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Old 10-23-2010, 03:57 PM   #91
glatt
 
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Originally Posted by gvidas View Post
Birthday present for a friend. I wish I had made the front wheel a little shorter, it's kinda awkward. But they're awkward to begin with.
That is sweet! You do all the glass work and everything? How do you fill it with neon? Where do you get the neon? It needs a ballast, right? How did you get into neon sign making?
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:22 PM   #92
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That is sweet! You do all the glass work and everything? How do you fill it with neon? Where do you get the neon? It needs a ballast, right? How did you get into neon sign making?
The school I'm at has a nice neon shop, which makes everything easier -- I got into neon here, through an art class on the topic about 4 years ago. Recently I realized that (although often extremely frustrating) it's one of the most satisfying things I've ever tried.

The glass comes in straight tubes which you bend into shape. 99% of what I use is donated off-spec tubes from EGL, one of the main producers of neon products. Once bent you seal on electrodes, which give a vacuum-tight electrical contact through the glass. The whole piece is then connected via glass tube to the manifold, a system of valves which let you control how much vacuum is in the neon piece, as well as measure in an appropriate (minute) amount of neon / argon. Before adding the neon, you bombard the piece to remove impurities, moisture, etc: pull the tube into a light vacuum and apply a lot of electricity (~15kV @ 200-800 mA.)
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:59 AM   #93
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I've got this neat old card table that came from my FIL's apartment and won't fit into his new digs at the assisted living facility. Unfortunately, it's really rickety. Before I start to fix it, I want to make sure it's not worth a fortune and I'd be ruining its value by even regluing the joints. I'm also really curious about what the story is behind this table, because it's got some very unusual features. I was hoping maybe a someone in the Cellar might know a thing or two about antiques or can point me to a forum about them.

Here's an overview of the table. I think it's in the federal style, but I really don't know anything, so if you know, please let me know.


The rear leg swings out to support the table top when it folds out.


This is the open table top. It's got some stains on it and could use some cleaning or even stripping and refinishing.


This is where it gets interesting. See how this support leg has a little notch cut in it so it can wrap a little bit around the apron? The other legs also have this, but they don't wrap around anything, so they have all been patched.


See this leg? It has a patch where it was notched just like the leg that folds out. Also, see the mortise and tenon joint that has been cut apart, showing the end grain of the tenons? This leg was cut off of another card table before it was added to this one! And the rest of the stationary legs on this table are also that way. See the horizontal saw kerfs in the apron joint to the right of the leg? They are there to hold splines that will reinforce the joint, and they are all different depths. They were hand cut. Also, look at the pocket hole for the screw that holds the apron and table top together. That was definitely chopped out by hand with a gouge.


This picture shows the structural problem with the table. The legs are connected to the apron with dowels, and the joints are really loose. You can see daylight through the joint, and clearly see how the legs are loose. Also at some point, somebody must have dragged the table forward, because the upper dowels on both front legs broke the aprons and made the veneer flake off in places.


This table needs to be disassembled and re-glued, but I'm not sure if it's something I should touch. I'm confident in my woodworking skills, but portions of this table are clearly hand made, and I see no evidence of machinery use on the table anywhere. So it might be fairly old and possibly valuable. Thoughts?
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:01 AM   #94
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:08 AM   #95
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I'd take it to Antiques Roadshow if they show up in your area. Failing that, it might be worth paying for an appraisal before you start working on it. It's a very lovely piece, and certainly isn't the first thing that comes to mind when I think "cardtable."

I know from my close reading of Lovejoy that it wasn't unusual to take two pieces of furniture and stick them together, however, depending on when that was done, it might have some value.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:11 AM   #96
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Yeah, you always hear on Roadshow how "it would have been worth 40 billion if you hadn't fixed that wobble. But you can still get about 1000 at auction."

Or, conversely "Sure, get this fixed up and you can sell this for 50,000 dollars."

I wouldn't touch anything before having it appraised.

It's a beautiful piece. It would look lovely in my home. If it turns out to only be worth, like, a grand...and you want to get rid of it.

My old Philco needs some work done on parts of the wood, but who to trust, where to go?
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:04 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
I've got this neat old card table that came from my FIL's apartment and won't fit into his new digs at the assisted living facility. Unfortunately, it's really rickety. Before I start to fix it, I want to make sure it's not worth a fortune and I'd be ruining its value by even regluing the joints. I'm also really curious about what the story is behind this table, because it's got some very unusual features. I was hoping maybe a someone in the Cellar might know a thing or two about antiques or can point me to a forum about them.

This table needs to be disassembled and re-glued, but I'm not sure if it's something I should touch. I'm confident in my woodworking skills, but portions of this table are clearly hand made, and I see no evidence of machinery use on the table anywhere. So it might be fairly old and possibly valuable. Thoughts?
STOP! DON"T DO A THING. That looks like a VERY VALUABLE ANTIQUE. I'm not kidding. Let me direct a knowledgeable friend to this thread.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:37 PM   #98
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Well that would be interesting. I'd actually be a little disappointed if it was extremely valuable, because my FIL is still alive, and it still belongs to him. So I would need to tell him and let him decide what to do with it. But if it's not valuable, then I can keep it and just fix it up and put it in the living room. On the other hand, if it's super valuable, he could use the money. The facility ain't cheap.

Thanks, footfootfoot!
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:39 PM   #99
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Oh, so I was right.

DON'T TOUCH IT GLATT. You heard it straight from the horse's foot.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:00 PM   #100
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What did I make today - final payment on two debts!
Three if you count paying Dad back for Diz's attempted suicide vet bill - and I do count it, it was the largest payment every month for four months!

Yay me.

As you were.
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:28 PM   #101
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Yay Sundae! That must feel SOOO GOOOOOOOD!!
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:35 PM   #102
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Oh what a beautiful piece of furniture. It reminds me a little of a table my gran had years ago. I wonder if that was a card table? She just used it as a phone table but if a lot of us were gathered for food, she'd sometimes pull it out and it would fold out similar to that.

Lovely pics. I found your breakdown of the subject really interesting.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:02 PM   #103
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I actually saw something very like that on Antiques Roadshow a week or two ago. It was pretty valuable, but I don't remember the number.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:20 PM   #104
glatt
 
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I just took another look at it, and don't know how I missed this before, but the top was stolen from another table too. It currently has hinges on the edges like this:


But it also has old broken hinges that are not evenly spaced. They are hidden by the apron, but one of them becomes visible when the table is upside down and you swing the movable leg out:


The other old hinge is barely visible and is in totally the wrong spot for the table as it's built right now:


I love this table more and more. It's a real Frankenstein piece. It was made of bits and pieces of other table(s) a long time ago.

I also sent an e-mail to a local auction house that does assessments to see what they have to say. I'm sure they would charge for a written assessment, but I told them I might be interested in selling it, and hopefully they will give me a ballpark.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:25 PM   #105
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of course, you could just fix the damn thing, it would certainly make it as valuable as a wooden card table, of no particular interest to your FIL and you'd get to play cards on it.
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