Need to learn how to use Burn-In Sticks to repair furniture

I'm working on repairing an "heirloom" desk -- it's not really valuable but has great sentimental value for our family. It's clear that in some areas the best technique is to completely recover it with a new veneer and that's what I'm doing for the entire top. But other, smaller, and more highly shaped areas wouldn't be easy to veneer and I don't want to change the entire appearance anyway.
One possibility is to completely sand the previous finish off, putty the damage, and then re-stain the whole piece. This is more labor than I'd really like to do SO ... it seems that the best technique for filling in scratches, gouges, and dents is a combination of putty for deep repair plus burn-in sticks for the surface. So far my trials (on the top which is going to be recovered anyway) are very disheartening and I need to get much smarter on using the burn-in sticks.
From what I've done so far, it looks like large areas are relatively easy to handle but the small dings and scratches are beyond my skill. Does anyone know of any books or on-line resources that contain detailed descriptions of the process with good information on (a) protecting the surrounding area and (b) getting the repair really level?
Thanks Norm
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Norm Dresner wrote:

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Technique/Finish/StickShellac/sticklac1.html
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What a great name for a woodworker... Norm.
The real trick to using burn sticks from my perspective is controling the heat on a putty knife or other smoothing element. This might be harder on rounded surfaces to get an appropriate shape.
Heat up the smoother hot enough to generate drips from the stick when you press them together and over fill your area. Then get the smoother rto the exact right temperature and smooth out the mounded drips while they are still cooling.
The trick is to get the smoother as hot as possible without it being hot enough to blister the surrounding finish. Not too easy. Trial and error.
BW
Norm Dresner wrote:

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Norm Dresner wrote:

http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/images/Mohawk_Touch_Up_clip.wmv
Buy this:
http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/training_dvd.asp
Or find one here:
http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/dist_lookup.asp
Anybody that's any good at this, and isn't colour blind, can make a wonderful living. Insurance companies, manyfacturers [sic], importers of furniture etc., will pay good money to rescue valuable pieces.
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