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the 1800’s Winged Griffin Oak Buffet… Arising from the Ashes like a Phoenix…

February 18, 2013

022 (2)How can an Oak Buffet rise from the ashes?  Mythologically of course!… and perhaps with a little help from me.

I recently rebuilt and refinished a late 1800’s “Winged Griffin Oak Buffet.” Arising from the ashes would have been an easy analogy if the Buffet was decorated with Phoenixes rather than Griffins… but you just work with what you have and this time I had Griffins.

The phoenix is a long-lived bird that cyclically regenerates itself by arising from the ashes of its predecessor… kind of like this Buffet.  The thing is that the 100-plus-year-old Buffet was unable to regenerate itself… fortunately I was able to lend a helping hand.

Here are some pictures of the regeneration process… not from the ashes but from the deterioration due to time and the breakdown of the original adhesives.

This Buffet had been painted white at some point in time.  Then it had been stripped but there were still flecks of white paint embedded in the grain of the wood.  It is always easier to make repairs and remove paint when a piece is disassembled.  Here is the Buffet base with the doors and drawers removed.005

Several repairs were done in the same afternoon.  They were glued, clamped and set aside to dry.  The repairs, from left to right, include loose joints on the Buffet base, veneer on a door, loose joints on the top, and veneer on the large drawer.  Animal Hide glue was used in the 1800’s and under adverse climatic conditions it will fail.010

One of the legs had broken and had been poorly repaired.  It was broken again by the time I bought the Buffet.  I built this jig to get appropriate pressure when I clamped the leg.  I used two-part epoxy glue and inserted toothpicks where there were gaps in the wood.  The toothpick ends were later cut off and sanded down.012

An oil finish was used on the Buffet… the base is partially completed.001 (2)

The completed Winged Griffin Oak Buffet in the Shady Lawn Antiques showroom.016 (2)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lisa M permalink
    March 7, 2013 1:54 pm

    What a wonderful restoration, thank you for sharing it! I’m sure it’s even more gorgeous in person.

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