This is Truly an One-Of-A-Kind Piece of Furniture
Rob Beaty has been in the furniture restoration business full time since 1982 and started his own business, Fine Finishes in 1998. His specialty is antique furniture restoration but he also does chair gluing and furniture repairs in his shop.
Rob actually has commercial accounts with a custom poker table manufacturer and a few custom cabinet makers and has worked with all kinds of finishes from old time shellac and varnish to lacquer and urethane, interior and exterior.
Rob also works with more modern finishes such as conversion varnish clear and pigmented and other catalyzed finishes. Over the years he’s finished furniture for the Catholic Church in DC, the State House in Annapolis, CSX and quite a few well know business people in and around Baltimore.
However, there is something that Rob has been working on for 17 years, a coffee table, but not just any coffee table. This particular table has a model railroad display in it, and yes, it is operational.
Ron posted details on his Facebook Page: “The railroad is based on the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad which ran from Baltimore Maryland to York Pennsylvania the LONG way around. All the buildings are scratch built based on real Ma & Pa structures, the station is Bridgeton, Pa. and yes that house was really that close to the tracks. The house and garage are the only kit-built structures on the layout and they’ve been modified to better match the prototype.
There are plenty of handmade details also. There’s a hand water pump behind the house, a Toledo Scale on the station platform and various track maintenance tools on the tie stacks and over by the section house. I even modeled a couple squirrel’s nests.
The locomotive is a Bachmann 2-6-0 Alco I re-lettered for the York Southern a Ma & Pa predecessor, Micro Trains supplied the boxcar and bringing up the rear is a highly modified Bachmann “Bobber” caboose. All have been weathered with furniture touch-up powders to look as if they were on their last legs. The trains do run if you’re wondering.
The table is solid poplar with crotch cut Mahogany veneer stained dark red mahogany and finished with commercial grade lacquer. The top is also poplar but I “faux” finished it to look like marble and finished with many coats of conversion varnish for durability. Same finish as you’ll find on your kitchen cabinets. I designed this for myself so I made it to look like Empire style furniture, my favorite. Everything breaks down for easy access to the trains and is held in place with table leaf pins.
I really enjoyed working on this table and wouldn’t rule out building another but this time I’d like to do it for hire. Sort of a sideline or if the market is there “full time”. As much as I like how it turned out it’s “For Sale” to the right person.”
Fine Finishes is located at 3300 Emmorton Rd. Abingdon, MD 21009