I must say that I feel like the little Dutch boy who tried to stop the flood by putting his finger in the holes in the dike. There were just too many holes and not enough fingers. I’m talking about the fact that the more that I worked, the more little defects I have found that needed to be addressed.
I’ve said a number of times throughout my descriptions of repairing this Singer sewing machine case and preparing it for refinishing that the damage wrought by water has been the subject of most of my attention. As I finished up with the bleaching process and moved into the scuff sanding portion of the work, I kept finding small areas of veneer that had lost their grip along the edges and had come loose. Little Dutch boy Bernie’s job has been to re-glue that veneer.
A few months ago I spent a whole article showing how I use masking tape to minimize the mess of applying wood filler to cracks needing to be filled. Again here, as I filled little cracks on this project, I did the same thing. I also use the same process of taping off the wood when I have to force glue into an area where the veneer has let go. With the large pores in this white oak veneer, the tape saves me tedious and potentially damaging sanding when removing glue or filler from unwanted areas.
At last I think that I can say that the veneer is all glued in place on the four pieces that compose the top of the cabinet. What with almost 100 years of use, there are more than a few places where dings and other hard confrontations have created places where the veneer has left the scene. They are now filled and the residue has been sanded away.
The four pieces that compose the top all have decorative edges milled into them. There is a bull nose around the main top piece and both the lid and the trap door that closes around the machine itself when it is placed in working position have ogee curve edging details. These required quite a bit of hand sanding. There was a lot of residual shellac attached there. The big flat areas got a visit from my quarter sheet sander with 180p paper to open up the grain and, again, to remove residual shellac. The grain should now be open to accept the wipe stain.
I hoped that my before and after pictures would fully tell the tale of how the wood bleach had worked. In almost all cases, I was amazed at how well the stains have been removed by the bleach. There are only minor remains of what was there before I started. My problem now is that there is nothing to show to you by including post-bleaching photos; nothing but good looking wood ready for stain. Please take a look at the photos I have included.
Next week I will discuss working around the appliques.