Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life.

Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life. Sunset at Telegraph Point.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Restoring A Gateleg Table - Part 2

Restoring a badly cared for and broken piece of furniture is always a challenge.  Sometimes the problems are minor, but still need care in the repair.
Apart from the failed dowel joints, the table has plenty of other issues that need attention.  It was not made as a piece of high-end furniture.  There is evidence that the table was made to a price, and some parts were quickly executed in its construction.

In areas that were out of sight, original marking gauge lines and over-zealous saw cuts can be seen.

The stays that block the open gate-legs are simply screwed to the bottom of the two table top side-leaves, and are roughly finished.  One is not even square cut.  All of these are part of the character of the piece and will be left as is.
Other faults need repair.

Here is an old crack in the edge of the table-top.  It can be re-glued, but the clamping  requires some ingenuity because of the curve of the table edge.

Clamping blocks solve the problem of the curved edge, and allow the crack to be pulled together while the glue dries.  Two blocks stop the clamps from marking the table top.

Replacing Worn or Split Edging

Here is an example of splintered and broken edging from one of the lower gate-leg rails.  It can be rounded over, but this is unacceptable.  Better to replace the worn part with a new fillet piece.  First step is to create a flat surface for the  replacement sliver to adhere to.  I use a plane - number 5 size works well.  Mine is a Lie Nielsen low-angle jack plane.

On the left is the planed and flattened rail.  I use a bevel gauge to first measure the angle for the replacement sliver, then transfer it to the piece to be cut.  I found a small piece of American oak that will suffice - close enough to the original English oak to be good enough.

Once the sliver has been glued and has dried, it can be brought back to the profile of the rail with a finely set plane.  Again I use the Lie Nielsen, as it has a wonderful adjustable mouth that can be set to take the finest shavings.  This is important, as the final surface has to be crept up on - so that the rail isn't over-thicknessed in one's enthusiasm.  Here you can see that I have just managed to kiss the rail with the blade, creating the scrape in the varnish.  No matter, there will be a stain finish to help the oak blend in with the older varnish.

With the repairs out of the way, it is time to finally assemble the leg frame before addressing the top.
That will be for next time.

May the rain fall soft upon your fields ..................

............. and ............ happy woodworking to all.

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