Monthly Archives: February 2014

Atomic Magazine Rack Progress – Repairs, Sanding & Assembly

Following on from our last update, we are now ready to sand, repair and assemble our magazine rack.

Updates including pictures of the restoration of a mid century magazine rack.
Progress pictures of an Atomic Magazine Rack restoration.

First was the sanding, and as you can see someone done quite a number on the coachwood veneer hitting it with quite a rough grit sand paper (and in all directions) to help their paint ‘stick’ to the timber. Luckily all of the scratches were able to be sanded out without damaging the thin veneer.

Updates including pictures of the restoration of a mid century magazine rack.
Progress pictures of an Atomic Magazine Rack restoration.

Next came the repairs, and to be honest there were a few more than I was originally expecting. Various old screw holes were filled, lifting veneer on some edges re-glued, 2 edges were trimmed (at a 60 degree angle) down to give a nice straight edge along with manufacturing the missing centre divider.

As you can see above the centre divider has a slight curve (boomerang shaped) to one edge. This curve is very sympathetic to the piece (and the era it was made in) and is simply the exact reverse of  the angle on the 2 sides of the magazine rack.

Updates including pictures of the restoration of a mid century magazine rack.
Progress pictures of an Atomic Magazine Rack restoration.

After the repairs all pieces were given a quick hit with some finishing sand paper and then re-assembled into the 2 main pieces. The legs/handle and the rack. This was done in a few stages to ensure each individual piece went together and set correctly.

So far, so good, and we are almost there. Next update will comprise of timber finishing and final reassembly. Can’t wait!

Atomic Magazine Rack – Paint Removal & Disassembly

Following on from our previous post here, over the weekend I started to strip the paint off the awesome atomic magazine rack and disassemble it.

For stripping the paint I used a combination of both a heat gun for the straight, flat surfaces and paint stripper for the turned pieces. Although I’m not an overly  big fan of using paint stripper it certainly does help on those curved/turned surfaces/edges.

Once the majority of the paint was removed I got down to the disassembly part. The initial stage was easy, 4 bolts & nuts and the rack broke down into 2 pieces. The second stage was a little more time consuming. Old glue, thin veneer and doweled joints all added to the difficulty however after a little persuasion it all came apart.

Mid Century Magazine Rack
Update and pictures of an awesome 1950’s magazine rack.

So what was underneath that old paint? Well as I thought the timber is coachwood with the legs and handle solid timber while the rack is plywood.

It’s always interesting to see what you discover whilst restoring. Makers marks, little notes, tricks of the trades all add to the fun. So what did I uncover thus far? Well as you can see on the bottom side of the rack there is the original makers stamp. The name is a little hard to read, however the ‘147’ is clearly visible. This more than likely was their manufacturers # and I’m hoping in time I’ll be able to identify the maker. 4 small nail holes and a dowel hole that has been filled were also found underneath the old paint. Due to the position I’m picturing that there would of been some kind of separating piece of timber that would of stopped the magazines from slipping all the way over to one side, effectively doubling the storage. I’ll have to see if I can find a similar piece online and see how it may of been originally. It should be reasonably easy to knock something up.

Stay tuned, repairs and preparation for reassembly next post!

Auction Watch # 2 – 1960’s Dressing Table Base

Welcome to our 2nd auction watch, and by watch, I mean….well…..the auction has ended and the piece has been sold (I’m off to a great start here LOL). However I still think it’s worthwhile to share.

Mid Century Drawer Unit
1960’s Sideboard/Dressing Table

This piece was just recently sold on eBay ($169.50). It was marketed as a ‘Danish Retro Atomic Eames Era 4 Drawer Chest of Drawers or Lowline Sidboard’. 

Originally this was a dressing table (you can see the mounting holes in the rear picture below). It’s unfortunate that it is missing as I think it would of had a great shape and really made this an unbelievable piece.

Rear view - Mid Century Dressing table
1960’s Dressing table rear view

So what exactly do I like about it? Well, pretty much everything. The design, the shape, the handles, the colour, the chrome plated feet and attachments, the makers label!

1960's Dressing table
Side view – Mid Century dressing table

So, what would you use it for? Well although it is missing it’s mirror, it’s still a great piece of functional furniture. I’d like to see it used in a bedroom setting for storage, perhaps with a wall hung mirror above, but really it’s uses are only limited by your imagination.

The original seller even suggested it’s use as a Lowline (TV?) unit. For sure that would be great, but some advice for those repurposing dressing tables and similar items as a lowline TV unit. Just watch the weight of your TV and the strength and support of the top of your unit.  These pieces were designed to only carry the weight of a few bottles of perfume and makeup, not your 60 inch 50kg flat screen TV!

Awesome retro dressing table
Makers Label – 1960’s mid century dressing table.

Until next time!

Awesome 1950’s ‘Atomic’ Magazine Rack Restoration

I came across this magazine rack on the Australia day long weekend. Tucked away in the storage area of a vintage homeware shop its pokey legs and cotton reel style handle caught my eye immediately.  I had to have it! So after striking a deal with the shopkeep away I whisked it.

Atomic magazine rack
Awesome 1950’s magazine rack

Now although it may not be in the best condition, it will be a fairly straight forward restoration.

I’m thinking that the timber under the thick cream paint will be coachwood.  Legs and handle will be solid timber while the magazine rack will be a plywood. The rack has also has been modified with some modern screws which will need to be replaced with suitable replacements.

First off, stripping that paint. Still deciding whether to trial a natural paint stripped, or use the heat gun. Time will tell.

I’ll post updates at the next stage.

Interesting Parker Sideboard

A new category for the blog this year will be ‘Auction Watch’, which basically as the name suggests will preview and discuss items either being auctioned online or for sale online through various websites.

It’s not a new idea, however it is one I definitely like. I think it helps to give you/me/whoever is browsing an insight into what other people of various fields find interesting and intriguing, along with furthering your knowledge/understanding  at the same time. Basically a win win situation.

To save the blog having a a heap of dead links in a few months time I’ll copy and paste a few photos, along with where the item is listed and the keywords needed to find it!

Don’t be shy to share something interesting you may of come across also, happy to hear and see what you guys are searching for/looking at. You can contact us here.

The first item I’ll be sharing is a ‘RETRO GENUINE ORIGINAL PARKER SIDEBOARD BUFFET 2 DOOR 4 DRAWER’ and although the auction has ended (was an eBay listing) I think it’s still worth sharing due to the interesting design of the piece.

Parker Sideboard Blog

This sideboard shares the same legs as an original Parker Coffee table that is currently for sale on the website (see here) and although we can’t quite make the date in the above picture, it would be from the late 1950’s, more than likely 1958 (same as the coffee table).

So why is this interesting you may ask? Well for me it confirms what I thought about the coffee table (possibly from the same series of furniture). That it is an in-between piece in regards to design and styling. Gone are the angled/splayed legs of the early 1950’s pieces however the veneers had not quite progressed to teak that became so popular during the 1960’s.

And what did it sell for? Well it was listed at $885, however the listing was ended early – most likely due to an outside offer/being sold through another avenue. Nice buying!