Another challenge

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Blog entry by wdkits1 posted 04-28-2009 12:46 AM 1119 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had a customer come by my shop with an 1880 Swiss music box.The box itself was pretty sound and the mechanism was completely workable but the finish was real rough. There were inlays and appliques that were missing and the old brass hinges had completely failed. At first I was hesitant to tackle this project because of its value as an antique but he said he wasn’t concerned about resale value. He just wanted it to look good. As far as he was concerned it was worthless like it was. I gave him a price to refinish it but also gave him the name of another person that specializes in antique restoration .He called me back a couple of weeks later and asked me to do it for him. Said that the other guy was not interested because of the inlays and the bird appliques that would need to be repaired and repainted.

Here is a picture of the box before I started.

This is a picture I took of the applique before I stripped the old finish off

I hand sanded and scraped off the old finish until I got it all cleaned down to the bare wood.

I use my dremal tool with the router base to redo all of the grooves for the old inlays and put in all new cherry inlay strips. I then applied 4 coats of black lacquer then hand painted the appliques on the front and top before applying 2 coats of clear. Put on new brass hinges and re-attached the music sheet on the inside cover.

Another challenge completed and another happy customer. Also a good learning experience.

-- Mike --

7 comments so far

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3462 days

#1 posted 04-28-2009 01:06 AM

Just beautiful!!!! Amazing work, as usual….... How many hours did it take to accomplish this?
I’ll bet your customer was “Just thrilled”!

Thanks for sharing

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View wdkits1's profile


215 posts in 3318 days

#2 posted 04-28-2009 01:14 AM

Hi Gene—this was a very challenging piece with about 20 hours time spent, but good experience too.

-- Mike --

View spanky46's profile


995 posts in 3356 days

#3 posted 04-28-2009 01:45 AM

Special work Mike!

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View nuttree's profile


280 posts in 3289 days

#4 posted 04-28-2009 04:30 AM

Very nice indeed. You did a terrific job.

-- I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. -John Muir

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3307 days

#5 posted 04-28-2009 05:15 AM

great job , congradtulations !
i’m allways leary of taking on that type of work too ,
but like you it teaches allot .

my ex wife allways told my customers , as we were finished talking work.
” whatever he just told you about price and time , double it ”
now i try to remember that before i open my mouth , we allways see the big picture ,
but forget the details , in our estimates !
an the details take up most of the time .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View blackcherry's profile


3337 posts in 3788 days

#6 posted 04-28-2009 04:41 PM

Nice project and great results…thank for sharing Blkchery

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3524 days

#7 posted 04-29-2009 03:19 AM

Another beautiful piece of craftsmanship. You did an absolutely fantastic job on that piece.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

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