Arts and Crafts Movement

In my creative workspace I make new pieces from old wood and old center-pieces complementary with new wood. Today I took the panels from my dismantled car-boot find to the workshop and started to patch up the fractured and missing inlays and refinish the surfaces as needed.

In places the strings of checkered inlay were raised, fractured or missing. I restored them, repaired them or remade them according to need.

I sanded the surface with 240 grit sandpaper and then buffed it further with finest grade steel wool (0000 USA) working with the grain and taking care not to tug any corners in the veneered inlay areas.

Some surfaces need the scraper to level the veneers after regluing. I used superglue to replace the tiny pieces.

With those panels I completed, I refinished the surfaces with white or clear (bleached) shellac, which I applied with a 1″ Hake water colour paintbrush. These brushes leave no brush marks in the finish and I can dedicate the brush to the task alone with no need for cleaning. The brush hardens after a day of being left in the atmosphere, but placing the brush in the finish fiver minutes before use softens the brush back to a firm suppleness.

On large surface veneers and larger inlay sections I always use animal hide glue. Animal hide glue is a reversible glue so veneers can be removed for repair. On tiny pieces as shown, it is acceptable to use superglue as this is not an invasive or structural glue and can be split in the same way animal hide glue splits.

Here are two panels, one reworked and refinished, the other yet to be done. These panels would also make very nice wall hangings alone and with no further enhancement. They will enhance whatever I make from them. These panels would take about a day to make each one. In January 2009 I designed and made two pieces for the White House Permanent Collection. Every facet had surface veneers on solid wood subsurfaces which were made in exactly the same way these surface veneers were made, except our veneers were 2mm and not 1mm.