Furniture Restoration #8: Removing applied carvings

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Blog entry by Paul posted 09-02-2007 02:37 AM 1157 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Final Back Rail Lamination Part 8 of Furniture Restoration series Part 9: Joinery and Reassembly »

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The challenge was to get these applied carvings off intact so I can apply them to the new rail:

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1. I sliced the carvings and some of the wood from the old rail off with the bandsaw
2. I put a big pot of water on the stove to boil with a fry pan splatter screen on top.
3. I set the two carvings on the splatter screen in hopes that I could soften the glue and steam the backer wood off the carvings. After gingerly and patiently sticking a sharp pocket knive between the carving and the backer wood every so often and setting them back on the steam pot for three hours . . . Success!

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They need to be stripped of the old finish – but they appear to be made of Rosewood and I misidentified the backer wood previously – because of the dry rot, I thought it was a soft wood – but in fact, the backer wood was white oak

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Here they are placed where they will be placed on the new rail.

-- Paul, Texas

6 comments so far

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4141 days

#1 posted 09-02-2007 09:32 AM

Keep the blog coming, Paul. I admire your courage to take on such a daunting project. Most interesting.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4125 days

#2 posted 09-02-2007 10:54 AM

this sounds like it was a fun step in the process.
Super job at saving/reusing the decorative pieces.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4271 days

#3 posted 09-03-2007 06:45 AM

Yum, wood and glue stew. Interesting approach, keep up the good work.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3927 days

#4 posted 09-03-2007 03:16 PM

Keep ‘em comin’, Partner. we’re watchin’!!

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3961 days

#5 posted 09-13-2007 05:43 AM

You’ve got me hooked…

I see pencil lines on the front rail, so I’m assuming you’ll be shaping that like the original?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 4057 days

#6 posted 09-15-2007 11:35 PM

Yep, I’m shaping the front rail to match the original.

-- Paul, Texas

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