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The Rescue Mission: Transforming a DIY Disaster into a Dining Dream

Have you ever seen a project where you just knew trouble was brewing? That's exactly how I felt when a new client, Mike, contacted me through Facebook. He needed help with a large, 3-meter solid yew and resin dining table he'd purchased two years ago.

The pictures Mike sent painted a worrying story. The yew wood, clearly not properly dried or acclimatised, was already showing signs of distress. While I normally avoid working on other makers' projects, Mike's situation tugged at my heartstrings.

The original maker, let's just say, hadn't exactly delivered Mike's dream table. Promised for half the price of other quotes, the table boasted wood allegedly over 1000 years old. But with an additional "settlement fee" of £350 a day and questionable construction choices, it was clear the maker prioritised profit over quality.

Faced with a table on the brink of failure, I offered Mike some honest advice. I'd sand the entire surface, fill cracks, and refinish with a high-quality oil. He understood there were no guarantees, but was eager to give his table a fighting chance.

The closer I looked, the worse it got. The original finish was a mess, the resin uneven and stained, and a corner was breaking apart, not to mention the copious amounts of plaster filler used. Yet, amidst the problems, there were hidden treasures: a piece of metal organically incorporated by the tree and beautiful spalting patterns.

The restoration process was a labor of love. I meticulously scraped off the old finish,

A wooden table with a gray resin top sits in a modern kitchen. The table has metal legs and visible woodworking joints.

sanded the wood smooth, and used water to raise the grain between sanding for a flawless finish. Finally, the table received a new coat of Rubio Monocoat 2c oil, revealing the wood's true potential. The clients were amazed – the once dull surface now exploded with vibrant colors and natural beauty.

Looking back, it's heartbreaking to think what could have been if the original maker had prioritised quality craftsmanship. But seeing the joy on Mike and his family's faces as they admired their transformed table made it all worth it.

While I can't promise my fixes are forever, I provided Mike with the knowledge and ongoing support he needs to keep his table looking its best. After all, that's what exceptional customer service is all about – ensuring my clients are happy, not just with the work done, but for years to come.

So, was this the table I would have built? Definitely not. But did I manage to turn an eyesore into a showpiece? You be the judge.


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