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Specialized in:

  • Carving
  • Veneering
  • French Polishing
  • Antiquing
  • Millwork
  • Custom Funiture
  • Staining
  • Patination

*Company fully insured*

Remson Restoration Inc
535 Berkshire Ct
Schaumburg, IL 60193

Mike History

Craftsman Michael Remson Returns to First Love

Schaumburg, IL

Michael Remson has a way with wood.  For more than 20 years the Schaumburg resident has restored antique furniture and transformed simple pieces of wood into works of functional and exquisite art. Owner of Remson's Restoration, Inc., Remson is a versatile artisan who can refinish precious antiques, mend broken chairs, or build custom cabinetry.
"It's not work, it's pleasure," says Remson. "There is so much satisfaction in taking a piece of wood and making or fixing something that is not only beautiful and useful but that will last a lifetime and longer."

Remson's love affair with wood is an inherited passion. His father, a master craftsman, taught the teenager the basic skills but the son had other ideas. "I liked working with wood and I was good at it, but I really wanted to paint," he says. "I received a scholarship to art school, but at the time that didn't seem a practical way to make a living."
Instead the Buffalo, New York native opted for a pragmatic approach: military service, college, and then a career in technology. Life was good. But life is always surprising.

In the 1980's, Remson, then a computer engineer with Texas Instruments, was caught in the first high-tech bubble burst. So the victim of downsizing decided to reconnect with his old flame: woodworking. "My dad always said that I would come back to it and I did," he says with a smile.

Back To Basics

Remson's first commission was to build custom cabinets for clients who were remodeling their kitchen. Soon he was having a wonderful time creating custom furniture and millwork as well as restoring and reproducing antiques. "I discovered that I could create with wood," he says. "It is my canvas and my paint."

Talent is good, but in woodworking know-how is especially critical. In fact many skills are required because each facet of woodworking has specific requirements. With antiques, for example, restorers must be knowledgeable about various woods, construction techniques, and the kinds of stains and finishes as well as the application procedures used in each era.

Knowing when to stop is also important. "You only want to do enough to bring the piece back to its original condition," says Remson. "My goal is to preserve the piece so it looks beautiful without destroying its history."

"Of course, when you restore a piece to its original design, you often need to fill in missing pieces," he adds.
That means building or recreating molding, shelves, drawers, doors, even chairs to a dining room set. Fortunately, that aspect of the work is definitely enjoyable. "I love to 'build' things and restoration gives me that opportunity," says Remson. "It's so easy to lose myself in the workshop; I have to be reminded to come out for dinner."

Working with people and helping them to create their "ideal" home environment or giving an antique chest new life is another enjoyable aspect of the business. But Remson admits that the job comes with a catch. "I don't like 'running' a business-doing the bookkeeping, the
marketing, and all the other necessary things that you must do," he says. "Now that's work."

Authored by Barbara Forest of Boston, Massachusetts.
Excerpts can be found in the Daily Herald.

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