E. Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
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you interested in buying my furniture?
Possibly. Due to the high cost of shipping metal furniture, we generally
only buy furniture from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area - unless your
piece is especially rare, or if we happen to have a truck driving
through your area. Also, due to the expenses involved in the restoration
process, we usually cannot afford to pay very much for an as-is piece
of furniture. If you think we would be interested in your furniture,
please send us photos, either by e-mail or US Mail, along with your
price and where you are located.
is the value of my furniture? Can you appraise my furniture?
The value of vintage or antique furniture varies greatly, depending
on the condition and rarity of the piece, among other factors. Generally,
an unrestored piece of vintage metal office furniture is not worth
much in and of itself. We can provide insurance appraisals of any
vintage or antique piece of furniture for a flat fee of $55.00.
you identify my furniture?
We have a lot of archival material on our website, and will be adding
more soon, so we ask that you first try and identify your furniture
by viewing our website. If you cannot find your piece there, then
we can research your furniture - we have one of the most extensive
collections of vintage office furniture literature in existence. We
charge $25 per hour for this service.
is that white powder leaking out of my fireproof safe or file cabinet?
Different manufacturers used different types of fireproofing materials
at different times. In our experience, the substance is usually gypsum-based,
which is messy but harmless. Some manufacturers did, however, use
asbestos - and since most of these companies went out of business
or were absorbed into other companies, their manufacturing records
no longer exist. The only way to know for sure is to have the material
tested at a lab.
you have replacement keys for my desk or file cabinet?
In most cases we can have new keys made for you, however you may find
it faster and less expensive to visit your local locksmith instead.
If your lock has a number on it, give the locksmith that number as
well as the name of the manufacturer. If the lock is on a drawer which
is easy to remove, you can take the whole drawer to the locksmith.
can I restore my own piece of furniture?
The process we use for restoring a piece of vintage metal furniture
is quite costly, time-consuming and complicated - thus we generally
do not recommend you do it yourself. Our first step is to disassemble
the piece and have the original paint blasted off using plastic media
rather than sand, as sand tends to pit and scratch the metal. We will
then either paint it with a powder-coat paint, or sand and polish
it with varying grits of sandpaper, followed by a clear powder coat
for protection. If you attempt to do this yourself, NEVER touch exposed
steel with bare hands, as the oil on your hands will leave fingerprints
and begin to rust. A clear coat of some kind must be applied when
polishing steel, as it will oxidize rapidly without it.
is my vintage desktop made of? How can I clean it?
It is either a laminate or linoleum, specifically a desktop linoleum
that is thinner and a bit softer than the stuff they use on floors.
Linoleum is a wonderful writing surface, but does not hold up well
to years of neglect and abuse. Due to the way the linoleum is attached,
it is extremely difficult to replace. Stains will most likely not
come out, especially if they're dark. Linoleum is primarily a mixture
of cork and linseed oil, and thus is rather porous. If the top is
worth saving, you can completely strip the surface with Armstrong
brand New Beginning. Sometimes you can even sand out minor scratches
and imperfections. You can then re-wax the top. The only way to get
rid of gouges and indentations is to fill them with plastic wood filler,
then sand and paint over it to match. Laminate desk tops, on the other
hand, are easy to clean using either 409 or mild soap and water.
do I clean my vintage aluminum chair?
Vintage aluminum chairs often have a yellowish build-up, caused either
by the againg of the original protective lacquer coating, or by the
accumulation of dirt and oils over many years. The best way to clean
such aluminum parts is first with Soft Scrub and a wet sponge, and
then to go over it with a light rubbing compound.
Do you sell spare parts?
We do sell spare parts and hardware if we have a sufficient quantity
of the particular part you are looking for. In many cases, we do not
- most parts we manage to salvage are used for our own restoration
projects. However, certain parts we can readily provide, including
the Flo-Tilt cylinder used to control the tilt on most vintage aluminum
swivel chairs. The archives section of our website includes several
exploded diagrams and parts lists for certain pieces of GF furniture.
If you are looking for a specific part for one of these models, please
consult the diagram to identify exactly which part you require.