Original Woodworks has over 20 years experience in the refinishing, restoration, and conservation of antique trunks and boxes.  Our methods have evolved over this time from our original method of tank stripping in water to hand stripping where required and retaining as much originality as possible both inside and out.  This time consuming method of hand stripping causes virtually no damage to the object while allowing selective restoration and conservation based on the envisioned final appearance.  Because of the detail needed to determine this treatment, we have to charge a fee for this evaluation phase.

We have placed some images of our projects on this page so that one can get a grasp of the scope of the work we do both for our customers' trunks and our own. We believe in conserving as much of the original trunk as possible while still making it useful! This belief generally results in a trunk retaining its value while acquiring a new functionality, i.e., transforming it into a family heirloom that will be passed down to future generations. One of the things we do which runs counter to conservation is the installation of a cedar lining in the bottom of the trunk. We do this not to cover up existing odors (for we strip the old wallpaper out and wash the wood with a TSP solution first), but to make the trunk into a functioning cedar chest! We leave the tray supports, if present, where they are which solves a couple of problems we encountered earlier on when we first started doing trunks in the 1980's:

1) the supports provide a natural boundary to hide the top edges of our lining,

2) the stay which holds the top open does not have to be shimmed out and can be reattached in its original location for proper balance,

3) the supports can be part of a complete perimeter, if necessary, for hiding the cedar lining top edges.

The third reason is closely related to the first but is somewhat different in that some trunks have the top edge on the front and/or the back which was doubled up when they were made for setting in the lock and attaching the rear hinges. We use that to hide the cedar edge if present while other trunks might need to have perimeter strips added in the front and the back to hide the top edges.

You can find images grouped by projects at the following links which will be expanded as time permits:

Alligator skin embossed metal trunk

Canvas (burlap) covered hand-made trunk

Grecian embossed red and white trunk

Acorn embossed trunk

Immigrant trunk 1- painted

old blanket chest

Treasure chest

Immigrant trunk 2

More Pictures coming soon!


Original Woodworks  7018 43rd St. N. Oakdale, MN 55128

(651) 429-2222

By appointment only!

 Updated 3/11/18



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