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French Oak Desk Restoration

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 958 days ago 1905 views 5 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This desk arrived in need of some help – a flaking dark lacquer finish, the desktop veneer was peeling horribly and had a dozen previous repairs, it just looked like it needed leather, and it had some structure issues.

Broken down and rebuilt – the top stripped off down to the solid wood substrait we then added new 1/4” oak to the surface and set it up for a leather insert. We also added a thin rope bead around the boarder to blend in the new desk surface.

Appliques were all removed and reglued. The drawers were reglued, feed were removed and reglued. Obviously the desk was refinished. A combination of analine and oil stains with a Waterlox tung oil finish.

The trick as always is restore it, but keep the old look and in cases like this blend in the new wood to look like it’s 100 years old!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com





13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112010 posts in 2202 days


#1 posted 958 days ago

Very good restoration Eric.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Lidiya Blaznina's profile

Lidiya Blaznina

847 posts in 1164 days


#2 posted 958 days ago

I respect your work, Eric.

-- Lidiya,Russia.http://www.reznoe.ru/

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1622 days


#3 posted 958 days ago

Very nice restoration. A lot of time into this one.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View ed220's profile

ed220

619 posts in 2018 days


#4 posted 958 days ago

Very impressive restoration. You should be proud of it.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4899 posts in 1423 days


#5 posted 958 days ago

Nicely done. Did you re-glue with hide glue?

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

View Hallmark's profile

Hallmark

432 posts in 1731 days


#6 posted 957 days ago

Top notch work, looks great!

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

753 posts in 1873 days


#7 posted 957 days ago

No unless something is truly an antique we don’t bother with the hide glues. The modern glues fill gaps better and bond to the random nature of very dry material, fills gaps in shrunken joints, etc.

Anything collectable class is restored with modern adhesives and then a shellac / tung oil finish. On occasion we will use a conversion varnish but generally we stick to natural finishes.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View oi2342001's profile

oi2342001

27 posts in 971 days


#8 posted 957 days ago

The desk looks great. What was the reason to strip the top down?

-- If your not having fun you're doing it wrong.

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2518 days


#9 posted 957 days ago

Superb …….nicely done

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9761 posts in 1243 days


#10 posted 957 days ago

Very nice, excellent slills and patience. Congrats!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

753 posts in 1873 days


#11 posted 956 days ago

The top had several previous repair patches in it and was in the process of delaminating. When we stripped thef inish off it it looked like a patch work quilt. Sometimes it is just easier to replace than repair. To blend it all in would be time consumming and unless we did a colored finish it would stand out too much. The finish on it when we got it was a dark horribly colored lacquer. Our process brings out the grain – thus the defects so the new surface was easier to blend in. Plus since it was delaminating over such a wide area, it would be impossible to reglue it and not have another area fail down the line.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View Tom "BUG" Janos's profile

Tom "BUG" Janos

367 posts in 2105 days


#12 posted 955 days ago

Great job. What year was it originally made? I would love to have that in my den.

-- Bug from Minnesota. Creating Designer Firewood Since 2006

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

753 posts in 1873 days


#13 posted 954 days ago

I would figure turn of the century – course that happened again so to now specify 1880-1920 range. It’s machine made, hand carved in some areas but duplicated in others with hand touch-up. Well made, high quality desk.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

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