Our Japanese Tea-House

Discussion in 'Garden Design' started by Doghouse Riley, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Seedling

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    As one or two people have shown an interest, I thought I'd start a topic.
    I built this in 1987 to compliment our koi pool. I'd done a bit of research in Manchester Public Library. I went through some old books which showed photos of the "Victorian landed gentry's" garden constructions, built by workmen brought over from Japan. So they were a combination of traditional Oriental ideas and what the land owners wanted. I'd seen the one in Tatton Park, which to me looked like something out of "South Pacific" and wasn't impressed. So I incorporated some of the things I'd seen in the books plus some ideas of my own. It had to be something I could build with basic DIY tools and skills. So it's just softwood and roofing ply plus some opaque white recycled redundant fluorescent ceiling light defusers, I got from work.
    Every few years I give it a coat of Dulux Exterior woodstain, which has kept it free from rot.
    I built a shed on the back of the garage in 1974, for our daughter's expanding collection of rabbits and guinea pigs. But after she left to go to GOS to train and the last of the rabbits died, I moved the garden furniture and gardening equipment we stored in the teahouse into the shed. We've never really used it as a summerhouse as we've a nice patio in front of the French windows. It was handy to store the jukeboxes I bought ten years ago as my wife would never have let me have them in the house.
    I usually have them on if I'm gardening.

    This one was made in 1976 and apart from dirt and cigarette tar stains that I had to clean off was in good condition.

    [​IMG]

    This was made in 1969 and is my favourite, mainly because although working OK when I bought it, cosmetically it was a bit tired looking, so I've brought it back to nearly an "as new" condition.

    [​IMG]

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    I've also this TV down there if there's sport on whilst I'm in the garden, so I can break off have a sit down take a beer out of the fridge and watch a bit of it. It replaced a little 14" one when I bought two new TVs for the house a few months ago.

    [​IMG]


    I uploaded my "how to build one" video (well...just a collection of photographs) to YouTube, seven years ago and so far it's had nearly 80,000 hits. "So there might be one near you."

     
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  3. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Sounds as though you have the perfect 'man cave' in your Japanese Tea House Riley!!
     
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  4. Islandlife

    Islandlife Young Pine

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    Gorgeous and super duper creative! Love it!
     
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  5. kate

    kate In Flower

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    Well done, I love the jukebox....:smt041:smt041
    K
     
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  6. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Seedling

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    This was the state of the smaller jukebox when I bought it ten years ago. It had been in this woman's home for over twenty years. You always take a chance on something forty years old. But I found it working quite well.

    I managed to get a new "old stock" title card insert (that round thing) from Victory Glass in the USA. They bought up all the Rock-Ola spares when the company closed it's factory. It took them a while to find one even with the part number i'd given them. They had seven left, they didn't kbow they had. I bought two as they had a minimum shipment order. I sold the second one on e-Bay immediately to an enthusiast in Cyprus, as he was a subscriber to one of the jukebox message boards to which I contribute I let hm have it for half the total cost for the two.

    The graphic below was more difficult. This was a one-piece sheet, but all the colours had faded and it was almost all blue.
    So using A4 sheets of coloured acetate overlaid on each other to get the colour grading, I got it back to more or less how it should be.
    Then just a question of giving all the plastics a good clean to get rid of cigarette tar stains, a polish of the "real" chrome and a good service and it was near perfect again.





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    Some people have all the luck. My daughter's partner, sent me this photo on Saturday. He has a friend who works for a brewery, he was given this. I guess it must have been in the cellar of a pub for decades. Whoever gave it to him may not have know it's value.
    It's looking a bit sad but then it's 50 years old. He's going to get a "man" to look at it.
    Living in West London there's a few jukebox engineers available, unlike here in the North-West.

    It'd be worth spending a couple of hundred quid to get it working again. If the chrome side pieces are shot they can be re-chromed. There's new reproduction parts available, but they're expensive. That scratched piece of glass with Rock-Ola 443 on it, is 166 euros, plus shipping from Germany. The titlecard insert, "the round thing," is, as we say in this hobby, "made of unobtainium."


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
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  7. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I wonder how many other pubs have similar items lurking in their cellars forgotten and neglected?
     
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  8. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Seedling

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    In the "business" they are known as "barn finds." Far more common in the USA than here. Sometimmes whole warehouses of them. The demise of the jukebox was quite rapid. They moved from 45rpm records, to CDs and then digital.
    Once the technology went beyond portable record players and young people could have their music "on the go," firstly, with radio cassette players then, Walkman's, iPods and now just their phones and YouTube, there was no need to pay for it any more.

    Some jukeboxes were owned by pubs and diners, but the majority were rented out to these places by different firms. In their day, they cost as much as a small car to buy. Many of these firms went bust. There must have been many that when they stopped working were moved to a cellar and there they stayed as they are very heavy, this one weighs 295lbs without the records. You'd have to be pretty determined to carry one up a flight of stairs.
    Some of the early ones were huge.

    Here's one from 1941 in a film. A Wurlitzer 850, one of the most sought after models, unlikely to be any in the UK.

    Wurlitzer 850.jpg

    Now a restored one of the same model.
    In this condition now, you'd be talking about at least £15,000 to buy it.

     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
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  9. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    Wow! Who knew?!!
     
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