Refinishing Phyfe Dining set - need advice

That caught your attention, no it's not an original. It's a 50s? reproduction and it's very solid. I'm posting a scan of the original newspaper ad to alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking that the original owner graciously clipped, saved and passed on to the second owner. I'm the third owner (FREE from a craigslist ad!). I'm going to refinish it and could use some advice.
It has white spots on the table and buffet from hot plates being set and left on them grrrr. How can I fix that?
Is a 50 year old reproduction set considered antique? Should I leave the wear & tear scars and use a stripper or sand past them? Should I just use them as is and have a nice bonfire when I'm done with them because it's not worth shit?
Can anyone date them by looking at the ad? Who knows what Wooddorking company was at 744 Washington Street in Boston in the late 40's/early 50s? It could be as late as the early 60s but I think 50s by looking at the ad.
Thanks in advance for any useful help,
Mowgli
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The white spots are water damage from steam being forced into the finish, most likely a lacquer. The easiest way to fix these is to quickly and lightly wipe them with a rag dampened with alcohol or lacquer thinner. It works best on warm dry days. A piece fifty years old is not considered an antique. It is post WWII mass production. It is possible that the particular piece might be considered a collectible but you would have to ask someone who is a collector of such pieces or someone who knows about the field. Given that it is not an antique, it is up to you if you wish to restore or refinish the piece. As long as the piece is well made and not so far gone that making it usable is a major project, refinishing the top is certainly an option assuming you have the skill. If the scarring is not severe, you might consider spot refinishing. I am assuming that you wish to use the dining set and not set it aside as a museum piece.
Good Luck.
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Thanks Baron, that's good advise. I'm still considering my different options. With it being veneer and post WWII I'll prolly refinish the whole batch to keep meownself. Dining table & buffet, hutch (not the same one as the ad but very nice work), host chair & 5 side chairs, I have my free time accounted for the entire winter or somewhere thereabouts. I'd better get busy with it soon. I have "Understanding Wood Finishing" and a library card so "Hiho, hiho, etc..."
Mowgli
On Sun, 28 Sep 2003 17:29:15 -0400, Baron's fingers viciously stabbed at an innocent keyboard to form the now famous if slightly awkward haiku:

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I suggest that you also look into both of Jeff Jewitt's books currently available as well as Michael Dresdner's. While Flexner's book is the first, and therefore bible when it comes to understanding finishing, the other books are geared a little more toward application.
Good Luck
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