Inheriting a old desk, not sure how to fix it up - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-27-2018, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Question Inheriting a old desk, not sure how to fix it up

Hello all,


I have an old hand made wood desk, that I had growing up. Its a solid hunk of wood (well, several hunks of wood really), and it weighs a ton. Also, pretty sure its completely hand made by my uncle who can no longer walk much.



My dads a cabinet maker, so I have some vauge basics of wood working under my belt. But I'm a computer tech by trade myself. So I don't have alot of really big skills to use here, or to draw upon.


This desk was abused by my sister and I, while we grew up. It has holes drilled into (but not through) it, and plenty of scratches (some are surface scratches, some are deeper). Since she's moving out, and I'm moving into the basement apartment in a month or so, I'd like to try and fix it up a bit. Can you fix really beat up furniture like that? Is this crazy idea of mine even possible?
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-27-2018, 05:40 PM
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Need pictures.....good ones, and lots of them.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-27-2018, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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That will take some time. Its currently buried under Christmas decoration boxes.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-27-2018, 05:56 PM
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If you are concerned about the value of the desk the less you do to it the better. Having said that though there is a point where restoration helps the value.

If you are considering refinishing that should start with a paint and varnish remover. Trouble is no remover works well below 70 degrees, not even professional grade removers. It would be better off to put that job off until spring.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-28-2018, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not worried about the value, I'm not planning on selling it. It would be to used as a desk. More likely, a computer terminal for my laptop and 2 extra monitors. But still a desk.


Tbh, I might never take it out of the basement. Its quite heavy after all.


Still, I'd like to get it back to looking decent, if I could. Though if its not possible, then its not possible. Nothing really is lost.
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-28-2018, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattig89ch View Post
I'm not worried about the value, I'm not planning on selling it. It would be to used as a desk. More likely, a computer terminal for my laptop and 2 extra monitors. But still a desk.


Tbh, I might never take it out of the basement. Its quite heavy after all.


Still, I'd like to get it back to looking decent, if I could. Though if its not possible, then its not possible. Nothing really is lost.
Pictures would really help...and No...your idea of saving and using it is practical and not that difficult even if badly abused, as long as your expectations are not that unrealistic for out come or putting to much expectations on your current skill sets...

I personally can't recommend the need for "chemical strippers" or the related. I don't care for the exposure or expense, but that is a personal choice you will have to make. Without pictures I can't give recommendations on what you may be able to get by with for refinishing...

As for the damage and its repair, that again will depend on your aesthetic goals and how much you wish to invest in this time wise. There are some rather charming traditional methods (Kintsugi 金継ぎ) that are simple to do (for the most part) are done just with hand tools (no power require or the expense) and the outcome is (or can be) very aesthetically pleasing...

Again...pictures please...
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-28-2018, 08:57 PM
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just about anything can be brought back to looking decent. If you farmed out the work, it could get real expensive. Do it yourself and it could get costly in time.
If it laminated you might have to relam with new veneer. If it's solid wood you will have holes to fill which may not be as bad a job as you think..

If your uncle made it, it does not have any real antique value other than it's old. The value will be in how desirable this desk is to a potential buyer, either by function or style.

There is one fairly easy solution to bringing it back to life again after the repairs are done.............paint it.

BTW, I have no idea what happened to the before pic.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-28-2018, 09:49 PM
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It sounds like with your uncle and your dad as woodworkers you have two good sources to discuss your restoration plans with for the desk. I advise you to talk your plan over with both for some valued input.
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If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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