Drafting table repair and/or refinish

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Quixxo posted 07-16-2015 03:13 PM 1533 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Quixxo's profile


2 posts in 1248 days

07-16-2015 03:13 PM

I just bought a neat drafting table. I don’t know how old it is – not old enough to be an antique but it is probably 30+ years old. The overall condition is pretty good. However there are a few cracks on the left and right side of the top that seem to be where the end-grain has cracked. Along either side is a metal bracket – presumably for a T-square to ride.

Perhaps this is inevitable when the wood dries. And I would suspect it likely won’t get much worse even if I do nothing. But I thought I would ask for some other opinions here.

1) I could try to fill the cracks – may help aesthetically. If so I would probably want to refinish it….

2) I could lightly sand and then try to refinish it. If I were to do this I would probably try something like a clear or light orange shellac (after testing in some other area.) I like shellac but that wouldn’t moisturize the wood. It has some sort of finish on it that is not simply an oil finish (may be shellac given the period). If it was an oil finish I would probably just put a coat of oil on it and be done.

Or maybe just leave it alone. I would appreciate any input.

Detail of crack

Larger image

4 replies so far

View jdmaher's profile


439 posts in 2782 days

#1 posted 07-16-2015 03:45 PM

I did one several years ago that looks awfully similar.

My table was much more beat up / dented / dinged and gouged, so I sanded it down and refinished the whole thing. But yours looks to be quite nice, so I wouldn’t think you need to do that.

I’d try cleaning it first and see if that’s enough. Fill the crack if it bothers you, but O wouldn’t worry about it.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1028 posts in 1777 days

#2 posted 07-16-2015 05:45 PM

CA glue and a clamp,most likely crack in the laminate.

View Quixxo's profile


2 posts in 1248 days

#3 posted 07-17-2015 02:33 PM

Thanks. Yeah, I should probably just leave well enough alone. The only real worry I have is the crack spreading and I think the CA glue is a good suggestion though this is not a laminate. Thanks.

View rwe2156's profile


3171 posts in 1683 days

#4 posted 07-17-2015 11:24 PM

If its not interfering with the drawing area, I would leave it alone.

I think if you try to glue it it will crack in another place. Too much stress from wood shrinkage.

Your other option is to glue a whole nother piece of laminate on.
I think you’ll have a better drawing surface that way anyway.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics