Insider Story: Antique Furniture Restorer, Bill
Bill Kratz likes to do things the old-school way. After decades in the trucking industry, the Austin, Texas resident has shifted his attention and passion to refinishing antique furniture, all by hand, with no shortcuts. No special tools, no chemical strippers—“I don’t believe in that stuff,” he says, “because it goes into the wood, and then it doesn’t stain right. I mostly hand-sand and I’m very intricate about what I do.” One of Bill’s secrets to success: he uses old socks to apply all his stains and varnishes, a technique that produces excellent end results.
His process takes a long time, but he enjoys it. “I just love wood—the grain, everything,” Bill says. “A pretty wood is just like a beautiful picture.”
Bill’s is a small-scale operation. “I don’t go out and look for pieces,” he explains. “Most of the furniture in our house is antique, given to us by our mothers and grandmothers and other relatives.” One recent project was an antique pie safe, which Bill describes as “a bureau-looking thing with glass doors and drawers on the bottom.” Utensils and equipment used in pie-making go in the drawers, with three shelves on top for storing pies.”
One piece of antique furniture that he had for years was a bed that both his father and grandfather both slept on. “The box spring and the mattress had seen as many days as they were ever going to see,” Bill says, so about five or six years ago, he started to think about getting a new bed, particularly when his doctor recommended it to help with Bill’s sleep apnea. He went straight to Sleep Number. “I sleep a whole lot better now,” Bill says. “Sometimes my back gives me a bit of trouble, if I’m on my feet all day long, and I can adjust the bed to make me feel more comfortable at night. Sometimes I like it firm, sometimes I like it soft. Either way, I can make sure I get a good night’s sleep.”
Thanks to the modern craftsmanship of his bed, this old-school craftsman is able to pursue his passion and keep giving new life to beautiful antiques. And today, as he looks around his house at all his pieces, Bill says, “I feel proud of my work.”
Bill’s Sleep Number setting is around 65, but sometimes he’ll go up to 85.
Like diet and exercise, quality sleep is essential for optimal health and performance. Because everyone’s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number 360® smart beds, with SleepIQ® technology inside, sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping comfortably. Find your Sleep Number®setting for your best possible night’s sleep.