|Project by Sodabowski||posted 10-10-2012 07:02 PM||1537 views||0 times favorited||10 comments|
So my parents have had this small cards table for at least 30 years (though I don’t remember when they actually bought it), and it has had several restorations and refinishings done over its entire lifespan, the last of which having been performed by my father when he bought it. But something was missing, really. The top was an old, plain, black leatherette, and the sides and legs could use some stain.
Daddy teared it of all its finish, and carefully removed the top leather, which was glued to a cardboard substrate within a recess in the top. We had a ton of old glue and broken plywood to remove in order to give it the top it deserved. The bottom part of the lid had been fitted with an ugly piece of carpet, which we also removed.
While my father made a new lining for the inside part of the box (this is a box on legs, actually), I made the top marquetry using a cardboard field. We hesitated for a while on that top. We first considered walnut burl (a veneer sheet can be seen in the first making-of pictures below), but ended up choosing a 4-split continuous grain redwood veneer, each quadrant being seperated from the others using the fine purpleheart banding strip I had leftover (just enough for the central “cross” of sorts).
Mind you, the following pictures were taken late at night with my iPhone, under crappy light. I was too lazy to bring down the DSLR and strobes. Oh, well, you’ll get the idea, and as Daddy sent me that sun-lit picture of the finished top, what the f4k.
The center inlay strips are purpleheart framed in holly and stained peer, and the black strip is, well, stained peer. Mind you, it’s not an easy task to angle-cut hardwood strips with a paper cutter and establish crisp angles and a smooth, square edge. Some filing was needed!
Here is fitting and glueing up the veneers:
As you can see, I used contact cement, because it’s the only way I’ve found so far to glue veneers without the glue putting any moisture in them and making them move like crazy and crack… I will buy hide glue for future projects though.
Yes, it took me around two hours to make it. I took my time, overcut a little and finessed with metal files.
Story untold: in fact, I took advantage of this square top to include some maths reference in this refinishing: the veneer is a representation of the 2 dimensional complex space C with the purpleheart inlay strips representing the coordinate axles ;) The black pear frame is only there to, well, frame the veneers.
Finishing courtesy of Daddy, who used store-bought satin varnish (dunno how many coats exactly, but a lot), finished with beeswax and buffing. The pictures were quick-made, I will reshoot this in all its glory next holidays when I’ll go see the parents. What use is it having a DSLR and external strobes and remotes if you don’t use them, really?
Hope you enjoy this little veneer making-off. I love working with veneer and inlay strips :)
Any suggestions or critique are of course very welcome!
-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...