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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Victorian Walnut Coffee Table

Before I begin to talk about this piece of furniture, I need to clear up one item. There is no such thing as a antique coffee table. the coffee table is a 20th century invention. While this table might look like the exception to the rule, The fact is that the legs were cut down on this table to lower the height.
When I received this table it was had become completely unglued. not only was the joinery loose, but most of the pieces which had been stacked together to create the apron of the table and the top of the table had become unglued. this partly due to the fact that the table has a marble top which adds stress to the joinery. The other factor is that it was assembled with many different pieces of wood with crossed grain patterns. As these pieces expand and contract over time the glue gives up its bond. the result is the photo below:

Here is a picture of the first glue up. the top and bottom sections are held together with cleats, so I was able to glue them up separately.

here is a photo of the top section being glued up.

Here is a photo of the table after gluing and once the finish had been cleaned with mineral spirits. Note the white hazy look. this is the dirt and wax which the mineral spirits have separated from the finish. this is then removed with steel wool and french polish is applied.

Here is a photo of the coffee table french polished and with paste wax applied.

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