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Inlay card table refurbish #1: First, get some advice

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Blog entry by peterrum posted 10-26-2015 05:27 AM 1136 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Inlay card table refurbish series Part 2: So far, so good »

A neighbor of mine gave me this table as he is not a woodworker and felt he did not have the skills to refurbish it. So now I have another project. The table has no commercial markings on it so I feel that it was home made some years ago, maybe 50 years ago but I have nothing to base my estimate on. At any rate the table looked interesting enough that I will make an attempt at fixing it up but I am looking for a lot of advice and suggestions from anyone.

My first step will be to take the table apart, remove the oak legs, the brass corners and if possible the outside oak frame. The inlay itself is mounted/glued onto a piece of plywood it appears. A lot of the inlay has shrunk, curled, cracked and there is some water damage and one cigarette burn. Regardless I still think its unique enough that its worth the effort to refurbish it.

I do not know what type of wood has been used for the inlay. I would prefer to repair the existing wood rather than cutting new inlay as it would be difficult to match.

I have attacked some photos which better show the condition it is in. The main questions I have centre around the inlay repair. Can I reglue some of the pieces back in place that have curled. How best to glue them, white glue, epoxy? How best to fill in some of the gaps, epoxy?

Once I get some feedback I will begin to take it apart and post further.

Thanks in advance.

-- Carpe Diem



10 comments so far

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3392 posts in 1665 days


#1 posted 10-26-2015 07:25 AM

I would do nothing until you talk to Roger or Shipright !! seriously

-- Regards Robert

View grfrazee's profile

grfrazee

385 posts in 1600 days


#2 posted 10-26-2015 01:06 PM

You may want to check if the marquetry is glued on with hide glue or a PVA-type glue. Hide glue will soften with heat and make the pieces easy to peel off, which could make your refurb job easier.

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

View peterrum's profile

peterrum

153 posts in 2140 days


#3 posted 10-26-2015 01:20 PM

Im not understanding your comments robscastle. Are they members here? Good point grfrazee. How best to try that out, with a heat gun, iron, steam?

-- Carpe Diem

View peterrum's profile

peterrum

153 posts in 2140 days


#4 posted 10-26-2015 01:33 PM

Robscastle, I sent a pm to Roger and Shipright

-- Carpe Diem

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7165 posts in 2259 days


#5 posted 10-26-2015 02:47 PM

If it is over fifty years old there is at least a good chance it is glued with hide glue. That would be a good thing.

To find out you will want to apply both heat and moisture as both are required to reverse it. I would get a some water under the piece that is lifting in your last photo and then heat it with a clothes iron. It is important that the iron not be too hot. If it is hot enough to burn you it will burn the glue. Hot to the touch but still touchable will be fine.
Be patient, both the heat and the water must get in to where the glue is still holding.

Watch this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BiPbLjDT3I

What you find from this will determine where you go next.

Good luck and get back to us.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View peterrum's profile

peterrum

153 posts in 2140 days


#6 posted 10-27-2015 05:29 PM

Its supposed to rain where I am on Friday so that will probably be my shop day and I will start work on this by taking it apart and trying to identify the glue that was used. Thanks all so far.

-- Carpe Diem

View peterrum's profile

peterrum

153 posts in 2140 days


#7 posted 10-30-2015 06:08 PM

I had a bit of time this morning and followed some of the technique in the youtube video that was recommended by shipwright. I think it is safe to say that hide glue was used, so I have a portion of the table soaking for the day with wet paper towels and will try to remove some of the inlay tomorrow.

-- Carpe Diem

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7165 posts in 2259 days


#8 posted 10-31-2015 04:44 AM

That’s good news. You don’t have to remove the old glue if you re-glue with hot hide glue or even heated liquid hide glue. It will blend with the new.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8738 posts in 1301 days


#9 posted 10-31-2015 05:32 AM

This reminds me of another game table that a LJ was asked to refurb. He went to a lot of time,effort and expense on the job. Then the owner picked it up said ‘Thanks’ and walked off with it.
I hope that doesn’t happen in your case. You may want to talk cost now, before you’re into it too deep. If the man gave it to you to keep then it’s yours to do with as you wish.
Here's a link to Dr. Ken’s story.

-- God bless, Candy

View Nowood's profile

Nowood

1 post in 354 days


#10 posted 12-15-2015 09:39 PM

I’d agree with CFrye, that neighbour could be trouble. At the very least get him to agree to pay you $20 for the finished product, if you do it in US funds you should be okay because I think that is a lot of money Canadian.

On the other hand if he had half a clue he would have finished it himself. Be sure to show the finished product here and let him play the odd game of checkers with you, feed him booze and aways let him win.

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