I have a bench that is loose and I don't seem to be able to tighten it up. Can you help me with this? I have tried to tighten the screws but it is still loose.

This bench was brought into the shop and it was very clear that it was loose. It wobbled back and forth. The problem was that though there were screws coming up from the bottom of the frame into the seat area the construction was such that there were screws that went from side to side also. There was one stripped screw which could not be tightened but the others could. By tightening those three screws the bench was much less loose and by replacing the stripped screw the bench was completely tight. The understanding of where to look when trying to repair a mechanical piece is to check each joint in three directions (top to bottom, side to side and front to back). If you tighten a joint from three directions that is a form of a triangle which is very strong. This is good construction.

I have a base to a Hoosier cabinet that I replaced the damaged panels. My problem is getting the new panels to match the old color of the frame. How do I do this? I have tried to add stain but the match is not very close. I took the stain off and tried again with another stain and it did no better. I'm getting frustrated.  I do need some help. Thanks.

I understand your situation I have had this happen to me. What you will need to do is start with a base color. Look at the frame and determine the base color.  What you see as the color that shows the most in the back ground between the grain lines. You did mention that you replaced the panels of a Hoosier cabinet so I am assuming that you used oak as the wood. At this point you need to use a piece of the wood you used as a sample. Wipe denatured alcohol on the frame and then do the same to your sample piece and hold them close to see what you have. From here you will need to add color. Do not just use stain. By itself you will not have the correct combination to cover all of the variance in the new wood. Oak is varied meaning you have several colors to match. The process I use is to apply a toner using an aerosol spray. (Usually amber) When the first color (the base color) dries you can spray the second color without interrupting the first color. (Usually Van dyke walnut) Let the second color dry. Use a clear sealer to lock in the first two colors and let it dry. If you need more color you can add more but add in light coats to gradually bring the color in line with the frame. The base coat draws the back ground together with the over coats .The second color draws the over coat down to dampen the base coat. You may need another color to draw the first two together but if you select a close base color and then a good over coat color you should come fairly close. You need to do your trial and error to get what you need to match the new wood and the old wood. This process takes some time but you can get colors very close. The clear top coat will many times add a yellow or amber coloring also. Remember you are dealing with several colors at the same time. If you can get a pleasing color that may be the best you get. Be patient you will get there.

Until next time I’m Ron Stookey

E-mail to r.stookeyccref@att.net or telephone at (515) 277-1555. The shop is at 113 5th Street, West Des Moines, Iowa. Mailing address is Ron Stookey, P.O. Box 65102, West Des Moines, Iowa 50226. Visit us at www.countrycabooserefinishing.com www.countrycabooserefinishing.com