I have an old school house student desk that is at least 60 years old. My mother got it for me when I was young, in the 50’s from an old school house that was being torn down. It is the type of desk that had wrought iron legs with a desk top (with ink well) and a seat whose seat bottom folded up to the seatback (which was attached to the desk behind that desk. In other words, a row of desks were all attached). At the time my mother fixed the desk by painting it to match my room. I never got rid of the desk, and in the moves as an adult, I dismantled it so that I still have the wrought iron legs and wooden slats (some curved for seat) and desk top.
My question for anyone out there is, what is the best way to work with wood that has been painted and stored in hot attics for 50+ years? I have not started to work with it yet, but I want to assemble it for my grandson. I know it means sanding, filling in cracks and even supoporting some cracks with metal braces….but I am concerned about puncturing the wood without considering whether or not I need to treat it in any way. I think the paint has preserved it a bit, but not sure how the heat has affected the wood….I am sure it is rather dense.
Any advice out there for how to tackle this wood working challenge? I know my grandson will love this if I can restore it to usefulness.
ps would love a reply as quickly as possible….now, after all these years, I am eager to get started.