Project Log -- Cedar Box Refinishing and Repair

 The owner told me this was passed down from her grandmother.  It's a really nice piece, but it's had a lot of water damage and scratching over the years.  I'll have to replace the top veneer and then a full restoration.  This is going to be a beautiful piece when I'm done with it.

Here's a close look at the cracking and gouging
 Water damage on the top
Some bad scratching on the top surface, but the veneer is going away anyway.

The front right leg is cracked off.  I'll have to glue that back together.

I decided to work on the top first. So, step one was to remove it.  Above you can see the original labeling from the factory that we want to preserve.  Below I've protected it with cardboard.
Here's another look at the top damage,

After I stripped the top, I skim coated it so that I can begin the veneer laminating process with a perfectly flat surface.

The cleanup of the old finish is coming along.  The wood is quite brittle.  I guess probably from moisture.  The old veneer is in decent condition under the old finish, but it's quite thin.
 I like this bit of millwork in the face of this drawer . . . or should I says dummy drawer.
It's going to be an interesting finish because the front, sides and top are made of largely intact and nicely figured mahogany.  The legs are made of laminated and randomly sized chunks of what I presume are cutoffs, complete with knots and other inconsistencies.  I'm going to want to bring out the magnificent grain revealed in the mahogany.

Well, it's been a while, but I made some big progress in the last couple of weeks.  
 The drawer has some really unique figuring.   I was really pleasantly surprised when I started putting the finish on it.  Below is a look at the back after I cleaned it up and smoothed it.  Sealed like this the wood won't be as susceptible to mold and stains.  You can also see the sides and the unique figuring there, too.
 A look at the front.  That grey dot is a flaw in the image, it's not on the wood.  Some paranormal researchers might consider it an orb.  If that's what it is, I expect it's my father come to oversee my work with a critical eye.  No doubt he'd point out the blotchy edge I left on that lower false drawer.  That will have to be cleaned up.
 A look at the top ready for hand polishing.

This one is getting close.  A little elbow grease and polish and this one will be ready to deliver.

Update 12/10/2014

Well, here she is.   I think it came out beautiful.  I put a copy of one of the "BEFORE" pictures below so you can compare without having to scroll to the top of the blog.


CKDesigns said…
Looking good. That's a lot of work!

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