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Golden Era Things You've Revived Or Repaired For Use

Discussion in 'Skills and Smarts' started by St. Louis, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. greatestescaper

    greatestescaper One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    277
    Location:
    Fort Davis, Tx
    I'll have to upload some photos, but I've been restoring old carpentry tools in an attempt to get a shop of my own up and running. Growing up any shop work was done with my grandfather, however, now that I am in West Texas and my grandfather is still in New York I am finding a need of a shop of my own. I also am ever in search of cast iron and various pieces of enamelware to restore and bring back to use. The current list includes a small pot (usually for melting butter over a fire), a ladle, a few coffee boilers, and some greatly seasoned skillets.
     
  2. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,068
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    From This...

    [​IMG]

    ...to this...:

    [​IMG]

    This antique brass tiffin carrier is about 100 years old. I bought it back in August, and I finally finished cleaning it!! I left it looking a bit aged, but at least presentable.

    The brass frame that holds it together was a bit wonky. Careful bending and pressing straightened it out. One of the bowls had a bit of a dent in it, and a couple of good hammer-strikes pressed it out again. The result is amazing! I love it :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
    scotrace, St. Louis and BobHufford like this.
  3. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,068
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Not exactly 'revived or repaired', but I bought these recently...

    [​IMG]

    ...then I polished them...

    [​IMG]

    They're solid, sterling silver vintage travelling chopsticks. Since they're travelling chopsticks, they required some sort of case or pouch to carry them in. No such pouch came with them when I bought them, so I made this, out of scrap leather:

    [​IMG]

    ...all rolled-up...

    [​IMG]

    ...open and empty...

    [​IMG]

    ...packed up, and ready to go!! :D
     
  4. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,333
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I bought a 'package' of pince nez(s) off ebay. I'm gonna have my readers set into the best one (they're all in good to great condition).
     
  5. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,068
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    My current 'Golden Era' restoration project:

    [​IMG]

    This is a Victorian-era brass and mahogany pill-rolling machine. Basically how it works is that you would grind up the ingredients of your pills in a pestle and mortar...

    [​IMG]

    You'd thicken up the powder with an appropriate syrup or sap, and form it into a paste. This was then rolled out into a thin sausage and laid across the base of the pill-roller. The paddle was slid and rolled across the top, pressing the paste through the grooves and rolling out little spherical pills, which would land in a removable, slide-out tray which you'd then use to tip the pills into a jar or container for storage.

    So far, I've straightened out some of the bent brass bits, tightened some loose screws, oiled the roller-bearings on the roller, and polished up the brass...

    [​IMG]

    The next step is to rebuild the missing pill-drawer (which fits into the slot to the left of the pill-cutting grooves that you see in the photo above). I've already measured the area, purchased the wood and got a very good idea of what it's mean to look like.

    Now all I have to do is build it! :)
     
    scotrace likes this.
  6. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,073
    I've thought of search for a pair of pince-nez glasses to be part of a costume that would be perfect for me, along with an eyeshade, sleeve protectors, sleeve garters and shirt with a detachable collar. I make my living as a shiny pants bookkeeper.
     
    scottyrocks likes this.
  7. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,011
    Location:
    Dover, OH
    This turned up in a shop in 2013 for $50. A WWI era Arts & Crafts Morris Chair, made by Royal Easy Chair. You push the button on the arm and lean back, and it reclines into several detent positions. There's also a folding footrest underneath, along with a wire cage for stashing magazines.
    It's been sitting, stripped to the frame, in my dining room ever since. This month I finally found myself in a position to reupholster it and it should be finished today. I didn't refinish it, but cleaned it carefully, sealed it with shellac, and added satin alkyd varnish and buffed it out with rottenstone powder. It looks clean and well cared for but still well used. It has all new 8-way hand tied springs now.
    The original cover is "genuine imitation Spanish leather," according to factory literature from the time, which looked to be some kind of sprayed canvas. Mice had eaten most of the stuffing and a good bit of the cover. This thing spent a very long time in a basement or attic.

    I'll post a picture of it finished over the weekend. I've wanted a Morris chair for ages, and this was an affordable way to get one, even if it isn't a fancy Stickley thing.



    IMG_5095.jpg
     
    Mr. Nantus and BobHufford like this.
  8. Joe50's

    Joe50's Familiar Face

    Messages:
    78
    I like restoring and putting things back into the job they were made for. I've worked on floor lamps, clocks, a fan, a Phyfe style end table and a Cosco stool. I haven't completely gone through it and recapped the chassi but I got a rca phonograph consollette working . I was informed at the thrift shop it didn't work, but the mech was just stuck from dried grease. I had to find new legs but rca had set it up with metal built in feet for the option of table use . I also have a Motorola console that worked but was stuck in reject that has been working ok in manual since I cleaned the some of the dried grease. I also like to keep things as close to original as I can, I'd rather invest time and money into something opposed to up cycling it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
    St. Louis and scottyrocks like this.
  9. Joe50's

    Joe50's Familiar Face

    Messages:
    78
    this video should be how my rca consollete will sound once its recapped and gone through . During my initial cleaning and test I tried the 45 "little red ridinghood"and was impressed by the sound quality it produced.
     
    1955mercury likes this.
  10. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,011
    Location:
    Dover, OH
    All these things are so amazing!
     
  11. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,011
    Location:
    Dover, OH
    And finished it. I think this makes about a dozen chairs I've done and one car.




    IMG_0098.JPG-1.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  12. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,730
    Location:
    The Swamp
    I replaced my ca. 1960s General Electric toaster with . . . another one of the exact same model. The first one was fine, except that its thermostat never worked, and last month the latch stopped being reliable, so I couldn't simply push the lever down and busy myself pouring coffee until my toast was ready. This one works flawlessly.

    Encouraged by this, I've thought about a stove top coffee maker, one of the Corning Ware ones that allow you to do 6 cups. Anybody have one of these that you use every day? Is the coffee better tasting than from a modern drip machine? And will it work with the same grind of coffee -- or will I have to buy "regular grind" or something like that?
     
  13. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,068
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Restoring the pill-making machine is basically done! Read all about it!! (Click the photo, in other words!)

    [​IMG]
     
    vitanola and BobHufford like this.
  14. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    We have a corning ware one that was missing one of the percolator parts, so we used it as a teapot. So while I can't answer your other questions, it does take quite a bit longer to heat up compared to a metal vessel of the same size, if that is a consideration. Conversely, it keeps the beverage hotter longer too. (My grandmother used a metal percolator, so I know those exist.)
     
  15. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,730
    Location:
    The Swamp
    Well, if I buy one, it would be for 1-2 cups of coffee on the weekends, not the 4-cup batch I brew before I go to exercise and finish with breakfast. You can get the parts on eBay as well as the entire unit.
     
  16. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Just spent a couple of hours refurbishing and repairing an RCA 90-A "program stand," which was RCAspeak for a heavy-duty floor stand for broadcast microphones. The RCA mics of the Era were very heavy -- the standard 44-BX weighs eight pounds, and requires a solid, substantial stand for reliable, safe use. I have a 44-BX, and have never been happy with the modern "heavy duty" stand I'd been using with it, so when I got the chance to get a 90-A at a reasonable price, I grabbed it.

    The thing weighs almost 35 pounds, and is heavy, machined steel plated in satin chrome. As with all RCA gear of the 1930s, attention was also given to making it pleasant to look at: designer John Vassos gave it an understated deco feel that would have harmonized well with the studios of the day. But the really interesting thing about it is the adjustment mechanism. If you use mic stands today you know you have to twist a collar at the joint to adjust the height. Older stands usually had some variation of this, or even a simple thumbscrew. But the 90-A has no visible adjustment mechanism at all - you simply pull up the smaller section of tubing, and it stays in place by itself. I've always been intrigued by this, and the fact that it didn't work properly on mine gave me the excuse to take the thing apart and see what was going on inside.

    I was expecting to find some sort of elaborate inner clutch -- but all I found was a couple of felt washers, a spring about eight inches long, and a brass flange attached to a strange woven-copper cylinder that reminded me of nothing more or less than a Chinese Finger Trap. And that, I realized after puzzling for a bit, is exactly what it is. The principle is that the woven copper tightly surrounds the inner tube of the stand and is held in place by the flange, which is clamped between the larger tube and a sleek Vassos-styled metal fitting at the end of that tube. When you pull on the inner tube to adjust the height of the mic, the woven cylinder relaxes and allows you to move it up or down. When you release the pressure, the spring pulls the cylinder tight around the inner tube and holds it firmly in place, even under the weight of an eight pound microphone. A pipe fitting with a leather "tire" on the inner end of the inner tube keeps the whole thing centered.

    It's one of the simplest, yet most ingenious things I've ever come across, and the only reason it didn't work is because some yutz thought it needed lubrication and slathered about a quart of 20-weight motor oil down the joint. After cleaning that out and flexing the copper cylinder a few times, it now works perfectly -- you can adjust the height of the mic anywhere from 44 inches to 74 inches, which means anyone from Tiny Ruffner to Johnny the Philip Morris bellhop could have used it comfortably.

    After finishing up I looked up the patent for the adjustment mechanism, originally developed for floor lamps. That's one of the most intriguing things about working with old stuff -- the ingenuity that went into solving problems with very simple devices.
     
    Fading Fast likes this.
  17. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    10,754
    Location:
    New York City

    Any chance of a pic of both the overall stand and the "adjustment mechanism -" as I'm intrigued?
     
  18. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,333
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Not to derail this thread, but just a thought for the coffee lovers - have you tried 'pour-over?' It's completely manual. It's a flanged cone with a hole at the bottom that sits on the cup, the filter, coffee, and hot water (which can be boiled any old-fashioned way one's heart desire).

    Everyone in this house says that our coffees are much better tasting than any machine method.

    Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
     

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