One Restoration At A Time
We Only Accept High Quality Antiques. Classic Americana Or High Quality Solid Wood Or Wrought Iron Hand Forged Furniture, Doors Or Vintage Classics Example: Visible Gas Pumps, Classic Vending Machines, Etc. For Restoration To Museum Quality Standards.
When we hand build a historical fine art reproduction, we build it in the same hand and materials and processes as it was built by the original producer in the era it was produced originally. Example: If it’s a Thomas Chippendale, Richard Wood, Robert Adam,Van Gogh, Carroll Shelby or Gustav Stickley, etc., it will be finished using the exact methods and materials taking care as to not disturb the natural patinas. This is the only way we know to restore or rebuild so each piece will maintain full fine art collector integrity.
When we repair and refinish a museum quality antique furnishing for a museum or insurance claim flood, fire, etc. we must use the exact finishes and methods as was originally used. Note: However we do take every safety precaution and have the state of the art down draft environmentally controlled booths and equipment to keep these processes safe to our personnel and consumers.
We Never Faux Finish Just To Cover Up A Damaged Part (just because you can not see it is not a correct repair at this level of integrity and value) however we do take every precaution to protect its originality.
Note: When you have a fine art furnishing restored or repaired, even though we are considered one of the best in the world, this process will not restore its original true value. It is a fact when a fine art furnishing or artifact is damaged and repaired – even though we have restored it to its original glory – it must always be disclosed when selling these works. In doing so this will drastically reduce it original value. However, using the fine craftsmanship provided by ArtFactory.com will greatly help with how much this reduction in value is determined to be in the final professional analysis.
Our Restoration Shop Is Unique – Since We Are A Fine Art Hand Crafted Furniture, Door and Hand Forged Hardware Manufacturer With Over A Century Of Experience Building Some Of The World’s Finest Furnishings.
Our retro shop has direct access to our manufacturing floors and is able on demand to re-manufacture in the same hand and materials parts and process that can not be fond in the general market. This allows us to restore most items to their original factory fresh state no matter the age or condition. Allowing for the most authentic and investment value restoration that can be done worldwide.
There Are Three Types Of Restoration – Repair – Full Restoration – Or Restomod
At ArtFactory.com A Restored Antique Or New Product Is Guaranteed to Be The Best – Built Or Restored To World Class Collector Standards.
Your Satisfaction Is Guaranteed – All Vintage, Antiques, Artifacts or Restorations – Are Guaranteed To Be As Represented Upon Delivery And Your Inspection – Or We Will Refund Your Money And Pay The Freight Both Ways. All Backed By Over A Century Of Fine Craftsmanship.
Antique Gas Pumps, Vintage Coke Machines, Antique Furniture Or Automobile Restoration Is The Process Of Repairing The Degraded Aspect Of A Vehicle Or Vintage Furnishing To Return It To An Overall “authentic” Condition.
This Information Is Offered So You May Fully Understand What You Are Ordering When You Order A Vintage Artifact Or Have ArtFactory.com Restore You Antique Or Vintage Items.
Antiques restoration refers to either the practice of “restoration” – restoring an antique or work of art to a like-new condition (or what might be perceived by a viewer or potential buyer as like-new), or “conservation” – the practice of preserving an antique or work of art against further deterioration.
Antiques restoration, can be as simple as light cleaning to remove disfiguring dirt or grime, such as on the surface of a painting, or it may include near complete rebuilding or replacement, as might be the case with old automobiles or furniture. Often done in preparation for sale, or by a collector upon acquiring a new piece, the main goal of restoration is to “restore” the original appearance or functionality of a piece.
There is a lot of difference between restoring and repairing. You may achieve functionality with a repair, but restoring an item properly is an art-form. Finishes might/may be stripped and redone, but it is essential that the original patination is retained, if possible. Stripping is only done as a last resort, especially with antique furniture. Engines might be rebuilt with new parts as necessary, or holes in a [silver] pot might/may be patched.
While some of these practices are frowned on by many museums, scholars, and other experts, for many people there is little value in an antique that is unusable or not able to be displayed. Poor restoration is the bane of a trained restorer. Working on someone elses bad repair is the worst possible situation. Often with antique restoration, there are also other issues as well. For example, some collectors value “patina”, or also want an item to still reflect an aesthetic that shows its age – in this respect, an “over restored” item can actually take away from its value than if nothing has been done to the item at all. Therefore, restoration should always be left to professionals who are sensitive to all of the issues – insuring that a piece retains or increases its value after restoration.
Our Restorers are trained craftspeople, such as furniture makers, mechanics, or metalsmiths. All have many years of experience in their fields.
“French Polishing” was the industry standard in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries, pushed aside by the efficient advantage of modern methods in the Industrial Revolution. Lacquers and spray systems replaced the original French polish finish, which is impractical for mass furniture production due to the labor-intensive process of application. As the desire for antiques was not idle, neither was the need for them to be appropriately restored; thus, the trade has been kept alive by a thread of fine art craftsman such as us.
Conservation in contrast, conservation typically aims to preserve the remaining material as being worthy or valuable on its own without necessarily being functional or looking new. There are several criteria for what work is necessary and how far to take any work performed.
Chiefly, is the object (book, painting, car, statue, etc.) actively deteriorating? Slowing or stopping deterioration and eliminating or mitigating the root cause is the first task of the conservator. To this end, conservators are usually trained in the science of materials and chemistry, as well as art history, archaeology, and other disciplines related to their areas of expertise.
To renovate a item without updating or upgrading it by keeping in line with how it would have appeared when first offered for sale. Non factory paint codes and even paint schemes, interior and chrome trim of the time period may be used if they were commonly shared between similar models of the era so as to look the part. Many restored cars may lose their original engines and have a similar capacity or model related engine installed or a Coke machine may have an upgraded compressor and fans etc.
Cars, Gas Pumps, Vending Machines – A complete restoration includes not only repair of the parts that can be seen ? the body, the trim, the chrome, the wheels, and accessories ? but the parts that are not necessarily visible or otherwise evident, including the motor or engine and the compartment, the trunk or inside and under, the frame, the mechanical, and all ancillary parts like the brakes, accessories, engine cooling system, electrical system, etc.
Besides repairs done to correct obvious problems, repairs are also done for cosmetic reasons. For example, even if a wheel is covered by a hub cap and not seen, and is structurally sound, it should have the tire unmounted, then any required repairs such as rust removal, straightening, priming and painting.
Restoration is sometimes confused with the term “restomod.” A restomod places some portions of the antique or car as they were when the car was first offered for sale, and changes (updates) others. If any part of the car is updated, the car has been “restomodded,” and not restored.
An “original restoration” puts a car in the same condition as when it was first offered for sale. Many antique and rare cars may not be able to have a true to original restoration done because some parts may not be available to replace or to imitate fully, yet with the proper research, they may be restored to an overall authentic condition.
A complete auto restoration could include total removal of the body, engine, driveline components and related parts from the car, total disassembly, cleaning and repairing of each of the major parts and its components, replacing broken, damaged or worn parts and complete re-assembly and testing. As part of the restoration, each part must be thoroughly examined, cleaned and repaired, or if repair of the individual part would be too costly, replaced (assuming correct, quality parts are available) as necessary to return the entire automobile to “as first sold” condition.
All of the parts showing wear or damage that were originally painted are typically stripped of old paint, with any rust or rust related damage repaired, dents and ripples removed and then the metal refinished, primed and painted with colors to match the original factory colors.
Wooden parts should go through the same meticulous inspection and repair process with regluing, replacement of rotted or termite-damaged wood, sealing and refinishing to match the factory specifications. Chrome and trim may require stripping and repair/refinishing. Fasteners with tool marks, damaged threads, or corrosion need re-plating or replacement-unless the car was originally sold that way.
The frame must be thoroughly cleaned and repaired if necessary. Often sandblasting of the frame is the most expeditious method of cleaning. The frame must be properly coated to match the original.
The interior of the car should be examined and repaired/replaced to match those that were available from the factory. The seats must be repaired before being re-upholstered and the coil springs repaired, replaced or retied. The instrument panel, or dash board contains a number of gauges, each of which have to be inspected and cleaned/repaired/replaced to be brought back to both operational and cosmetic standards of the car when it was first sold.
Before and After in a complete restoration, the repair and refinishing of the car’s body and frame must again go through the careful inspection and subsequent repair,and recoating as necessary to bring the car to as first sold condition.
As part of the automotive restoration process, repair of the car’s frame is important since in serves as the foundation for the entire car. The frame should be inspected for straightness, twisting, alignment, rust damage, and condition of the mounting points for the body, suspension, and other components. Any problems must be repaired, which can be a costly process.
For many popular cars, replacement frames can be purchased from parts suppliers specializing in that make of vehicle. This is often a better option than investing money into a severely damaged frame. Depending on the frame construction, mud and water can make their way inside the frame and cause rusting from the inside out, so it can be seriously weakened with little or no external sign. This, and the fact that many replacement chassis/frames are galvanised, provides sound additional reasons to consider a replacement frame.
If rust is present on a body panel, the panel was damaged by a collision, or other damage is present, there are several options for repair: fix the damaged panel (minor damage), replacement (excessively damaged panels), or cutting out and replacing a portion of the panel (moderate damage – for many makes of vintage car, small partial patch panels are available and designed to be welded into place after the damaged portions are cut out).
Although, this may seem simple in principle, in practice it is highly skilled work. One of the highest skills in restoration is the use of the English Wheel or Wheeling Machine. Many panels, (especially if from different sources), may be a problem to fit together and need reshaping to fit properly. Variation in panel size and shape and ‘fettling’ by skilled metalworkers on the factory production line to make panels fit well, used to be common practice, especially with British and Italian sports cars. Even genuine New Old Stock factory panels may require panel beating skills to fit.
The re-installation of the repaired or renewed panels requires that the panels be trial fitted and aligned, to check their fit, that their shape ‘flows’ and the gaps between panels are correct. Consistent gaps are very important to a quality finish.
The doors, hood, and trunk should open and close properly, and there should be no interference or rubbing. Steel or aluminum door skins and wing/fender edges can be generally be adjusted with a hammer and dolly, in extreme cases a pulsed MIG weld bead on a panel edge, that is shaped with a grinder, can be good solution. At one time it was common practice to use lead loading to achieve tight panel gaps, especially in the coachbuilding business, but also on the production line. The panels have to ‘look right’ together. This is a process of repeated adjustment, because the adjustment of one panel often affects the apparent fit of another. If there are multiple styling lines on the side of a car, it is generally best to align doors on the most prominent one.
When we are satisfied with the panels on the car, they will be primed and painted a correct historical color for the vehicle (although this is debatable – the owner might want to have the car painted to look like a particular specialty vehicle such as a police car, or a delivery van painted to look like it would have in grandfather’s company colors, etc.).
Individual painting of the panels is generally the correct approach, as this will result in all parts of the panel being painted as opposed to partially re-assembling and then painting, leaving parts of the assembly that are touching or “blind” unpainted. It is useful to mark in some way, if possible, where the panels fit before removal for painting, to aid re-fitting. The separate painting approach should also result in no overspray on other parts of the since they will not be on the car at that point.
It is important when re-assembling painted panels, to be aware that the paint is at its thinnest, and most easily damaged, on corners, edges, and raised styling lines, and to take extra care with them. This is also important when using ultra fine wet flatting paper before polishing, (or when using an electric polishing mop) for the best mirror like finish.
Colors and treatments applied to the panels, from the factory should be considered. A car’s owner may wish to have a panel or portion of the car entirely painted when in fact it may have come from the factory with undercoating or other coating applied to one side, which may be less attractive than a smoothly finished and painted panel.
In other cases, the owner might paint or plate a collection of small parts to look similar for a better appearance, when the factory might have installed these as many different colors since the factory’s prime concern was function and not appearance. This makes the car a “Restomod”, and not a restoration.
The entire engine and all related systems are inspected and what ever is necessary to get them into original presale condition is done. The engine and all of the ancillary components ? starter, generator/alternator, radiator, distributor, carburetor and all others ? must be inspected and corrected to factory specifications.
The engine itself, plus the transmission, clutch, overdrive unit and even the driveshaft must be meticulously inspected, cleaned and measured for wear. This will show up as deviation from original factory specifications. All of the parts ? block, crankcase, head, transmission housing, etc. ? should be inspected for cracks or other damage.
All moving parts ? pistons, crankshaft, camshaft, oil pump, bearing and bushings, flywheel, water pump and all others ? must be cleaned and measured against factory specifications and, if necessary, machined or re-manufactured to bring them within specifications.
The same goes for the transmission, clutch, differential and all other moving parts of the power line and drive line. All of the electrical system has to be inspected and, if it shows wear or damage, replaced. Then the entire engine/driveline will have to be reassembled, replacing all worn bearing and bushings, seals, gaskets, belts and gears.
Reassembly – Finally, the engine/driveline has to be re-installed in the frame, the brakes, wheels and other parts re-installed, the body fitted to the frame and the entire car rechecked and tested.
Restoration of a car is a daunting task, not one to be undertaken lightly, or by the inexperienced. A full restoration can take many years by some individuals and can cost tens of thousands of dollars; often, and generally, well in excess of what the finished value of the car will be. At ArtFactory.com we get this job done in the fastest amount of time. Most can be done in less than 95 work days.
There are different levels of automotive repair and restoration. The highest quality level, (generally unobtainable for the amateur restorer,) is the Concours d’Elegance level; these are cars that are frequently restomoded to a degree often beyond the quality that they were when they left the factory.
There are virtually no deficiencies in the quality of the parts that were actually restored. Those parts that did not come on the car as it was first sold must have the highest level of fit and finish, and appear to have been original parts. Many Concours d’Elegance cars are not driven except for the short distances from their trailers to the show field.
Only when a car is completely placed back into the condition it was first sold in is it considered to be restored. Various aspect of a car may be repaired without the car being restored. A car that does not run can be repaired to running condition, but that simply means it will now run and does not mean that any part of the car has been restored.
Automotive Restoration means that the car was put back into the condition it was first sold as. Anything else is either repair, or restomod. Between these two extremes are the vast bulk of cars that are seen as drivers, neighborhood show cars, 20-footers (they look great from 20 feet away). Many value guides offer six levels of quality, from a ‘parts-only’ car to a Number 1 – absolutely perfect in every way.
Over the many years we have been blessed with some of the world finest master-craftsmen. Most of whom have been classically trained to world class fine art antique building and repair standards.
These methods require proper times and materials as well as state of the art equipment. We reserve the right to refuse items due to poor original quality or poor attitude of customer. All standard warranties and guarantees apply. Please call 1-800-292-0008 for additional information.
Learn more about our Antique and Classic Restorations Services