Monthly Archives: April 2012

And so it begins!

Well, its been almost 4 months since I floated the idea of opening an online store and today it begins! Started listing a few larger items in the Mid Century category today and all is going well.

It’s going to take a little while to get the stock level of the store to a reasonable level (say 50 items +) however I’ll aim to list 2 new items a day and I’m sure before too long I’ll get to a level I’m happy with. Whilst this is happening hopefully my ranking in Google search results will improve also.

I was planning on starting eBay listings last week however that has been pushed back to next week. I’ll start out with a few smaller items to build a bigger feedback rating (currently only @ 4 on the business account) and then look at listing a few of the bigger draw card items!

Exciting times ahead!

Lighting…It’s Everywhere!

I find every now and then I’ll have a run on a certain item, and what I mean by that is I can go weeks, even months without seeing a certain type of item, and then within say a 2 week period all I’ll come across is that item!

Well, as you guessed of late I’ve been finding a heap of lighting related items.

Retro Ball Lamps, Enamel light fittings, Art Deco lighting

Top left is a retro pair of matching ‘ball’ or ‘egg’ style lamps. Probably my favourite lighting piece at the moment. Made to a very high quality with both the height and direction of the lamp being adjustable.

Top right is an Art Deco chandelier. A beautiful piece. There is also a matching 3 arm chandelier if you wanted a matching pair. Would make an impressive statement in an entry/foyer of a early 20th century home.

Bottom left, again another pair. Nice industrial feel to these shades. Light grey enamel coating to the outside. I think these would go great in an industrial style kitchen/dining room. I can see these hanging down above the main dining table or island bench in the kitchen.

Bottom right is a black retro lantern style light fitting with slivers of multi coloured plastic around the outside. I cannot wait to have one of these wired up hanging above out kitchen bench to see how it looks! Great thing about this fitting is that there are 6 of them which would give you the opportunity to line a long hallway, or as above have a few hanging down above your kitchen bench. I think if you were to hang these above a bench you could stagger the height of them for that extra WOW factor.

All will be available in the online store, or on eBay within the next month or so.

Almost there…..

It’s been a busy few weeks, but we are almost ready to launch the online store! Along with launching the online store we also have planned to start listing speciality items on eBay. This will not only help us reach a wider audience, but hopefully start to get our name out there and make people aware of our online presence.

For those of you into social media, we have a Facebook page – along with our twitter account –!/StillBrokeENT. These pages get regularly updated so be sure to keep an eye on both.

In the past few weeks we have been coming across some really great items and cannot wait to have the chance to offer them to you!

Space Age Coffee Table – Restoration Complete!

Check it out! The restoration of the Space Age coffee table is complete and I am very happy with the end result! Definitely would be the centre piece of any Mid-Century inspired lounge room.

Completed Restoration of a Mid Century Coffee Table

Hopefully you have enjoyed the process from start to finish and perhaps even learned a small thing or 2 about what we do here at Still Broke Enterprises.

Keep an eye out for this beautiful piece in the Online Store shortly.

Early Mermaid/Victa Outboard Motor

Early 1960's Victa powered Outboard motor

I picked up this interesting piece at a local sale over the weekend. I didn’t really know a whole lot about it, other than that it was an early outboard motor powered by a lawn mower motor.

After doing some research, along with a good degrease and clean it turns out this is a Mermaid Outboard Motor powered by a VICTA 125cc Engine. Dates from the late 1950’s to early 1960’s.

There is a great discussion on a forum here – about the Mermaid/Victa Outboards. Be sure to have a read.

Although a little knocked around this item will provide a great deal of hard to find parts to someone restoring a similar type of engine! Will be listing on eBay within the coming weeks.

Space Age Coffee Table Restoration Update # 2

Busy day today with a good amount of progress. Continuation from yesterdays post below


I was now able to start on the sanding with all the pieces repaired/re-manufactured. Because all of the pieces were coated in the original varnish/shellac finish I started off using some 60 grit sandpaper on my orbital sander. This grit is quite rough but made quick work on the original coating. Once all the pieces were done I moved onto some 150 grit paper. Repeated the process for all pieces and then moved onto some 320 grit paper for the finishing sand. All came up quite nicely as you can see below.

Sanded pieces of a 1960's Coffee Table


With all the pieces of the coffee table now repaired and sanded I started on the reassembly. A fairly straight forward job as all the holes are pre-existing and lined up quite easily. Glued and screwed the legs to the mounting blocks to provide extra stability.

1960's Coffee Table restoration project

You can see that classic space age design appearing again.


With the coffee table now reassembled it’s time to apply a finish. The original finish was a golden oak colour with a shellac/varnish applied over the top. I’m going to go for a darker  (teak colour) oiled finish. I think it will complement the darker teak colours of the retro lounge suites and sideboards it will share it’s space with.

I’ve had quite good success with previous pieces I have restored using a mix of Linseed Oil, Teak Stain and Turps in a 2:1:1 ratio. The reason I add the Teak stain in there is because Victorian Ash in its raw form is a very light coloured timber (white to almost pink) so the stain adds a nice Teak colour to it.

After mixing the 3 elements in my mixing container (lol) I simply apply the finish using a soft cotton cloth. I will reapply the finish 4-5 times letting each coat dry before re-applying. The great thing about having the Linseed Oil mixed in is that once the finish has been applied, that’s it! No need to re-oil over the stain.

Here’s a sneak peak at how its coming along after 2 coats this afternoon.

The applying of an oil based finish to a retro coffee table

Keep an eye out for the finished product next week!

Space Age Coffee Table Restoration Update

I made a start today on the restoration of the Space Age Coffee table I previewed on the blog last week. I’m going to go into a little bit more detail on the steps I normally take when restoring an item and how I go about it. Hopefully this will give you an insight into what I do, and perhaps even share some idea’s for your own projects!


The first step for me when performing a full restoration on an item of furniture is to disassemble it. This way you can see what’s good, what’s not, and what needs repairing. Its extremely important to take a great deal of care during this stage as often joints are nailed, screwed, or glued together. If you miss a screw and you start bashing to get it apart you can seriously damage the piece.

With the Coffee Table I was relatively lucky. The Table top and upright supports coming up off the base were only screwed. The triangular support had 2 nails in it and the glue for that joint was old and brittle so it came apart easily. The hardest part was removing the 4 legs from the underside of the base. These were screwed, and glued. What made it tricky is that the base is a veneer, so I had to gently use a chisel to lever the mounting blocks with legs attached up from the surface. 2 came up easily. 2 did not and took a bit more effort to remove along with damaging a small amount of veneer surface under the mounting block.

Space Age Design Coffee Table 1960's


With the coffee table in pieces (note I am leaving the table top an drawer assembled as they are in good solid condition and easy to work with in their current state) the next step is to assess all the pieces, and see what needs to be repaired/replaced.

With the coffee table I had to –

  • Completely re-manufacture one leg.
  • Repair the damaged veneer to the underside of the base (this will be hidden once the legs and mounting blocks are re-attached).
  • Pump some wood glue into a crack in the side of the drawer to strengthen it up.
  • Putty up a few small nicks.
  • Clean the years of food and grime built up inside the coffee table top edge.
1960's Space Age Design Coffee Table

Tomorrow I’ll be tackling the sanding and re-assembly .

Parker Sideboard – After 55 years hard labour…………….

I came across this Parker Sideboard a few weeks back. Dates from mid to late 1950’s and is made from a Queensland Maple/veneer. From the research I have done I would say this piece would be one of the last of this style made by Parker before they released their range of furniture based on the Scandinavian influence.

It certainly has served its time. In all my years repairing and restoring furniture these would have to be some of the most worn drawer runners I have seen! The right side was definitely more favoured then the left. Fortunately the missing door handle was tucked away in the back of the left drawer.

Retro Sideboard Parker

Looking forward to giving this cute little sideboard the TLC it deserves after serving 2 life sentences!

Next restoration project is ready for Blast Off!

With the restoration of the Parker chair complete I thought I’d share a few photos of my next project.

This Victorian Ash coffee table has a real space age design to it with it’s lunar landing craft style legs and half floating table top due to a clever triangular design supporting piece hidden away under the centre of the table top.

Unfortunately this coffee table has seen better days. The top is caked with food build up (yuk!), scratches to the painted underside of the glass top, various stains to the finish, one leg has been replaced with a not so matching piece and the draw doesn’t quite slide correctly.

With all restoration projects you need to weigh up whether or not the amount of time and effort you put into a piece will be worth the end result. Sometimes not, so you will pass on the piece or approach it in a different way – aka –

This one however for me ticks all the boxes needed to perform a restoration. We have –

  • Great Design and Shape (Most important)
  • Maker’s label underneath (Help to identify the piece when planning to sell)
  • Easy materials to work with (Being made of timber)

Looking forward to making a start on it!

Retro 1960's Coffee Table