Identifying finish - need help

How can I identify the finish on a piece of furniture? I inherited a couple of pieces of oak furniture made by the Sumter Cabinet Co. I did a web search and they're still in business, but could find no contact info for them. There are two problems; blotchy fading due to sunlight, and scratches on the top surfaces. I can probably live with the blotches for now, but would like to sand out and refinish the tops. This is some really nice stuff, all oak except for drawer bottoms, and blind dovetails on the drawer sides. It's high enough quality that eventually I want to refinish all the surfaces to even out the color, but I don't want to make a mess of it now, trying to fix a few scratches.
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You could try and Google them for a phone # or address. Chances are that they would help you identify the finish.
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You didn't look very hard. <grin>
Sumter Cabinet is out of the furniture business.
They were a division of 'Chromcraft Revington'.
Furniture-making gear auctioned a bit over a year ago. see: <http://www.irsauctions.com/past_auctions/all_sumter.asp
Phone for their Lincolntown NC headqarters: (704)745-2276 supposedly good as of 12/12/2007
<http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/product-compint-0000654240-page.html
Good luck.
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Find an place that won't show on the piece. If you can dissolve the finish with alcohol you have a shellac finish. If it dissolves with laquer thinner you have lacquer. I suppose others might know some tests for varnish or polyurethane.
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