Hoosier Cabinets

Hoosier Cabinets
Answers to many common questions

New Hardware Old Look

November 30th, 1999

On most antiques, bright and shiny hardware just doesn’t look right.  While there are several ways to age the hardware we have found specialized aging solutions do the best and most consistent job.

Follow this link for a short video on aging hardware:    Click For Video

For Brass try easy to use Brass Ager:
 Brass Darkening Solution    Before Brass Ager After brass Ager

For Nickel try easy to use Nickel Ager:
Nickel Ager

Porcelain Work Tops

November 30th, 1999

In mid 2007 the company that had been making porcelain work tops since the early 1900’s was finaly closed down.  Although sales of the tops had been slow the last couple of years, we were suprised by the number of inquiries for them.  We spent a great deal of time tracking down companies that had the ability to make them.  At one point we even considered bringing them in from overseas.  The prospect of producing these again were becoming increasingly slim when you consider the cost of steel rising as well as the fuel for the kiln and trucking it in.  Today I am please to say that we have a shipment on the way.  This is is a small quantity order as we have never done business with this company before and wanted to verify quality.  If we do another shipment I am afraid that the cost on these will be going up as the price we were quoted to make these was several months old.  Since then fuel and steel have continued to rise.

We will have an announcement on Kennedy Hardware as soon as these are ready to ship, which is hopefully later this month.

UPDATE July 24th:
Our first order of porcelain work tops are currently in shipment from the manufacturer and are due to arrive July 28th.  This may be our only shipment of these for some time as the freight charges are out of site.  Due to this being a small order we are going to limit the tops to one per customer.  Here is a link to more information on the porcelain tops.

UPDATE November 12th:
Our shipment arrived and is now gone.  Unless we can fine a local company that can make them at a reasonable price they will not be reordered.  Many of you have asked for ideas on alternatives, so let me give you the short list.

Find an Old Porcelain Table:
      Flea markets or antique malls are a great place to start.  Write down
      the size you need put it in your wallet, throw a tape measure in the
      glove box and keep your eyes open.
Butcher Block:
       
You can make your own butcher block style top.  it is best to do this
      out of hard maple but be warned as the is a heavy top.
Modern Top:
       
The are also many modern alternatives such as corian, melamine, tile
       and even aluminum.  Whatever you decide to use make sure that it is
       not too thick or heavy and is safe with foods.

What Kind Of Cabinet Do I Have?

November 30th, 1999

Almost every day someone will say, “I have a cabinet with three doors across the top, a porcelain top, three drawers and a door on the base, who made it?”  That description covers about 90% of all the cabinets made and is akin to saying, “I have a car with four wheels, two doors, a trunk and a hood, who made it?” 

Most people do not realize that there were over forty different manufacturers with some making 20-30 models per year.  You also had companies like Sears and Wards that put their names on cabinets made by companies like Napanee and Sellers.   Many factors such as construction of the cabinet, hardware and locations of accessories need to be taken into consideration when trying to identify a cabinet.  The book Hoosier Cabinets goes a long way towards identifying and restoring these old cabinets.

What does all the different types of brass mean?

November 30th, 1999

Many times when you see a description for a brass product you will see terms such as stamped, cast, wrought and extruded.  We receive many inquiries from people wanting to know what these terms actually mean. 

These are terms used to describe how the product was manufactured.  They also will tell you in what ways the product can be used.  For example, some stamped brass back plates for restoration drawer pulls are thin enough to be flexible and mold to a bowed drawer front.

Stamped:
Stamping is a metalworking process by which sheet metal strips are punched using a press tool which is loaded on a machine press or stamping press to form the sheet into a desired shape. This could be a single stage operation where every stroke of the press produce the desired form on the sheet metal part, or could occur through a series of stages.  Click here for an example of stamped restoration hardware.

Cast:
A metal-forming process whereby molten metal is poured into a cavity or mold and, when cooled, solidifies and takes on the characteristic shape of the mold.  Click here for an example of cast restoration hardware.

Wrought:
Wrought is the process of forging or hammering the raw product into shape.  This can be done by hand with a hammer or with a stamping press where the material is pounded into it’s form.  Click here for an example of wrought restoration hardware.

Extruded:
Extrusion is a manufacturing process used to create long objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile. A material, often in the form of a billet, is pushed and/or drawn through a die of the desired profile shape. Hollow sections are usually extruded by placing a pin or piercing mandrel inside of the die, and in some cases positive pressure is applied to the internal cavities through the pin. Extrusion may be continuous (producing indefinitely long material) or semi-continuous (producing many short pieces). Some materials are hot drawn while others may be cold drawn.  Click here for an example of extruded restoration hardware.

Server Move

November 30th, 1999

Hoosier Cabinets has moved to a new server.  Please let us know if you have any problems accessing the site.

Hoosier Cabinets Admin

What is the best way to restore the tambour door?

November 30th, 1999

The first thing you need to do even before removing the old cloth is number your slats.  The slats have been glued next to one another for decades and have conformed to each others shape, curve and warps.  Once you have the slats number you can begin to scrape off the old cloth.  The glue is most likely a hide glue and is very hard.  Many times we will use a belt sander to remove the old glue.  If you do this be very careful to keep the surface of the slat even.

Once all the slats are free of the old glue and you have a clean back surface you will need to make a jig to hold the slats in place when gluing on the new cloth.  You need to pay close attention that the jig is square and that you have 90 degree angles.  This can be something as simple as a scrap piece of plywood with strips of wood screwed to it forming 90 degree angles.

Take your new tambour webbing and cut your strips about one inch longer than the width of the door.  The excess will be trimmed off later, but will allow for some shrinkage of the cloth.  Next you need to apply the glue to the cloth. 

You can use many different glues but if you want to save yourself hours of frustration we highly recommend that you use our tambour glue.  Wood and cloth absorb liquids at different rates.  Most glues are absorbed totally by the cloth before they adhere to the wood.  To overcome this problem you need to apply enough glue so that it is not all absorbed by the cloth.  Our glue also remains flexible after it is cured which helps improve the rolling of the tambour door.

When you apply the strips to the back of the slats it is best to use a tool such as a wallpaper roller.  This will ensure glue contact to all of the surface under the tambour tape.  Once all of your strips of tambour tape are in place cover them with wax paper and then another piece of plywood.  Place a weight on top of the plywood such as a cement block or case of sodas and let it dry overnight.  Once dry trim off the excess cloth and you are ready to re-install your door.

Are The Flour

November 30th, 1999

The answer to this would depend on your definition of safe.  You should first realize that these bins are not airtight.  For the sugar bin, this can be quite a bad thing in areas of the country with high humidity.  Imagine opening the sieve to release the sugar and nothing comes out because it is one huge sugar cube!  For the flour bin this gives access for bugs such as moths and meal bugs.

 The next problem is what the bins are made of tin plated steel.  To keep the bins from rusting we apply a fine coat of oil as we manufacture them.  Since I am sure that you do not want oil in your flour, your first thought might be to wash the bin.  If every nook and cranny is not fully dried, you will have a very orange bin the next day as the rusting process begins.

 The typical response that we hear even after being told all of this is, “Well my Grandmother used hers for years with no problem.”  While this may be true, we have become much better health educated in the last 80 years.  We used to have mercury in our light switches, and lead in our paint too.  We also live much longer today than we did 80 years ago.