|Project by Carey Mitchell||posted 08-02-2015 03:07 AM||1041 views||0 times favorited||3 comments|
We found this desk in an antique shop which imports from the UK. Their best estimate, and I agree, is that it came from the late 1800’s – it was handcrafted all they way, no indication of any factory work. It was in rough shape, requiring reinforcement of the leg joints, replacement of the leather top, some moldings, some missing chunks of wood, etc. Replacing the leather top was not a good choice for a 12 year old boy, so I replaced it with mahogany veneer.
Three of the very nice dovetail joints in the drawers had broken, so I repaired them with dowels. Had to make some moldings from mahogany to repair damaged places – once stained and finished they were virtually invisible.
The major challenge was learning to use hot hide glue and the art of hammer veneering. I had done only a couple of small veneer projects, and the 27” x 48” top presented a challenge. I went to a thrift shop and came out with a crock pot, an iron and a stainless steel bowl for $8. I made my own veneering hammer (another post). I soon learned that hide glue is quite forgiving, and it is indeed possible to remove an entire strip of veneer for another try.
Hammer veneering was my only option for this large area. I used veneer 48” in length, and had only about 1/16” extra in the length, so being able to adjust was critical, soooo, hammer veneering, here I came! Learning by doing is the only way to go, it was easier than reading would have you believe.
The finish is 3 coats of satin and gloss varnish in a ratio of 5:1, that gave me the finish look I wanted.