Restoring old Oak

I have been restoring an English solid oak desk (circa 1910 - 1920). I have fixed up a couple of structural problems and broken struts. Looking for advice on fixing up the finish (mainly scratches), mainly on the legs and the front of the drawers. I assumed it was shellac but when I rubbed it with methylated spirit nothing happened. I thought it would start to dissolve. Is it just that it's too hard after all this time? Could it be some sort of varnish? Should I be fine sanding it? Grateful for any suggestions. TIA OzSawdust
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 19 Sep 2003 07:32:11 GMT, "OzSawdust"
Could well be. Spirit varnishes (natural resins in alcohol) would be in period. These resins don't dissolve in alcohol unless heated, and after years of exposure in a thin film they may be so oxidised they'll never dissolve again.
You can try a few other solvent-based strippers. Dichloromethane and methanol (a commercial stripper recipe, sold as Nitromors) may work. If it's just very old shellac, you could try ammonia too.
If you can't soften it in situ, then scrape or sand may be appropriate.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.