The Furniture Doctors LLC

Scottsdale Furniture Repair Specialists


Yes, we are retiring!

After more than 30 years on the business, we have decided to retire, effective June 30, 2017. June 29 will be our last day of work. It was a difficult decision to make because we truly love what we do, and more importantly, we love meeting and working with our customers.

We have learned so much as our journey took us from the early days of Sandi banking and Gerry teaching school. As difficult projects came our way, we looked at them as challenges and it helped improve our skills. We seldom turned anything away and always strived to be honest with our customers. If we thought a piece of furniture would be ruined or lose value by refinishing it, we said so. We sometimes advised the customer that they would save money by having us just touch up the piece rather than refinishing it. We believe our honesty brought customers back to us again and again. Our goal was always to do what is best and right for the customer.

We thank all of our customers for their patronage over the years, from Gerry’s Custom Refinishing in Portland, Oregon to The Furniture Doctors LLC in Scottsdale, AZ. You have all helped us become better craftspeople!

Gerry and Sandi




Bringing an old gem back to life!

We love a challenge. We especially love working on a piece of furniture that someone else thought was impossible to fix. This is what happened when a customer brought us pieces of a family heirloom table base, broken and in a box. Someone told her to throw it away, it wasn’t worth fixing. But to her it was, and to us also.

This table base was broken during a move. The finish was old and worn, and all four legs had been chewed by an innocent puppy. The customer was heartbroken because it was the only piece of furniture from her family. “Can you fix it?” she asked. “Certainly” we replied.



The first thing we did was glue the table base back together.


We then patched the dog bites with high performance wood filler.


Next, we carved the patches to match the profile of the leg.


Then we restored the finish by cleaning it with mineral spirits and 320 sand paper, then added color and finish by wiping on a custom made glaze.



 Final touch was painting wood grain on the patches and a final seal coat with an oil finish.








A Visit Back in Time to The Hotel Monaco in Portland, Oregon

Several years ago, maybe 10 or 15, we had the honor of refinishing some of the lobby furniture for the Hotel Monaco in Portland, Oregon. Two of the pieces were massive, and on the day were were scheduled to deliver them, it started snowing, a somewhat rare sight in Portland. With the help of a moving truck and four strong men, we delivered the furniture safe and sound, and on schedule.

On a recent trip to Portland we stopped at the Hotel Monaco, and to our delight, the lobby furniture was as beautiful as the day we unloaded it from the truck. Proof that our finish is easy to care for and long lasting!

Gerry admiring one of the many pieces of his handiwork

Gerry admiring one of the many pieces of his handiwork

The Monaco Hotel is currently the #2 ranked Portland hotel on TripAdvisor. In 2012 it was ranked #9 by TripAdvisor as the Top 25 hotels in the United States.

If you get an chance to visit Portland, you should consider booking a room at the Hotel Monaco. And also check out the lobby furniture.

This is from the Hotel Monaco website:

“Smart, savvy, fun and eclectic; eco-chic, family friendly and welcoming to pets, yet with an entire floor that is hypoallergenic, Hotel Monaco serves up cutting-edge Portland seasoned with colorful Pacific Northwest history. Signature Kimpton Hotel hospitality and luxury hotel services and amenities blend with stylish and exceptionally spacious Portland Hotel suites and guestrooms for an easy and memorable stay”  

For more information, go to their website:



Meeting Phil Lowe

Published on July 9, 2013, by in Furniture, Wood.

One of the trade magazines that Gerry reads regularly to keep on top of his woodworking skills is Fine Woodworking. Phil Lowe, owner and director of The Furniture Institute of Massachusetts in Beverly, MA has authored many articles over the years. He is also a visiting instructor at schools and woodworking organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada. To many woodworkers, Phil is considered a master in his field. Gerry was thrilled to be able to meet Phil this past week while visiting family in Beverly, MA.

Philip C Lowe and Gerry Altman discussing the fine art of woodworking

Phil had just finished teaching a woodworking class and invited Gerry in to tour the studio and see his work, as well as that of his students.

We like to continue to learn new methods and products to improve our skills, and Phil was kind enough to share some of his knowledge with Gerry.

Gerry’s impression of Phil, his studio and his work was beyond his expectations. It is no wonder he was awarded the Cartouche Award in 2005, the highest honor given by the Society of American Period Furniture Makers.

For more information about Phil Lowe and The Furniture Institute of Massachusetts, visit to his website

To learn more information about what we do at The Furniture Doctors LLC, click on our Home Page. Thanks for stopping by!



A Junkin’ Tale

Published on March 22, 2013, by in Furniture, humor.

In my previous post (“What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?”) I wrote how Gerry’s family has become the master of yard sales. At family reunions someone will announce that they are going Junkin’ and who wants to come along? Near the little town where they grew up in western New York, you can find barns with old stuff for sale, thrift stores and yard sales galore. They like to dig through boxes they proudly call “The Altman Bin” because that’s where they’ll find the bargain stuff. It’s a badge of honor for them to find a good deal and brag about it. Something they can later tell others “I got it for two bucks!”

One of the last Junkin’ excursions with them before my mother-in-law died was one I will remember the most. Gerry was driving the car, with his mother in front with him, and his two sisters in the back seat with me. We were heading down 15th Street on our way to the highway, when the two sisters shouted out in unison “Stop the car! There’s a yard sale!” We stopped in front of a white house with chairs, tables, and a sofa on the lawn. My in-laws scanned the yard and then spotted the boxes on the porch. That’s it! That’s the good stuff. The five of us pulled clothes and other items out of the boxes, oohing and aahing our finds. After about 10 minutes a man appeared at the door. “How much is this?” my 80 year-old mother-in-law asked, as she held up a cashmere sweater. The man eyed each one of us slowly. “This isn’t a yard sale” he said. “I’m just moving in.”