I’m working at making something of a couple damaged and mismatched sections of barrister bookcase. The two sections are basically surplus from the “good” cases I have. These didn’t fit, one section was badly fire damaged and oddly repaired at one point. I thought I could make it a little better and more useful.
This picture shows the fire damaged section, the side had been planed down in an uneven taper, about 1/4 inch or more was taken out of the original oak. The oak strip on the top front of the case is supposed to be on the bottom of the case, there are also extra cross pieces. I assume these were to flatten and strengthen the case.
Here is the delicate process of disassembling the 100 year old case. I was very unsure this was the best thing to do, but it couldn’t really work as it was, and there’s no was I could pay a professional to restore it. It was nice that I was able to take a lot of pictures and measurements to use to build replacement parts and maybe more bookcases in the future.
I took this old shelf that could have been anywhere from 30-50 years old. The Oak matched nice enough and was aged and dry like the bookcase. I though the wood would be the best match I could hope to find so I cut it down and made the replacement side panel from it.
Now I have the section reassembled, I debated staining/ finishing the panel first, but I found in the dissassembly that the finish to the existing case was done after it was all assembled so I though I’d keep with that.
I built a base for the bookcase from some salvaged oak that I’d had waiting for a projects. I based the design off one of the bottom sections I have on a “good” case.
Here’s how it looks now
I’d appreciate any suggestions on finishing you guys would have, I’m not sure how to best match the existing finish. I only want to refinish the repair and new sections and save as much original finish as possible.
-- You know.... I think that old wood needs to be furniture.