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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
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    3,167

    Default Anyone an Antique Expert?

    We have an old grain scale, like this one http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QAN45uRP96...0/100_2251.jpg
    but it's not in such good shape - the metal parts are rusty and one of the handle ends is broken off. We would like to fix it up and use it as a coffee table. I'm just curious if refinishing the top (sanding and varnish) and the metal parts (painting?) and possibly trying to replace the handle, would completely ruin it. If not, what is the best way to go about doing this? As in, what's the best way to deal with the rust, and to fix the handle?

    It's such a neat thing, I would hate to completely ruin it, but I also hate that it's sitting in storage with no one appreciating it.

    It actually still works (give or take 15 pounds, but we were also playing with it on a very uneven surface, so that might make a difference).
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    5,333

    Default

    I'm not an expert, I just watch all the tv shows like antiques roadshow and american pickers and all that...

    but I'm thinking that if you think you ever might want to sell it as an antique down the road you should not refinish and paint it. Probably if you could get the rust off and get by with the top that would be suggested.

    if it's a family piece that is going to stay in your family then I would do something as neutral as possible to refinish the wood and simply clean off the metal, so as to make it similar to the picture you had here. clean clean clean clean and then see what you have before you start painting and refinishing. I think... I'm no expert...

    what a cool thing to have!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2008
    Location
    Central NY
    Posts
    734

    Default Ahh, want all my trade secrets, eh?

    OK, well I AM an antique expert, I'm a museum qualified antique & art restorationist: http://home.earthlink.net/~streamliner/

    It's a beautiful piece, I don't see many of these, so yes, it must be treated with respect. But since you'd like to use it,(rightly so) you're going to have to alter it's condition. It's not the Mona Lisa, so really, how concerned are you if your work devalues the piece?

    A one-to-one turpentine/linseed oil mixture is a fantastic cleaner for both wood & metal, I'd start there. (believe me, you'll use it again elsewhere) Use disposable hog hair chip brushes & old toothbrushes for the cracks.

    First of all, you don't have to completely refinish the wood. If it's painted, why not just accept the paint and CLEAN it?
    If you want to remove the paint, just scrape using a commercial stripper. Leave traces of paint in the cracks-it gives interest.

    If the varnish is worn you can simply clean & refresh the varnish with a new coat. I often use Formby's Refinisher to revitalize badly worn surfaces. (wear a respirator with new cartridges!)
    I like Minwax's Marine Spar Varnish as a topcoat, but you can use anything that's reversible, NOT anything like basketball court polyeurethane. Varnish & shellac both mellow with age and will protect the surface. As the surface wears, you just add a new coat!

    You can wire brush the metal and oil it if it's just surface rust or Navel Jelly it if it's deeply pitted. It can then be periodically oiled to keep it moisturized.
    If you want to seal the surface, Rustoleum makes a great product, "Rust Reformer" that coats the rust & turns black. It's a liquid in a squeezy bottle. I use it as a primer on everything from metal porch furniture to my car's emerging rust spots. But it will seal the moving parts & is irreversible, so that's your call.

    If you want to rebuild the broken handle, make sure you dowel & CLAMP the new piece on. Use regular yellow wood glue like Elmers. Carve the new piece to match after 24 hour curing, then match the finish.

    It's a big process that requires proper tools & materials and a few days work, so you can see why a restorer charges as they do. But I will tell you sanding is for CHUMPS, I certainly don't do it more than lightly, it's NOT the way to go.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    3,167

    Default

    Thank you so much! I really appreciate your input, Tiki! We have found a few treasures since we bought this old farm but we are totally uneducated on what to do with them.
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
    Posts
    32,111

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TikiSoo View Post
    OK, well I AM an antique expert, I'm a museum qualified antique & art restorationist: http://home.earthlink.net/~streamliner/

    It's a beautiful piece, I don't see many of these, so yes, it must be treated with respect. But since you'd like to use it,(rightly so) you're going to have to alter it's condition. It's not the Mona Lisa, so really, how concerned are you if your work devalues the piece?

    A one-to-one turpentine/linseed oil mixture is a fantastic cleaner for both wood & metal, I'd start there. (believe me, you'll use it again elsewhere) Use disposable hog hair chip brushes & old toothbrushes for the cracks.

    First of all, you don't have to completely refinish the wood. If it's painted, why not just accept the paint and CLEAN it?
    If you want to remove the paint, just scrape using a commercial stripper. Leave traces of paint in the cracks-it gives interest.

    If the varnish is worn you can simply clean & refresh the varnish with a new coat. I often use Formby's Refinisher to revitalize badly worn surfaces. (wear a respirator with new cartridges!)
    I like Minwax's Marine Spar Varnish as a topcoat, but you can use anything that's reversible, NOT anything like basketball court polyeurethane. Varnish & shellac both mellow with age and will protect the surface. As the surface wears, you just add a new coat!

    You can wire brush the metal and oil it if it's just surface rust or Navel Jelly it if it's deeply pitted. It can then be periodically oiled to keep it moisturized.
    If you want to seal the surface, Rustoleum makes a great product, "Rust Reformer" that coats the rust & turns black. It's a liquid in a squeezy bottle. I use it as a primer on everything from metal porch furniture to my car's emerging rust spots. But it will seal the moving parts & is irreversible, so that's your call.

    If you want to rebuild the broken handle, make sure you dowel & CLAMP the new piece on. Use regular yellow wood glue like Elmers. Carve the new piece to match after 24 hour curing, then match the finish.

    It's a big process that requires proper tools & materials and a few days work, so you can see why a restorer charges as they do. But I will tell you sanding is for CHUMPS, I certainly don't do it more than lightly, it's NOT the way to go.
    nothing really to add.
    except maybe
    I don't see anything 'broken' in the photo.

    as for use as coffee table (cool piece, I am jealous! ) I would consider making little blocks of wood or high density foam to secure the presumably movable platform/table top - otherwise your coffee might spill everytime somebody picks something off the table.
    Plus I'd consider putting a glass top on there, making for easier cleanup.

    But I can attest to the turpentine/linseed oil mixture, my mom had used that one with great success on her projects, it even weather proofs stuff for a season pretty well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    4,405

    Default

    rather than making a coffee table out it....make a couch... then you could weigh yourself to see how much your are gaining while watching all those exercise shows


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2010
    Posts
    4,479

    Default

    I would do absolutely NOTHING with it until you have a professional look at it. Yes, sometimes refinishing and "repairing" can decrease the value of the item.

    Whether it is extremely valuable, $-wise, or not, talk to a pro...



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    3,167

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    nothing really to add.
    except maybe
    I don't see anything 'broken' in the photo.

    as for use as coffee table (cool piece, I am jealous! ) I would consider making little blocks of wood or high density foam to secure the presumably movable platform/table top - otherwise your coffee might spill everytime somebody picks something off the table.
    Plus I'd consider putting a glass top on there, making for easier cleanup.

    But I can attest to the turpentine/linseed oil mixture, my mom had used that one with great success on her projects, it even weather proofs stuff for a season pretty well.
    The one in the picture is not mine. I just wanted to give an example of the scale I have. Mine is very dirty with a broken handle. Also the platform doesn't move a whole lot -- it's built to measure really heavy weights.
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    3,167

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clanter View Post
    rather than making a coffee table out it....make a couch... then you could weigh yourself to see how much your are gaining while watching all those exercise shows
    lol
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
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    32,111

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post
    The one in the picture is not mine. I just wanted to give an example of the scale I have. Mine is very dirty with a broken handle. Also the platform doesn't move a whole lot -- it's built to measure really heavy weights.
    gotcha!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2012
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I need to ask something How do antique experts and appraisers know all this information? Is it all from books? How do they know what they need to learn? This has always interested me, it just seems like they pull it out of the air.
    Last edited by Clark0; Sep. 30, 2014 at 03:14 AM.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2008
    Location
    Nor Cal in the sticks!
    Posts
    204

    Default

    Try Cece Younger. She is an appraiser. Ceceyounger.com
    Gilchrist said. "With Lost In The Fog, it's different. We want to take real good care of this horse. He's the only bullet in our holster."



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    6,840

    Default

    That looks like a really cool piece. I'd love one for a coffee table.

    Don't clean it too much. Dry brushes, vacuums and oil are your friend. If you have carpeting, get some good, vintage glass coasters to go under it, and/or encase the wheel where it contacts the floor in a piece of rubber hose or something.

    Get a nice quality piece of glass for the top.

    Enjoy it. I have my Great Grandmother's 1906 egg incubator (like this one) that I use as an occassional table. Great conversation piece. Some of the parts are removed and stored and I draped a vintage feed sack over the corner to conceal the apparatus on the side. My table top Christmas tree is going on it this year

    My husband also has a sizeable hoard of these http://www.restorationhardware.com/c...egoryId=search that he uses in the garage to move constuction material around. I told him he is forbidden to sell or trade any off until I have my pick. This "industrial" chic look is on and I love it.
    The more perfect our happiness,
    the more nagging and wretched
    do our unsolved problems seem.
    ~ Gordon Grand



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