Recommendations for damage repair - stereo cabinet

Have an early 60s Magnavox console stereo in mahogany finish (medium reddish / auburn color) - do not know what species of wood, although do not believe is mahogany - with a deep gash in the top on the front edge. Other than slight wear the rest of the cabinet is nearly as new.
The damage is a dent / narrow gouge at a near right angle to the front, beaded edge, approx. 3/16 in. deep x 1/8 in. wide x 1.5 in. long, tapering from the front.
Checking my few furniture / finish repair books, shellac sticks are suggested as the preferred solution, followed by wood dough / putty for repairing this type damage - with the caveat that while a shellac stick will provide the best result, this can only be achieved by someone with extensive experience. Not having previously undertaken repair of this type damage by any method, and not wanting to make a bad situation worse, use of a shellac stick may not be the way for me to go.
Desired result is to repair the damage with no to minimal evidence it ever existed - which I understand is likely not possible.
Very much appreciate any and all recommendations for specific products and procedures.
Thanks and Regards,
Doug
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You don't sound too confident even after reading repair suggestions. You are the only one that can actually see the damage and the undamaged area that you want to match. You are going to probably get a hand full of suggestions as to how to proceed with the repair, and in the minds of those giving advice the suggestions will be good. That said they don't see the damage so really cannot give you any assurance that any method described will even come close to being correct.
Now my suggestion. Go to a local furniture store and find our who they use to come in an do repairs like this. These guys typically make the damage literally disappear. They typically will come to you vs. you taking the damaged piece to them.
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On 11/7/2013 7:27 AM, Leon wrote:

Or? Post some pictures somewhere?
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hotels/restaurants use and get it to him next time he is in town doing work. It'll cost you a bit, but it will be done well, for less than it will cost you for the materials and trainig/experiece to do it.
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snip

I do this kind of work, and I will echo what others are saying: Without seeing the damage, there is no way to give you advice I would have any confidence in.
Are the wood fibers crushed or cut/torn? What wood IS it? What's the finish? How close a color match are you prepared to accept? Will it need hand-drawn faux grain to give the best match? Are there options to hide the damage rather than repair it?
AND... What's your budget and time frame? ( I tell my clients about my 2/3 rule... Good, Fast, Inexpensive. Pick two.)
As Leon, Richard and clare have said... find a specialist in your area.
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Thanks Dave.
Will find a place to post photos for reference and the location.
To address your questions:

condition.

appear same as adjacent surface.

am in no hurry to complete, other than get it finished in a timely manner.
Regarding budget - while the rest of the cabinet is in very good condition, the finish / color has worn thin in some areas as well as several areas of minor finish damage to the top. Objective is to restore the appearance to as close to as-new as possible Am also refurbishing the amp and tuner.
As a point of reference - some time ago I refinished my mahogany front door's exterior with very valuable and helpful recommendations / guidance and encouragement of dadiOH. My first time to perform such a task so was all new to me. The entire process took many, many weeks and the result was everything I expected - both cosmetically and functionally.
Am confident similar results can be achieved performing this repair - just not clear on the 'best' way to proceed.
Thanks again and will advise when photos are available.
Doug

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FWIW refinishing an entire surface typically gives much better results and is easier than repairing just a portion of that same surface.

Good luck with that. You may be able to repair the damage but even with a good repair the area will probably still be easily detected.
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In article

Leon, you're absolutely correct.
I recently did a repair for a client that had dents and gouges in one door of three in a hutch. Stripped and sanded all three, steamed the wood fibers back up out of the dents and gouges and refinished all three doors. It was the only way to give her a piece of furniture that looked good.

No "probably" about it.
Doug, you are unlikely to achieve what you want. Call a professional.
Unless "good enough" is good enough.
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If the old finish is still in place in the dented areas that's unlikely to work well, IME.
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On Fri, 08 Nov 2013 15:29:53 -0600, Dave Balderstone

raise a dent even in "finished" wood - depends on the finish. On a high gloss finish less likely than on a matte or semi-matte finish.
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You've had better luck at it than I have.
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I find it also depends on whether the dent is running with, or across the grain. I've had better results when it's with the grain.
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replying to Doug , seancarlos wrote:

It is not easy to tell without seeing it so if possible please post some photos from all sides.
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See here for photos of the damage: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35122445@N02/
Look forward to comments / suggestions regarding methods of repair.
Doug

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replying to Doug , seancarlos wrote:

For these I would suggest you to go with wood filler,as it a deep damage then sand it down with a 2 stages of fine grit like 120 first then 220 last and then stain it and at last polish and let dry.
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On Saturday, November 30, 2013 12:23:21 AM UTC-6, Doug wrote:
As suggested, I would recommend a steaming technique. Delicately scrape th e finish from the dented areas, moisten (with a Q-Tip or similar dabber) ju st the dented areas, then try to heat just the dented areas, as best as pos sible. You want to raise just the dented areas, not affect the surrounding areas, if possible. Once you've gotten as much to raise, as possible, the n reassess the remaining damage.
For heating, you might try the edge of a clothes iron, soldering iron, wood burning iron or similar small heating tool. Just don't burn the wood. Pr actice on some scrap wood, first, if need be, before committing to the ster eo.
With the introduction of moisture to the area, you may get some whitening o f the nearby finished areas. Don't worry about this whitening. Also, the nearby finish might raise up, a little, also, possibly even flake off, late r. Don't worry about this, either. You'll reassess the remaining results, later. Just don't burn the wood during heating/steaming.
Sonny
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On Saturday, November 30, 2013 9:02:52 AM UTC-6, Sonny wrote:

actice on some scrap wood, first, if need be, before committing to the ster eo.
Heat the wood slowly. Don't try to heat the wood too fast. Slowly raise t he temp of the wood/area, to allow the steaming process to slowly work. To some extent, just the wetting of the wood will start the raising/swelling process. Use hot water to initially wet the areas.
Sonny
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dissapear, but the rest of the case isn't perfect either. For a total restore you would strip the entire case, cut out the damaged area, glue in a patch, refinish the edge with the proper router blade, and refinish. Doing that, it is possible to make a virtually invisible repair - but count on a minimum 50 hours of labour, spread over several days to a week, at best.
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