Posts Tagged ‘brass’


For Otis. As I sit every night at the moment, huffing and puffing grumpily into a dust mask as we scrape and sand hundreds of reclaimed hardwood parquet blocks, I try to remember that not every purchase of second hand goods from gumtree means blood, sweat and tears. Although Otis’ antique brass bed, acquired at a price to make the bargain hunter in me very pleased indeed, did require some serious polishing and a bit of repair work on three decorative spindly bits, it was nothing compared to the mammoth task of restoring Sol’s bed.

I really wanted a metal bed of a similar age to sit next to Solomon’s, which meant waiting a while for the right one in a reasonable location to pop up. But pop up it did, and we’re all really pleased, none less so than Oti!


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DIY July 2012 022

Remember this sorry looking bedstead I posted about last summer? Poor Sol has been very patient and Oli has been very dedicated, and I, I am sorry to say, have been rather removed from the whole thing. I did a bit (a tiny bit) of sanding here and a moany attempt at brass polishing there, perhaps; but on the whole this Finished Project is very much Oli’s.

brass bedknobs

It needed to be stripped of its white paint on the cast iron frame, sanded and re-painted. A technical challenge then followed to replace a broken bolt with some brave attempts at welding by a friend and Oli. The welding failed, as did the plasticine-like substance that hardened (sorry for my total lack of terminology here), but a long bolt through the length of the bottom support beam did the trick. Then the brass needed to be taken off and cleaned (two bottles of Brasso later) and a wooden frame built for the mattress. The mattress turned out to be an odd size -shorter than a standard single bed- so we ordered one to fit properly. This all took rather longer than we’d thought it would. But, we all think, very much worth it. Sol especially!

sol's bed, hemlock tam 005

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Oh yes. DIY has begun in earnest. Dust is swirling. And settling- on everything. But it feels good to get started! Insulating upstairs is the first project. Because the ceilings are so heavily coombed, and there is no attic space, we are having to remove the wood panelled walls to fit the insulation. So we needed to move downstairs. This somehow turned into bashing out the fireplace in the sitting room… it seemed necessary at the time. Out with the old, pseudo-Art Deco fireplace (not without its retro charm, I’ll grant) and back to the original granite blocks- painted and very dirty, but it’s still exciting. So, not really before and after photos, but certainly during:

And Sol’s big brass-trimmed bedstead that we bought for a bargain price (due to the amount of back breaking restoration work involved in it) is also under way. I’m keeping an eye out for another one for Otis- the old beds have such character and look right at home under the eaves.

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