A Visit to a Furniture Restoration Shop in Tel Aviv: Part 2
As I mentioned in the first part of the story, Shay likes to frequent the Jaffa flea markets to look for all kinds of goodies. In fact, many of the tools that he uses come from boxes of miscellaneous items that he has seen there. He buys the tools for little money and later finds the time to rehabilitate them. After fishing the tool from a merchant’s box or picking it from the Parisian rugs that the merchants lay on the sidewalks to showcase their goods, he inspects the tool for breakage, eroded threads, rust, grime, missing parts or chipped handles. Back at the shop, he cleans off the rust and grime, applies a coat of oil on the moving parts and applies a new coat of finish to the handle. At this moment, the tool is finally christened and enters Shay’s growing pantheon of great tools and finds.
Shay told me that, as he grows older and wiser in the art of restoration – so grows his love for the use of hand tools and the culture that they bring about. He enjoys the quiet and safe environment of planing, chiseling and even hand-sanding over the noisy hustle and bustle of working with electrical woodworking equipment. He still uses a band saw and occasionally a table saw, but for the most part ,he relies on hand tools.
Another side of Shay’s healthy obsession with restoration are his efforts to save every piece of worthy hardware that he sees abandoned on the streets, in dumpsters or on deserted furniture that awaits the garbage truck. When he sees an old apartment undergoing renovation, he takes a mental note and remembers to revisit that area occasionally to see if they trashed old doors, windows, or sadly, antique furniture. If he can’t save the furniture (unfortunately he can’t host too many items in his tiny place) he will at least save the valuable knobs, handles, latches, locks etc, which he believes that at some point, via karma or luck, he could put back to good use while doing what he loves the most – restoring old furniture.