Project Log -- Library Cabinet -- Update 6/20/17


I realize it's been awhile since I updated the blog, but it's not because I haven't been busy.  There just haven't been a lot of really interesting or unusual work.  Then this popped up.  Through Thumbtack I got an opportunity to work on this glass front book cabinet.  From a distance it looks like nicely figured oak, but on closer inspection . . .

. . . it becomes clear that the oak is a faux, painted on finish.  The owner and I discussed it and I discovered it's been in the family around 100 years.  I haven't been able to verify an age, but the owners believed that a grandparent or great grandparent purchased it from Sears somewhere around 1900.  

Reproducing the faux finish really wasn't a viable option, and the owner wanted to match it to the furniture in the room where they intend to use it, so we decided to remove the faux oak and replace it with a dark mahogany, assuming that the wood under the oak was suitable.

The cabinet is a little wobbly.  A big part of that is the repair done at some point in the past to replace a missing bottom panel.  Unfortunately, the fix was performed with an ill-fitting piece of paneling.  I'll be replacing that with a suitable piece of material.

I stripped down one of the shelves to get a look at the wood.  I think I'm looking at some maple, but I'm not positive.  I'm going to look into that a bit more.

Here's the shelf stack before I started stripping the finish.

5/10/17 -- Update.  All of the paint is stripped.  Now it's time for finish sanding before applying the stain and varnish.  

 The top was pretty badly warped and barely attached when I took this piece.  It was held to the frame by four finishing nails.  I used blind 3/8" pegs in the corners and glue and clamped it flat.  
 Another view showing how I was able to pull the warp oout of the top.
It was a long battle on this one.  The original finish hid some pretty badly prepared wood underneath.  I had to do a lot of repair work, including replacing the bottom which had been a piece of paneling cut nearly to size and laid in the base.  Now there's a piece of 1/2 plywood, firmly attached and maintaining the rigidity of the lower part of the structure.

 Fortunately, the wood on top was actually pretty nice.  So the most visible surface looks pretty good.  All-in-all, this was a challenging piece, but the end result was very rewarding.


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