Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Salvaging a Flood Damaged Headboard

One of the items that we have had in storage since leaving New Orleans is an oak headboard. It was purchased by Alice Willmon, Bill's mom, in the 60's, but was made in the mid 1800's. There was a matching wash stand and chest, both with beautiful mirrors, a foot board and rails. None of these were salvageable, but we thought the head board might be. In New Orleans, we removed the bottom two decorative sections of board, pulled it together with straps, removed the decorative pieces for packing, and used a pair of ruined purple sweatpants to wrap the fancy top piece in.

Between holding boards for Bill, who was working on the studs for the garage wall, I started dismanteling the headboard. Two boards at the bottom had to be removed, one is a solid wood trim piece, the other is veneered tiger oak. The veneer had come loose and warped, from all the water and humidity. So I cut it down, glued the edges, edged the back so it would fit in the solid trim piece, and now have it fitted together. I put it back in the headboard frame and added a couple of tiny nails to hold it in place.

The entire headboard needed to be shortened, since we removed part of the boards, as well as the legs look awful from being under water. We used the chop saw to remove 12 inches. I held it up, Bill chopped. Doing this, we discovered that one side is slightly warped. Oh, well, at 150+ years old, I guess it's entitled.

Since there are many dings, scratches and a dullness to the finish, I think from being in too much humidity, I rubbed new stain over the entire piece and all the decorative pieces that still need to be attached. After this has dried good, Bill will help me put all the parts back on, a two person job.

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