Tuesday, December 13, 2005

To Strip or Not to Strip

-In order to show your buggy in an antique show you must strip it completely down to original bare wood and stain it "Au natural" and document everything you do with photos and text in a photo album. Search ruthlessly for it's roots. Or leave it "AS IS' for the purists to judge it. Go to a few shows first before making a commitment to what you are going to do. Sign up to join caa.org Plan to devote a certain amount of your spare time to this particular project each individually or it could stretch out to years and you could get burnt out on it and end up despising it or each other for not devoting the same amount of time. When it's a joint project one person always feels they have put more money or time into a joint project at the expense of pissing off the other party to it. Don't let a project ruin your relationship. Decide ahead of time how much money each of you will put in and how much time you expect from each other to be put into working on it. We have had many restoration projects some of which can been seen at Vintage Restorations. Such as a Doctors Buggy, '66' Case Backhoe, 1976 Kenworth, and a 69 Caddy that is still waiting. Save your back and look at already restored horse carriages below before deciding to take on such a project. It is truly a labor of love...don't expect to make any money off reselling it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Before You Do A Restoration Project

I was recently emailing a young lady that had alot of questions about restoring a horse drawn carriage that was given to her from a deceased friend. She wasn't sure what to do with it but knew she was in love with and wanted to restore it. I had been thru many a restoration project and wanted to offer my best advice and hopefully save her some time and misery. So the excerpts following are replies from me that I had sent to her in reply to some of her questions.

She had found me originally thru viewing my Waterloo Piano Buggy at my website: Vintage-Restorations.com

To Maribeth: Sorry but without the original manufacturers plate you can't find out who manufactured it and where. You must have the company name of who manufactured it and city and state. Save the old top and any old parts-you can get a new top- put the old stuff in a box where rats can't eat at the straw stuffing. If you decide you want to restore it then...Replace it with a new top from Justin Carriages at: http://www.buggy.com/ that's where I got mine done. You can get a whole new top frame or send him the frame you have if it's in good enough shape and get him to replace the top on the existing frame and ship it back. They do all kinds of restoration work and their prices are reasonable(I shopped around) go with them. They've been in the business a long time-I got mine done like 6 years ago. Tell them Ann Menke from Vintage-Restorations.com referred you. My husband Russ did do alot of the restoration work on our buggy himself - but Justin's Carriage did the top and seat. You can also get the seat done at a local upholsterer which I recommend as Justin's seat upholstery was not that great. He did a great job on the top though. I got mine with an oval opera glass in the back-which to me adds a hint of elegance to the buggy, so I do recommend it. Please check back for further excerpts of me trying to help Maribeth decide on whether to restore her buggy.

Thanks, Ann Menke

I highly recommend looking at horse carriages that are already restored before taking on the time and expense of doing it yourself...you may find that you can get one at a very reasonable price already restored below and sell the one you were thinking of restoring.