ntique Furniture Repair and Refinishing was established in 1971 by Joseph Bacso. The business was operated out of an old storefront on Euclid Ave. in East Toledo. Joe came to Toledo, Ohio as a refugee of the Hungarian Revolution in the mid-1950’s. He had learned his trade as an apprentice in his homeland and brought his knowledge of furniture restoration to this area. He was schooled in what we might call the Old World style, which included such dying arts as “French polishing”, veneer work and hand made dovetails.

Failing health plagued Joe in the late 70’s and early 80’s. This interfered with his business and forced him to hire a helper. Tom Nickelsen, who had learned furniture finishing in Houston, Texas; was trying to start his own shop. He was acquainted with Joe, who was willing to share his shop in return for some assistance with his workload. This arrangement worked out well for both gentlemen. Tom was able to help Joe complete work on time to satisfy his customers, while Joe was willing to teach Tom some of his techniques and provide a place for Tom to work.

Joe’s health continued to deteriorate, and in the spring of 1981 Joe sold the business to Tom. Tom continued to work out of the Euclid Ave. shop and in November of 1982 he approached Chris Strong and asked if he would be interested in becoming partners.

Chris’s background was in carpentry and cabinetry. This was a natural complement to Tom’s strong finishing background. This combination has help to make Antique Furniture Repair and Refinishing one of the premiere restoration shops in Northwest Ohio. They bought the building that formerly was “The Little Red Hen” ceramics shop on the edge of Clay Center, Ohio in December of 1982 and moved in. in January of 1983.

As the customer base continued to grow it became necessary to hire an employee in 1992. It became apparent by the late nineties that the shop would need to expand to keep up with its customer’s needs. Tom and Chris began to search for a larger facility with a location that would increase the business’s exposure to the public.

In February of 2001 Tom and Chris purchased a building located at 507 Main Street in Genoa, Ohio. This building was owned by Wallace and Margaret Lockhart and housed the “Hay-Lo Market” which had been a Ma & Pop grocery and liquor store for many years. The building was gutted and redesigned with the shop’s needs in mind. The new facility has many improvements that has made Antique Furniture Repair and Refinishing a cleaner, safer, more environmentally friendly and efficient business. These improvements include a ‘state of the art’ semi-downdraft spray booth, and rinse water treatment system and improved dust collection. The floor plan was also designed to promote efficiency and safety. Great care was taken to ensure that all work area was amply lighted. The move to the new facility took place in August of 2002 with a Grand Opening held in September of that same year. (Click here to tour our shop)

From left to right, Chris Strong (Partner), Curtis Geisler, Bryan Perkins, Tim Grant and Tom Nickelsen (Partner)

The current staff includes partners, Tom and Chris; and three employees. Curtis Giesler of Woodville, Bryan Perkins of Genoa and Tim Grant of Toledo.

Antique Furniture Repair and Refinishing offers a wide variety of services including repair and restoration of pianos, cabinetwork and furniture (from antique to contemporary). Caning, veneer (repair and replacement), replacement parts, recliner repair, color matching and custom finishes are among the many services that are available. The shop can provide it’s customers with replacement hardware, furniture care products and custom table pads.

Jobs as small as minor repairs and touch-up or as large as two hundred twenty-six dormitory doors for BGSU, show the range of work performed by the shop. Regular customers include some of Toledo’s major corporations and many of the area’s interior decorators as well as the many home owners who have come to trust the quality of our work.

Tom and Chris attended a Small Business Management course, which was offered at The Tech Center in Fremont, from October 2003 to May 2004. This was and extensive seventeen session course that not only made obvious some of the deficiencies in the management of the shop, but also reinforced many of the things that have been done in a proper fashion. One of the most dramatic shortcomings was the lack of promoting the business. This has been a major focus of the shop over the last year with a goal of becoming the most highly recognized restoration shop in Northwest Ohio.


507 Main Street, Genoa, OH 43430
(419) 855-8226


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