Refinishing an old cedar chest

I have an old (circa 1948) cedar chest my dad gave my mother one Christmas that I would like to refinish.
It is veneered (some of which is coming loose) with many "water glass rings" where careless grandchildren sat their pop cans in later years (mother would roll over in her grave...).
Any suggestions on how to: 1) Remove the "water glass rings" 2) Strip the finish withiout damaging the underlying veneer and inlays would be appreciated. 3) Repair the veneer (glue back down, not replace)
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I would suppose around here you might have better luck getting instructions on how to build a new one. Not an easy task and each of these types of repairs need to consider lots o' different methods depending on the nature and extent of the damage.
1. You can try rubbing mineral oil on the glass rings. It is usually moisture stuck in the finish and for some reason an old wives tale type trick of mineral oil does seem to work sometimes. Also rubbing alcohol can work but if the finish is shellac you could have a problem and just melt away the finish completly. Which brings me to #2.
2. Depends on what is the the original finish. If the age is correct then it is most likely shellac or lacquer. Both of these can be stripped with appropriate chemicals but at this age and if the piece is veneered not a very safe operation for a non-pro. Sanding is also an option and the only one if the finish os poly. I think only a refinishing pro could give you an absolute idea of the existing finish and the best method of removal.
3. Probably just glue it back down if it is just lifting up. Without pictures or better descriptions its hard to say how. If the underlying substrate is still good and flat and it's just glue failure then good old yellow glue and some appropriate clamping method. If it's bubbling in ares, very difficult to fix.
I would really suggest taking it to a pro if it is worth it. My reply probably isn't much help but if you are in the SF Bay Area I can pioint you to the right guy.
BW

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