it up - do I need help to carry it -  and the labor goes mostly unconsidered.
Is anyone else guilty of over looking the experience and craftsmanship that's brought to the table when a price is quoted ?

General Discussion / Serger
« on: April 22, 2018, 05:56:18 PM »
Lucky estate sale purchase Saturday.  Don't know what I'll do with it - I can't make drapes or slip covers.  I'm dreading the learning curve but could not refuse the price with 10 rolls of thread. It was marked $ 50.00 and they sold it to me for $ 20.00 because there was no plug with it and I couldn't test it.  I took a chance.  My Wife went back to the sale the next day and found the plug with the foot petal - they didn't charge her.  Only one time I made arm covers and just made a 1/4 inch hem on the edge and it worked fine so not sure how I can incorporate this into the arsenal.
Do many of you use this kind of machine and if so please tell me some goods points why I have this -

General Discussion / Joe Camel
« on: April 11, 2018, 03:04:14 PM »
New job came in today - Middle eastern 19th century - incredible carving - just some pieces of the base were broken and chipped.
I know you thought I should have titled this entry Hump Day

General Discussion / Saw Tooth
« on: April 02, 2018, 05:21:03 PM »
New repair - table from India.  The saw tooth decoration on the apron was broken off and missing in several places.  I put white paper behind the decoration - sprayed black paint to create a positive and negative template.  Than holding the template behind the decoration I could trace what was missing rather than replace the pieces making 90 degree straight butt cuts. 


General Discussion / Japy Freres
« on: March 14, 2018, 09:06:52 AM »
Started this last week - French clock from the 19th century.  Oak wood with time piece - coiled gong, and aneroid barometer.  Replaced missing curved trim on right crest - pieced in some wood to fill shrinkage on face area - and replaced one missing plinth support under the pilaster - stripping and sanding next


General Discussion / Back Splash
« on: February 27, 2018, 01:28:56 PM »
Project yesterday.  Had been glued before and broke again.  Fitted back poorly from old repairs sloppy gluing.  Reinforced the back with wood splines.
Color and finish w/flat lacquer -

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