Work in Progress -- Antique Writing desk

This piece was painted black many years ago.  This enamel was stubborn and really gave me fits getting it out of the wood.

The piece was in really poor shape.  All of the joints were loose and it basically fell apart in my hands as I examined it the first time.  

The top piece was an unmatched piece of pine and I'm really not sure exactly how it was intended to work, but I went with the assumption the top would hinge open, so I had to get that back together and the get new veneer on it.

When I reassembled it, the frame pieces were warped, as was the pine center piece, I decided to fill the frame flush and top it with veneer.

 There was a lot of structural work to do after I got it stripped.

 So, here's how I applied the veneer.  First I had to select my pieces
 Also, the filled section and the veneer had to be sealed to ensure that the 
contact cement would adhere.
 The next day, after sealing, I applied contact cement to both the top and the veneer and let the cement dry.  Then carefully, the veneer is applied.  The contact cement does not allow for repositioning, so this part of the process is a little exacting.

Here's all of the applied veneer.  The next step is to roll and press it and make certain that it adheres completely to the substrate with no bubbles or gaps.

 Then it dries overnight and gets trimmed to size

I tried the rebuilt top for fit.

I also had to create a new bottom for the inside of the desk.  This time I cut a piece of 1/4" plywood and covered that in the same veneer.  That was then glued and nailed into the bottom.

 The customer requested that I restore it to a natural finish.  So I started the process of applying an oil finish tonight.

After an oil finish and a few light coats of poly to seal it, I gave it a light buffing and here's the finished piece.


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