Behind the Gavel: Two tips on improving an antiques customer’s retail shopping experience

Two simple tips can give antiques retail store owners an edge in improving a customer’s retail shopping experience. Columnist Wayne Jordan says antiques dealers must make shopping in your store a fun experience. Here are two techniques (one hi-tech, one low-tech) that other retailers use to ensure their customers enjoy shopping in their stores. Read More +

Furniture Detective: Don’t underestimate sandpaper’s ability to close wood pores and even grain color

Furniture Detective Fred Taylor asks after a piece of antique furniture is stripped, what happens next? The purist will say to finish it in some exotic concoction of wax and oil and leave it alone. The hack next door will recommend three coats of tinted gloss polyurethane rubbed between coats with fine steel wool. The professional will say: "Sand it first." Sand it? Why in the world would you sand it? Because preparation is 90 percent of finishing, and the best finish in the world won’t look good if the piece isn’t properly prepared for the finish. So what exactly is the objective of the sanding process?
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Check the drawers for the first sign of age on antique furniture

Furniture Detective columnist Fred Taylor says in an effort to determine the range of the age of a piece of furniture, we have the beginnings of a built-in time line if the piece has drawers. A drawer is a fairly difficult thing to build when you get right down to it. It is a five sided box that must fit perfectly within a case (a six-sided box) and be removable on demand without binding or breaking either the drawer or the case.
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Antique furniture, like old cars, can shed some parts when the going gets rough

One thing to bear in mind while searching for your next antique furniture treasure is that this stuff, by definition, has been around the block a few times, and the road has not always been smooth. Sometimes, old furniture, like old cars, tends to shed some parts when the going gets rough. And while some missing pieces are perfectly obvious, others aren’t, and it takes a little detective work to confirm that vague feeling that something is awry.
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