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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Duncan Phyfe Style Mahogany Dining Table (ca 1950)

I recently completed work on a mahogany veneer dining table. The top needed to be refinished, but I was able to restore the finish on the base. I then gave the table a nice Fench Polished finish. Below are some photos of the repairs and the restoration of this table and it's leaf.

This first photo shows the bases being glued. The legs were pegged in place but they were still a little loose, so I applied some new glue and tightened them up.
 When veneering a surface, most manufacturers also veneer the opposite surface. The reason for this is to keep the wood in the center from taking on moisture  at a different rate from the underside (possibly warping the substrate boards). This technique was applied to this table and over time the veneer on the underside has loosened. Below are photos of three different clamping sessions gluing down the loose veneer.

 Once all of the repairs were made, the table top was sanded to remove scratches and prepare it to be stained. The end result can be seen below.
 Here is the same shot after the stain was added to the top to match the color of the base.
 After many coats of shellac were applied using the French Polishing technique, the table was finally finished. Wax was applied lastly to protect the finish from water spills and give the table  nice even polish. below are three photos of the completed table.


  1. Contemporary Radiator Covers

    This is one of the best posts that I’ve ever seen; you may include some more ideas in the same theme about Classic Furniture Bedroom Collections . I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post

  2. How much did you charge to do all of this for the table?

  3. I have a dunkin phyfe table and its now wobbly because I had friend who had hip issues and was always leaning on it. (she is a very heavy girl) and I pulled apart the table to look at it and it seems as though the screws no longer grip the wood... can't tighten them. or most of them anyway.) how do I fix this so I don't have a wobbly table? it was a little more tight at first but obviously it didn't stay. please help I love my table.

    1. I'm not sure if the table is in good enough shape to be of value, and if it is, I don't know how it would affect it, if at all. Without altering anything, you can take a wood shaving or two and use them as shims in the hole to tighten the screw up. My favorite way, if I can use it, is to drill it out to accept a dowel just larger than the hole, glue the dowel in, and cut it flush when it dries. Predrill for the screw...

  4. I'm about to tackle the twin to this table. The bottom is veneer but the top is not. At some point in it's past, somebody apparently tried to sand out a coffee cup or water glass sized mark...I would guess from condensation or repeated spills to this one area. It looks like they maybe did it with an orbital sander tilted on edge or the very end of a belt sander. Regardless, there's a noticeable crater there with no sign of veneer. I can maybe feather it somewhat but there's no way to get it all out. If you have any suggestions they would be appreciated...thanks much

  5. Do you perhaps remember the brand and color of stain you used on the Duncan Phyfe? I have the same table and buffet and china cabinet I need to redo. Please help.

  6. Are Duncan Phyfe tables all wobbly if someone leans on it. I just had mine repaired and I still wobbles side to side.