The Content Of The Article:

A trumeau mirror imposes its style and brings a certain cachet to the room. To repair its moldings in bad condition, it is enough to have a small tool easy to handle: the tarabiscot.

Text and Photos J. Petit-Jacquin

Practical advice

If the repair concerns an element intended to be painted, it does not matter the essence of the wood used for the molding. However, if the object must receive a finish leaving the apparent vein (stain, wax, varnish...), it is necessary to look for a species with identical characteristics (grain, color...). Do not eliminate the light morfil (metal fiber ultra-thin) that remains on the iron after the last strokes of file finishing the creation of the drawing: it will accelerate the work of the tool on the wood. When the burr is worn, use a hard steel round to recreate it by pressing the full length of the cut edge of the blade.

Restore a trumeau mirror: molding

Hidden in a flea market, this imposing mirror trumeau (2.70 m high) had a very degraded frame molding and nasty traces of piercings. It used to be an umbrella stand and had a brass bar.

The tarabiscot

To replace two missing molding elements (each approximately 10 cm long), a tarabiscot is required. Essential accessory for cabinetmakers and antique furniture restorers, this small hand tool, halfway between the plane and the scraper, is as simple to manufacture as it is to use (for its manufacture, see System No. 672, page 67). and System D No. 731, page 45).
● Composed of a wooden handle and an iron (a saw blade fall steel), it excels in the return of delicate moldings of all shapes. He is also at the origin of the term "frivolous" which qualifies a complicated profile. With this tool, it is easier to get a molding than using a collection of router bits.

The imprint of the molding

Before beginning the actual repair, it is a question of making the copy of the drawing of the molding. A very simple operation. Present the iron of the tarabiscot perpendicular to the cut of the molding; reproduce exactly its curves on the iron with the tip of a felt, or better, with a steel point. To hollow out the inside of the drawing that forms the "negative" print, trim the profile to the grinding wheel, then use a fine-toothed file for finishing.
● On the workbench, block a board of wood suitable for the width of the molding. Adjust the position of the iron on the tarabiscot in relation to its "butt": it will serve as a moving guide along the board. Tilt all together and start gently by "biting" the wood slightly. Gradually raise the iron until you get all the details of the desired molding. Then line up the edge of the board to the desired thickness. Cut to length with a miter saw and glue in place while keeping in press. Finish with the finish of your choice.

Reporter drawing

Reporter drawing

Place the iron of the tarabiscot perpendicularly to the molding to carefully transfer the drawing of its profile. Use a felt or, better, a steel tip for more accuracy.

To stigmatize and work the profile

To stigmatize and work the profile

Place the blade of the tool between the jaws of the vice to work with the file after roughing the profile with the grinding wheel. The flat and round files (rat's tail) are chosen with fine teeth.

Control as you go

Control as you go

Present the iron on the molding regularly and judge the condition of the finish. Place the tool against the light to distinguish the contact areas between the blade steel and the wood.

Adjust the tarabiscot

Adjust the tarabiscot

The degree of finish reached, slide the iron into the slot of the tarabiscot, without tightening the nuts. Place the tool on the molding to adjust the distance of the blade from the "butt".

Mold in place or on a board

Mold in place or on a board

Either you mold on the edge of a wooden board (deleeded afterwards). Either you work in place a wooden stick glued in alignment with the existing molding (our photo).

Work with tarabiscot

Work with tarabiscot

Hold the tool firmly in your hand, pressing the handle against the frame used as a guide. Work by pulling. Start with the inclined blade,
and straighten it gradually.

Repair imperfections

Repair imperfections

Use a filler to mask the connection between the moldings. It also makes it possible to fill the traces of blows (made here by the canes and sleeves of umbrellas).

Sand the molding

Sand the molding

Finish by light sanding with a sander with a fine abrasive (200). For the hollows of the molding, you will gain in precision by folding the sandpaper on a thin wedge.


Video Instruction: Trumeau Mirror Restoration