Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Repairing one of the back legs.

The lefthand rear leg has an old repair. A piece is spliced into the style and was fastened with a lot of nails. This is now very wobbly.

This pictures clearly shows the utility of nails in furniture restauration. They usually cause splits and more damage then they managed to repair.

I have removed this and cleaned up the crumbling remains of the wood around. As you can see, the tenon of the rail mostly dissapeared. I really hope there is still enough for a solid connection. I will put an extra block of wood behind this for extra stability.

And this is with the new leg attached, hide glue used this time and some extra bits of wood spliced in for extra stability. Everything clamped up.

An interesting detail. The carved deccoration on the panels is not integral with the panel itself. It is a second layer, applied to the surface of the panel. The detail is, they both have their own groove in the rails and styles, so those are double grooved.

The more I see from this cabinet, the more I think it is a forgery. I think the panels are original. They are made from very nice and very wide wainscot panels. That is truelly quartersawn wood with a nice ray fleck pattern. The carvings also look genuine. But they probably used these panels to make a new cabinet somewhere late nineteenth or early twentieth century. Until now I have only found one square nail, the rest is all wire nails, which came on the market in the late 19th century. First I thought these wire nails were only in the repaired sections, but they are everywhere, So, I rest my case...

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