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Old Windup Trains
by James Pekarek

This book is an introduction to collecting and operating vintage O gauge windup trains. It highlights windup locomotives from a variety of eras, as well as discusses rolling stock, track and operation. Great for beginner or seasoned toy train collectors.
                                   
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Latest Tip: To preserve the value of antique and vintage toys, the best method is to largely leave them alone. Toys are often ruined by cleaning and attempted repair. Above all, do not attempt to repaint a toy as this will definitely affect its value. The best treatment for any antique or vintage toy is one that halts further deterioration. A thin coat of Minwax Paste Wax may be all that's neededóbut only do it once. Use a light machine oil to keep moving parts of tin-plate and cast-iron toys in operation. 

TIP 1 - Antique furniture should never be "polished" or cleaned with commercial cleaning products or polishes. Instead, use a soft cloth sprayed with some glass cleaner.

TIP 2 - To remove stains from stoneware dishes, soak them for 24 hours or more in one gallon of hot water in which two denture cleaner tablets have been dissolved.

TIP 3 - Never use furniture oil such as lemon oil on antique furniture. Just wipe it with a damp cloth or use only clear paste wax (Minwax or beeswax) to keep the wood in good condition.

TIP 4 - To prevent mildew damage to old photographs and art work hung on damp or outside walls, tape or glue a sheet of plastic to the back to create a vapor barrier.  

TIP 5 - Use only white glue to adhere broken pieces of porcelain, stoneware, or pottery together. After applying glue, press pieces together and shift slightly for a tight fit. Wipe off excess glue from both sides with a damp cloth and let dry. Use masking tape to hold pieces snuggly while drying if necessary. 

TIP 6 - To remove minor water marks on furniture, use a mixture of Vaseline and ashes. Sift 2 tablespoons of fine wood ashes with a dab of Vaseline or cooking oil to form a paste. Using a circular motion, work the paste into the surface with a soft cloth until the white ring vanishes.  

TIP 7 - Never use rust-remover on china as it can remove the glaze or protective coating of the china. Also, calcium, lime or rust-remover products should not be used on gold or platinum-banded crystal because these items can stain or permanently change the color of the metal-banding.    

TIP 8 -  Wear cotton gloves as much as possible when handling your silver. This will prevent the oils and acids from your hands from ending up on the object. Cotton gloves are very inexpensive, and can be purchased at photography supply stores and some drug stores.  

TIP 9 - Burn marks can be taken out of furniture with fine steel wool, a razor blade, a scalpel or craft knife. The shallow hole that results may be filled by artists' oil colors, mixed with linseed oil, or if a glossy finish is desired, with varnish, or mixed with turpentine, it will be matt. A filler can also be made from colored beeswax, from powder stain mixed with a medium such as epoxy resin, or shellac mixed with powder pigment.   

TIP 10 - Jade, ivory, horn, and marble should be lightly dusted with a soft brush or dry, soft cloth. Keep these objects out of direct sunlight, since they may dry out and become brittle. Always handle these objects with care when moving them.

TIP 11 - Don't put delicate crystal in the dishwasher as it can become "cloudy" from the heat, detergent and vibration-wear of the machine. Crystal also chips easily. Modern china can sometimes be put in the dishwasher, but make sure that the words "dishwasher safe" appear on the back of the china before placing it in the machine.

TIP 12 - To remove stubborn sediment from old glass bottles, fill them with a strong solution of lye and cold water. Let it stand for two days. Most sediment will soften and can then be removed with a bottle brush. Wash and rinse the bottle several times to remove all traces of lye. Be sure to wear protective eye glasses and rubber gloves when working with the lye solution.

TIP 13 - Wood pieces respond well to furniture 'polishes. On flat surfaces such as boxes and plaques, apply the polish as directed on the bottle using an old white athletic sock. On carved or turned surfaces with crevices, saturate a cotton swab with polish, and work it into openings, removing the excess with a soft cloth or a dry cotton swab. Sometimes it is easier to remove. embedded dirt or excess polish with a toothpick.

TIP 14 - Keep drawer side and runners soaped or waxed using odds and ends of leftover bar soap or candle stubs. Their operation will be greatly improved, and youíll prevent a large amount of wear.

TIP 15 - Wood pieces respond well to furniture 'polishes. On flat surfaces such as boxes and plaques, apply the polish as directed on the bottle. On carved or turned surfaces with crevices, saturate a cotton swab with polish, and work it into openings, removing the excess with a soft cloth or a dry cotton swab. Sometimes it is easier to remove. embedded dirt or excess polish with a toothpick. 

TIP 16 - To clean antique marble tops, take two parts baking soda, one part pumice stone, and one part finely powdered chalk and sift together through a fine sieve. Mix with water, then rub well over marble to remove the stains. Wash the marble with soap and water and dry with a soft cloth.

TIP 17 - When the inside of an oil lamp chimney becomes coated with smoke residue, wipe it out with newspaper. Handle chimneys carefully.

TIP 18 - To clean the insides of decanters, cruets, and other cut glass vessels, fill them half with hot water and a small handful of birdshot. Shake vigorously for several minutes until all crusts and discolorations disappear. Empty the vessel, fill half with hot water, and two tablespoons of ammonia, shake again. Empty, rinse, and drain the vessel.

TIP 19 - Wicker, cane, willow, and bamboo furniture is best washed with lukewarm salted water to which one tablespoon of baking soda and salt per per quart. If swelled by rain, dry carefully, then rub lightly with linseed oil. It pays to protect this type of furniture with a coat of white shellac if itís not painted.

TIP 20 - To remove mildew and mold from books, papers, and documents, brush it off with an old toothbrush. If paper is damp, put it in an oven for 12 hours at low temperature (200 degrees F.).

TIP 21 - Never use an automatic dishwasher to wash antique glass. Hot water, strong detergents, and general tumbling are all damaging. In fact, any glass with a deteriorated surface should be washed seldom as possible and preferably never. Hand wash antique glassware in a plastic dishpan with lukewarm water and a mild detergent. Rinse carefully and dry with a soft lint-free cloth.

TIP 22 -  Many 19th-century clocks have reverse painted glass panels in their doors. These should not be cleaned directly and certainly never varnished. To keep them from flaking, cut a piece of white acid-free blotting paper, found online or in an art supply store, and carefully wedge it against the back of the painted to prevent further peeling. Never use glue to attach it.

Tip 23To clean Japanned or lacquered trays use a sponge and lukewarm soapy water. Never use hot water as this can cause the Japanning to scale off. Having wiped the tray dry, sprinkle it was a little flour, let rest a while, then rub off with a soft cloth and finish with a silk handkerchief. While heat marks are difficult to remove, you can sometimes gets results with a piece of flannel dipped in sweet oil, followed by rubbing with another piece of flannel moistened with alcohol.

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6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 large thick slices of Italian style whole-wheat bread
4 medium ripe tomatoes diced (about 2 cups)
Ĺ cup pitted green olives, sliced
ľ loosely packed fresh basil leaves, , coarsely shredded
Ĺ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup drained fresh ricotta
 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the bread with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and place on a rimmed baking sheet. In a medium bowl, toss together the tomatoes, olives, basil, and salt. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and toss.

Mound the tomato mixture evenly on each of the bread slices on the baking sheet, and top each with ricotta. Bake until the bread is toasted and the topping is warmed through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

- See more at: http://lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/1347#sthash.NTVpzCzS.dpuf

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How to Recognize and Refinish Antiques for Pleasure and Profit

Book: How to Recognizing and Refinishing Antiques for Pleasure and Profit
Have you ever bought an antique or collectible that was less than perfect and needed some TLC? Bob's new book offers tips and step-by- step instructions for simple maintenance and restoration of common antiques.

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