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Fuji Mini-Mite 3 HVLP Spray System

We’re Hanging Up the Spray Gun

Fuji Mini-Mite 3 HVLP Spray System
Fuji Mini-Mite 3 HVLP Spray System

An important announcement from Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage:

We’re hanging up the spray guns, folks.

Calling it quits. Closing the doors. Givin’ it up. Shutting down our business.

We announce this with no small amount of sadness but we also announce it with a great deal of excitement and anticipation.

For the last 15 years Erik has been dealing with Degenerative Disc Disease and as the years have gone on, his spine has gone downhill. He is now at a point that it is no longer feasible to continue to move furniture for a living so we have decided to close Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage, at least as a full-time venture.

Erik has taken a “regular” job and will now be riding a desk instead of restoring them. That is where the excitement and anticipation come in. He looks forward to new challenges as he transitions back into the world of employed work.

He plans to still restore a piece of beautiful Mid Century Modern furniture every now and then, but it will be on a very limited basis. Basically, we’ll be running the biz as more of a hobby than a going concern.

We have truly enjoyed the ride this business has taken us on and have so many people to thank for getting us where we are.

If you have followed us here or on Facebook, purchased our wares, or been a supporter in any way…thank you.

Our family has been an endless source of moral support, our children have helped us move more furniture than we are sure they ever cared to, and our parents have given us encouragement and financial assistance. (They have been our angel investors.) We simply cannot thank our family enough.

Our friends have been there for us every step of the way. They have promoted us via social media, and told their friends about us, and purchased our wares. Thank you!

There are two people who deserve a special thanks: Neal and Jon at MidModMen. It was back in 2012 that the plan to open MidModMen was hatched and we were in on the ground floor of that venture. Without Neal and Jon, we would not be where we are today. They have been partners, collaborators, counselors, mentors, and, most specially, friends. Thank you, Neal and Jon, for all you have done for us.

One more photo of the front of the refinished Lane Rhythm dresser. We love the way this project turned out. January 2019.

Lane Rhythm 6-Drawer Dresser

Lane Rhythm 6-drawer dresser, pre-restoration, September 2018.
Lane Rhythm 6-drawer dresser, pre-restoration, September 2018.

Back in September, we purchased a Lane Rhythm 6-drawer dresser that was in pretty tough shape with the intent to restore it.

Here are a number of photos showing the damage to the piece. We keep waiting to find a wad of money forgotten behind the drawers of a dresser we rescue, but this dresser just had lots of random papers and plenty of mouse droppings. Not quite the treasure we were hoping for.

Top of the Lane Rhythm dresser. Note the scratches and loss of finish. September 2018.
Top of the Lane Rhythm dresser. Note the scratches and loss of finish. September 2018.

 

There's a loss of finish on the front of the Lane Rhythm dresser, too. September 2018.
There’s a loss of finish on the front of the Lane Rhythm dresser, too. September 2018.

 

Miscellaneous garbage left behind in the Lane Rhythm dresser. September 2018.
Miscellaneous garbage left behind in the Lane Rhythm dresser. September 2018.

 

Mouse midden pile and droppings in the dresser. September 2018.
Mouse midden pile and droppings in the dresser. September 2018.

 

As we cleaned the dresser, we wore gloves and masks due to the mouse droppings. Here Erik is using compressed air to blow the detritus out of a drawer. September 2018.
As we cleaned the dresser, we wore gloves and masks due to the mouse droppings. Here Erik is using compressed air to blow the detritus out of a drawer. September 2018.

 

As we removed the drawers in order to clean the inside of the case, we numbered each one and its corresponding location using blue painter's tape and a Sharpie marker. September 2018.
As we removed the drawers in order to clean the inside of the case, we numbered each one and its corresponding location using blue painter’s tape and a Sharpie marker. September 2018.

 

We have refinished a couple of other Lane Rhythm lowboy dressers in the past. Each one has had the same design flaw - the dresser develops what we call a sway back. Due to the span and not enough support, the entire dresser droops in the center, so it is no longer level. September 2018.
We have refinished a couple of other Lane Rhythm lowboy dressers in the past. Each one has had the same design flaw – the dresser develops what we call a sway back. Due to the span and not enough support, the entire dresser droops in the center, so it is no longer level. September 2018.

 

Here is the dresser case without drawers after cleaning. Large dressers are much easier to move with the drawers taken out. September 2018.
Here is the dresser case without drawers after cleaning. Large dressers are much easier to move with the drawers taken out. September 2018.

 

Once we got the dresser case into the shop, we put it on the work table with its top down. This allowed us to see the droop more clearly. See the white line beneath the dresser? That's light showing through indicating how the entire piece has sagged over time. September 2018.
Once we got the dresser case into the shop, we put it on the work table with its top down. This allowed us to see the droop more clearly. See the white line beneath the dresser? That’s light showing through indicating how the entire piece has sagged over time. September 2018.

 

In order to try to fix the Lane Rhythm dresser droop, Erik first clamped it and attempted to attach a piece of angle iron to the bottom to pull the dresser into place. The hope was that the angle iron would both straighten the dresser and support it so it wouldn't sag again. No such luck. The droop was so ingrained in the piece that when it was unclamped, the angle iron bent. September 2018.
In order to try to fix the Lane Rhythm dresser droop, Erik first clamped it and attempted to attach a piece of angle iron to the bottom to pull the dresser into place. The hope was that the angle iron would both straighten the dresser and support it so it wouldn’t sag again. No such luck. The droop was so ingrained in the piece that when it was unclamped, the angle iron bent. September 2018.

 

In order to make the refinishing process easier, Erik will disassemble furniture. Here is in removing the back. He also removed the top of the Lane Rhythm dresser and refinished it separately from the rest of the case. September 2018.
In order to make the refinishing process easier, Erik will disassemble furniture. Here is in removing the back. He also removed the top of the Lane Rhythm dresser and refinished it separately from the rest of the case. September 2018.

Fast-forward a few months …

Notice the wall framing in the above photo. When we brought this dresser to the shop, we didn’t have our new shop space completed. As we let the Lane Rhythm dresser sit, we spent several months building out the shop. Once the shop was complete, we returned to the dresser this past week to finish it.

Lane Rhythm dresser stripped, sanded, and awaiting stain. January 2019.
Lane Rhythm dresser stripped, sanded, and awaiting stain. January 2019.

 

The finished Lane Rhythm 6-drawer dresser. See the extra leg in the bottom middle? That was Erik's solution for the sway-back ... add an extra leg to provide more support. January 2019.
The finished Lane Rhythm 6-drawer dresser. See the extra leg in the bottom middle? That was Erik’s solution for the sway-back … add an extra leg to provide more support. See the wall behind the dresser? This was the same wall that was merely framing back in September. January 2019.

 

Top of the newly refinished Lane dresser. It's a far cry from what we started with, eh? January 2019.
Top of the newly refinished Lane dresser. It’s a far cry from what we started with, eh? January 2019.

 

All the drawers were scrubbed to within an inch of their lives, plus we add new drawer liners. January 2019.
All the drawers were scrubbed to within an inch of their lives, plus we add new drawer liners. January 2019.

 

One more photo of the front of the refinished Lane Rhythm dresser. We love the way this project turned out. January 2019.
One more photo of the front of the refinished Lane Rhythm dresser. We love the way this project turned out. January 2019.

Measurements on the Lane Rhythm 6-drawer dresser, in case you’re wondering are: 61″ long, 31″ high, 18″ deep.

West exterior of Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage workshop complete, October 2017.

Shop Upgrade … Again

We’ve been busy beavers the past couple of months at Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage, but not with furniture restoration. Instead, we have been expanding our shop space so that Erik can work on more than one piece at a time.

Within our turquoise and white pole shed, we had one kinda smallish heated and finished room for the entire refinishing process, from cleaning and stripping through to the spray finishing. It meant that the dust and dirt from early in the process was difficult to keep from contaminating the later part of the process, even though Erik somehow managed. The rest of the space in the pole shed was basically cold storage.

We knew we needed to make the workshop space bigger, but we had to decide how much bigger. We also had to make sure we could make it weather tight and keep it heated. The cold of Minnesota winters invades pole sheds with concrete floors, making them feel even colder than it is outside.

We hired a contractor in the summer of 2017 to help us frame in the space where the giant garage door was, which included installing a window (salvaged by Erik for free!) and door. Once we decided on the size of the new shop, we then had to frame the space inside, including creating a ceiling for the shop within the pole shed. This happened last fall (2018) Basically, we created a box within a box right next to the existing shop.

Garage door on the west side of our pole shed workshop, Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage, June 2015.
Garage door on the west side of our pole shed workshop, Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage, June 2015.

 

Exterior framing on Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage's workshop, October 2017.
Exterior framing on Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage’s workshop, October 2017.

 

West exterior of Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage workshop complete, October 2017.
West exterior of Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage workshop complete, October 2017.

 

After the framing was complete, we had to use spray foam and other sealants to keep the elements out, insulate, install vapor barrier, hang sheetrock, prime and paint. What has taken a sentence to say actually took us 2-3 months to do.

Insulation and vapor barrier hung in new shop space at Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage, November 2018.
Insulation and vapor barrier hung in new shop space at Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage, November 2018.

 

Hanging sheetrock at the Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage workshop, December 2018. The sheetrock lift was an absolute necessity. We would not have survived this job without it.
Hanging sheetrock at the Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage workshop, December 2018. The sheetrock lift was an absolute necessity. We would not have survived this job without it.

 

Then we had to call the gas company to have the gas meter reinstalled. The pole shed had an old gas furnace, but it was so long ago that the gas company had no record of gas installation on the property. We had the external fittings still on the exterior of the building to show that, yes, indeed, gas had once run to the building.

The gas meter reinstalled, December 2018.
The gas meter reinstalled, December 2018.

Following this, we had an electrician come do the wiring we needed for the furnace and outlets. And, finally, we had the furnace installed.

The new furnace and some of the wiring installed in Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage's workshop, January 2019.
The new furnace and some of the wiring installed in Erik G. Warner Decorative Salvage’s workshop, January 2019.

These operations by outside contractors took up the past month or so in terms of scheduling. Because it is now January in Minnesota, we’ve been managing this work in the cold, using a trusty kerosene heater to make the temperature in the new workshop tolerable (pleasant, even!).

Our trusty kerosene heater that got us through the build-out, November 2018.
Our trusty kerosene heater that got us through the build-out, November 2018. If you are going to use a kerosene heater indoors, be sure to open a window so the fresh air can clear any carbon monoxide that builds up.

Because the entire shop has been in disarray, with us shifting furniture and equipment around in order to do the shop build-out, we have not been able to do much furniture refinishing. We are happy to report that we’re back to furniture, with Erik finishing restoration of a Lane Rhythm dresser today. We’ll discuss that in our next post.