OldTools Archive

Recent Bios FAQ

275628 Richard Wilson <yorkshireman@y...> 2022‑05‑22 Re: Wood ID help needed
Just to add to Frank's notes on material

I wondered about rubberwood - ye yes, ha haha.   But we see a good bit of it on
low end items here, and it has that grain characteristic, at least on the side.

One thing we didn’t ask - weight?   Heavy is usually good.  

and the thickness of the top?   it seems to be solid wood panels, so how thick?

There were lots of tables of this general style produced when timber was short.
I have some bits of a 2 pedestal version in the ’shop which I broke down.  It
was reasonably substantial looking when whole, but the ’solid’ bulbous
elizabethan type legs were in fact built up, and it was cunningly made from the
minimum amount of timber.   My parents, and now my brother had/have an oak table
with plywood panels, the top veneer, plus a balance underneath, are oak to match
the frame.  Top panel is, as Paul originally said, set into its groove by making
an assymetrical tongue.  Simple is efficient- can’t go wrong in the workshop.

Richard Wilson
Yorkshireman Galoot. 
07:00 and the sun has just hidden itself, after shining warmly from out at sea. 

> On 22 May 2022, at 02:02, Frank Filippone  wrote:
> I am on the same page as Richard.  The table IS lovely, a bit more refined
>> than most draw leaf tables with the fluted detailing in the legs.... and
>> the detailing at the top of the legs  It looks mass produced, not a one off
>> piece
>> This style of table is found a lot in The UK, and I believe it was very
>> common in the 1910's through the 60's.  Most of those that I have seen were
>> done in Oak.  Is it Italian?  Maybe. But maybe we are putting too much
>> emphasis on European made?  It certainly is not the curvy furniture my
>> grandparents owned. But  I digress......
>> The end grain pix shows pretty closed grain structure (oak would have big
>> pores, really like soda straws in 3d)
>> does not look like oak.  It has a pretty well done glaze... which does a
>> good job in hiding what the wood really is....a principle reason to use
>> glaze.
>> I am not so sure about my first guess at Euro Walnut..... It is also NOT
>> Maple, Birch, ash (these 3 being closed pore species), exotic species like
>> Rosewood, EBony, etc... not Mahogany or Beech (wrong grain pattern
>> especially the end grain, additionally no beech fleck in the quarter sawn
>> face).
>> It probably is not Poplar.... but it might be..... I do not see a greenish
>> color at all
>> I am leaning more towards chestnut which is a common European (fruit) tree
>> species.
>> Chestnut looks to me like Pecan
>> Not Pecan, maybe Butternut ( white walnut wood) but I thought that both of
>> these were  an American species.
>> With the stated provenance, it certainly challenges an obvious answer.
>> Back to some earlier thoughts, WHY does this object NEED repair?  It does
>> not seem to be falling apart  it is 60-80 years old and has a couple of
>> issues  The customer is always right.   But this table has aged with
>> character and grace. It is beautiful. It still fulfills its purpose.
>> I wish it could speak to us to tell us what IT wants us to do!
>> Frank Filippone
>> BMWRed735i@G...
>> On 5/21/2022 2:37 AM, Richard Wilson wrote:
>> Paul gives us thousands of words in just a few pictures.
>> In for repair is a fairly prosaic draw leaf table, with the detachable top
showing light signs of wear and damage.  What work are we commissioned to do?
>> The top has two panels set into a frame construction, with a split running
the length of one panel where stress in the shrinking panel had been relieved
probably due to the shrinkage of the panel being constrained by glue.
Additionally, shrinkage in each panel has caused one panel to sit skewed in its
housing, and the other to exhibit a parallel shrinkage gap
>> The colour (color, Paddy) is really the least of the problem.
>> First off is to make a judgement on
>> 1) Repair  / close the split
>> 2) Repair / close the skewed gap.
>> The rest of the piece seems to be sound, so we’ll stop there.
>> Choices
>> A) dismantle the top, correct all issues, reassemble and re-colour.
>> B) fill the splits, refinish.
>> A) Dismantling a sound top is a huge commitment.  You say ‘Hide Glue’ which
is better than, say, epoxy or a PVA, but is still not to be undertaken lightly.
Attempt to remove the wedges, soak the joints, apply destructive levels of
pressure, wait, re soak, drill into the joint from below to apply spirit hoping
to break the glue line - let’s not go there.
>> Alternatively - can we saw it open, then build it back up?  Conceivably yes.
Sawing through the M&T joints horizontally would enable you to pull it apart,
free the panels, and eventually re-glue after cleaning the joint line.  Run a
profile through the glue line right round the table top using a scratch stock -
just a small something that would look right - a tiny V in cross section.  This
would leave the appearance of the ends looking sensible. Could work. Or you
could saw through the M&T following the existing joint, but rebuilding would
leave a witness on the end grain.
>> Then what - free the tops in their grooves, maybe add back a sliver of veneer
to close the gaps.  For the split, clean out as best as possible, then apply
glue and clamp closed.  Re finish the top, disguise the veneer, and the split
maybe, or leave it as patina.
>> B) the simpler way to go is to consider the ‘value’ of the piece and look for
a minimal intervention.  Personally, if I could stabilise the split, I would,
then allow it to exist, but filled with coloured wax as a bit of the history of
the item.  The skewed panel is harder.  If I can devise a way of rotating it so
that there is an even shrinkage gap with parallel edges, then I’d be tempted to
do that.  Maybe by glueing blocks to the bottom, or screwing blocks to the
bottom, then applying pressure to re-align the board.  If they are indeed hide
glued in place, then you could apply spirit to the joint line, or steam, in
hopes of breaking the glue joint as this proceeds.
>> If or when you can re-align them, you can choose to fill with veneer slips,
or again, just leave and incorporate into the new finish.
>> Then we get to re-finishing.
>> There appear to be an additional two leaves to it.  How do the top of those
compare to the bleached top of the centre?  You need to re-finish those as well
to get a match.  And as the legs also appear to match the bleached out
appearance, how will you treat the rest of the carcass? - full strip and re-
finish, or just the top surfaces.
>> As someone said - test the bottom surface.  Prepare a couple of areas, and
try staining with something rich and something bland.  When you have your
decision, clean the top surfaces appropriately and apply.
>> Still - your table, your choice.
>> My caveats being that it’s a tricky job. and I’d be looking at doing the
least work consistent with returning it to service, so a final coat of something
varnishy then maybe wax for that subtlety of sheen.  As a family piece, revel in
the backstory and the witness marks.
>> and FWIW - I believe it would be good with new clothes of a rosewood type
stain, but that would make it into an entirely different looking item, and som
eof its charm is likely to be in the washed out colour as it is.
>> Richard Wilson
>> Yorkshire Galoot
>> recently shamed by all the restoration items not restored awaiting attention,
and some abysmal application of wax to our everyday tables.
>> --
>> Frank Filippone
>> BMWRed735i@g...
> -- 
> Frank Filippone
> BMWRed735i@g...

Yorkshireman Galoot
in the most northerly county, farther north even than Yorkshire
IT #300

Recent Bios FAQ