I’m trying to stay sane during our new “normal”, so I’ve been working on a Lane Rhythm midcentury modern end table. It is finally finished and it turned out quite nice. But first, a little background…
Ever since my wife and I visited Palm Springs CA (been there twice!) we have been on the lookout for nice midcentury modern (MCM) furniture. We have quite a nice collection thus far, essentially replacing as we go.
So, where do we find these pieces? They come from MCM stores local and online, and also from estate sales. Estate sales can be hit or miss; there is a lot of luck involved but that is what makes it fun. In the case of this table, my wife picked it up at an estate sale just a few weeks before this COVID-19 changed our way of living.
This table was made sometime in the mid 1960’s by furniture maker Lane as part of the Rhythm collection. The table is walnut, and was in fair shape with a number of stains on the top. “Stains” as in when somebody puts a flower pot and moisture makes a ring. That might be why nobody wanted it, and why my wife picked it up for a song.
Other than the top, the rest of the table was in remarkable nice shape considering it is 50+ years old. I started with some light sanding and this removed some rough spots from the wood. The top took a little more effort, and fortunately the stains came out…
While I was doing all this work, I removed the drawer and flipped the table upside down. That is when I found it was loose in a few joints. All it took was a little patience, some strategically placed wood glue and some clamps. Now the table is solid and stable.
Sanding this table reminded me of body work and that is why I found it so much fun. The trick is in attention to detail. The cleaner and accurate you make the prep, the nicer the project will turn out. In this case, I used several grits of sandpaper, finishing out the prep with steel wool. Then, wiping the entire table down with spirits and a tack cloth to remove any dust and/or debris. Finally a couple of very carefully applied coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal satin finish. Arm-R-Seal is very thin, and I applied it with good quality foam brushes. Letting it dry thoroughly and then gently following up with steel wool.
And yes, that is Jimi Hendrix in that photo – I thought it complimented the table quite nicely.
As you can see, the two chairs on either side are far from midcentury modern. I can kick myself back in January: my wife and I visited Knoxville TN for a wedding and we found an MCM store. They had a pair of very period correct lounge chairs that would have been perfect with this table. I should have bough them. If you notice, you can see what I mean in the lounge set used to introduce movies on Turner Classic Movies network.
So, a request to anyone reading this entry, if you have a lead on two MCM lounge chairs, let me know. It makes no difference what kind of shape they may be in, provided they are not too far gone.