Not too much thinking needed... :)
The above shows that the base apron actually is solid but with piece of
veneered bending ply over it--it's clearly visible as the bright
vertical line. The ply is probably 3/32" overall while the solid is
just under 3/4". The overall thickness is probably just about 3/4" on
Also while the combination of a little focus and the stain on the edge
of the top isn't good enough to really tell for sure about it, one can
also clearly see the glue joint of the moulding around the top and the
angle from just below the top is sufficient to show there's a slight gap
there where the top is actually just a little "proud" (overhangs just a
smidge) of the apron.
Again, see the previous comments on my proposed fixes...one thing that
might actually play into your favor if you decide to try the banding
route is that little gap--if it's open as it appears, you might be able
to get an edge behind it and thus not have to worry about the getting it
flush against a top and having any gap. That presupposes a piece wide
enough to cover the apron, of course. That appears to be right 4"
exposed; I don't know of any precisely that width; here's a link to a
peel-n-stick 12" wide in either 4- or 8-ft lengths. Not sure your table
diameter, you can get three 4" strips from the 12" width and with care a
butt seam will not show badly.
If you want to keep the all-wood appearance that's about your only option.
There's nothing that wrong w/ the pictures--they're not perfect but
certainly good enough -- and the first were all that were really needed.
It's clear it's veneer; it's clear the substrate is luan-like under the
oak and the last ones made it completely clear it's a solid wood apron
w/ a thin bending-ply veneered surface layer over it. There's nothing
The previous as I responded earlier, clearly show both the sanding
through of the veneer and further proof of veneer by the small missing
piece that exposes both the veneer edge along the break and the
There's nothing more to see here folks, move along... :)
Don't need much detail -- surely you can see the difference between the
end grain and the bright vertical stripe on the left that shows the
veneer ply? That's all that you need for it.
And, the line of the glue joint between the table top and the edging
mould is clear.
What these pics show is the need for an executive meeting of the
Refurbishing Committee of the Furniture Restoration Society of
This meeting should take place at the earliest opportunity and address
the following issues.
Since is abundantly clear that the table apron contains a veneer layer
and that aggressive sanding has caused spots to be worn thru to the
substrate necessitating replacement of the veneer layer, the
Refurbishing Committee should examine this option completely and
report back to the Furniture Restoration Society of America within 30
If the Refurbishing Committee determines that veneer replacement is
not an option, then applying a coat of paint is an alternate; however,
it would probably be a less than desirable alternate.
These findings should also be reported to the Restoration Society of
SFWIW, when it is necessary to conduct executive committee meetings, I
call them for 07:00 hours while taking a shower.
Fewer arguments and shorter meetings that way.
The OP is probably curious whether the rest of the veneer must sanded
off in order to proceed. Surely, sanding it all might be an economical
source of family fun. But does the RC have any rules about that (the
Thank you,Karen. I wish they were sharper but they are sharp enough to show
that the apron is, indeed, solid oak as I thought originally.
Naturally, dpb now agrees that the apron is solid but asserts that it has a
piece of "bending ply" over it (which would mean it isn't solid oak). That
is certainly possible but I have to ask myself why any manufacturer would
make the apron out of solid oak and then stick a piece of oak veneer ply on
top of it. I could understand - maybe - applying veneer to it but not ply.
For example, if the maker wanted the apron to be "tiger oak" he might have
applied a veneer of that over the apron. (Tiger oak is oak that displays a
distinctive grain due to the way it is cut from the log; because the apron
is circular, it would not be possible to have all of it display that grain
pattern if the apron was sawn out of tiger oak boards; bent, yes, sawn, no).
He also cites the "bright vertical line" as proof of his thesis. Again,
that is possible. It is also possible - probable,IMO - that the "bright
vertical line" is just a reflection from your flash. That edge curves
inward slightly, as shown in your first set of photos. Since it curves
inward, the edge will be more perpendicular to your camera and will reflect
light more than the other areas. FWIW, I was a photographer for more than
He also thinks he sees a glue line between the top and its edge molding. I
can't see that. I *DO* see something on the bottom surface of the table
that wraps around to the back edge of the molding but I have no idea what it
is or what purpose it serves. If that is what he sees as a glue line,he is
Finally, he keeps suggesting you apply new veneer as a fix. It would be
possible to do that but it would look a fright without a lot of prep work.
The apron has dings and nicks...those would need to be filled/repaired; that
edge with the "bright vertical line" would need work so that it didn't curve
inward as veneer doesn't bend well in that direction and won't bend at all
in two (which you would need). Both the prep work and actual veneering take
a fair measure of skill and I wouldn't suggest it to you.
I wish I could tell you unequivocally how to procede but I cannot; the
photos just aren't sharp enough to be 100% sure. However, you should be
able to tell by close examination of the apron edge whether or not the solid
wood has any kind of facing applied to it. If it has not, make the face
good and varnish; if it has, your best option would be paint. Paint could
look very good there, either painting all of it or just the top part, down
to but not including the kerf, leaving the bottom varnished.
If the apron weren't veneered, what in the world is the vertical grain
she sanded through to doing there????? Did this manufacturer now
supposedly use jointed "solid oak" but orient pieces alternating 90
degrees going around????
You're usually pretty good, but you're beating a dead horse on this one.
The vertical "line" is actually a vertical strip and measures right at
Besides the glue joint being evident at the mould-top junction, the
grain is wrong--it's end on the mould; not on the top.
As for the pressure-sensitive banding veneer application -- as I
described in my first exposition, whatever she does she needs to use a
sanding filler and to fill the little depressions and grain first.
She'll need to do that even if she takes the expedient way out and
paints or uses a solid stain to disguise the grain differences she now
has. Or, she could just sand it all down to the surface of the
substrate but that's a lot of work for no real gain.
The PSA-backed veneer is will easily bend to that curvature and isn't
particularly difficult to place -- start it at the top with a straight
edge of the table top to guide against won't be any real trick at all.
I'll retire now but I've as much time woodworking and wife did the
reclaim "antiques" and refinishing as you have photo'ing and I've seen
too much veneer sanded through and similar construction too often to be
fooled by just a little blurriness in a photo... :)
She might as well know what it is she's actually looking at as opposed
to not. And I'm certain I've told her that.
I missed what was apparently your first response -- w/ the multiple
threads that wasn't too hard. :(
I see what lead you astray is that you apparently interpreted the first
pictures as showing vertical sanding scratches and the dark areas as
remaining original finish instead of as the veneer substrate cross-grain
and the heavier absorption of her applied stain in those areas. W/ that
as a starting point, then I can see your continuing down that road.
But, the clues that that isn't the case are in the shape and the shading
of the "scratch" pattern overall. It is tapers to nothing very
gradually to the right and is in a general rounded nose. There's just
no way in which she could have produced those scratches by vertically
sanding in that pattern w/ the table top in place and the shading is the
result of the veneer thickness from the point it was sanded through
entirely until it gradually has sufficient thickness to effectively soak
up an even amount of stain.
It's a classic case -- if you've got an old veneered flat panel hollow
door around that isn't doing anything useful, sand on it in one spot for
a while and see that you can reproduce exactly that pattern and coloring
by sanding through the surface veneer.
If you are talking to me, yes that is the way I interpreted them. And I
still do, sorta. I agree she sanded through a veneer, don't believe she
made the scratch marks and I don't believe they are grain on a ply
There are two basic ways to make a curved board: bend it or saw it.
1. One can bend a solid board. I sure wouldn't try to make that apron that
way, don't know if a manufacturer would or not, doubt it.
2. Laminate it from several thinner boards. Easy to do, this wasn't
laminated according to the edge of the apron.
3. Make multiple kerfs across it leaving a thickness that will bend easily.
This *could *have been done that way, kerfs would show on top and bottom of
apron. The table top would cover the top ones but the kerfs on the apron
bottom would need to be covered in some manner. A solid piece could have
been applied to the bottom; the whole area below the decorative, horizontal
kerf could have been glued on to cover them but - judging from her not so
great photo of the apron edge - I don't think so.
1. Numerous chords could have been bandsawed out and then joined to make the
2. Numerous rectangular boards could have been joined into a polygon and
that polygon then sawed to round.
I think the thing was sawed. With either sawing method, there are two
things that need to be addressed. The first is that the round edge is going
to have tool marks and that it will need (probably) tweaking to get a nice,
smooth curve. To do that, I'd use a belt sander with coarse paper and I'd
hold it vertically; if I were making several - or if I were a
manufacturer - I'd rig some way to afix the rough apron to a turn table and
rotate it against a fixed belt sander. That's how I think the vertical
scratch marks were made.
People kept talking about the vertical marks being the grain in a piece of
lauan plywood. I could not fathom why someone would make a nice apron and
then stick on a piece of plywood. I still can't but I *can* see the need
for a piece of *veneer* because the second thing that needs fixing is that
there are numerous joints that would show; additionally, the grain of the
joined pieces would be less than pretty (unless they had a lot of lumber
available and went to extraordinary lengths to select the pieces to be
joined, a circumstance I strongly doubt). To fix that, I'd stick on a piece
of veneer. No need to remove the belt sander scratches, they will be
covered up, all that is needed is a smooth surface.
If I were Karen, I would still try scraping...with care, the scratch marks
could be removed at the expense of less than a great curve in their area.
The difficulty would come from not cutting theough more of the (probably)
very thin veneer and exposing more. There is always going to be a
difference in appearance between the original surface and the cut through
area; whether or not that is acceptable, only she can decide. If not, there
is always paint.
On Tue, 13 Aug 2013 16:21:51 -0400, Mike Marlow wrote:
Well, I worked for a considerable time in a plant that made such
tables. This was a smaller scale plant making around 300 various
size round pedestal tables a month, along with a fair amount of
custom and one off work.
As a side note, most of these tables went into Houston, TX markets.
On tables that were a standard industry size, 54",48", 42", 36", the bands
were preformed plywood semicircles installed in two pieces.
The arcs were formed as the plywood was made, bought them by the
Typically, the veneer was about .03" thick.
On odd size tables smaller bands were made out of solid, glued up
octagons, left in straight sided segments, I never saw one glued up and
cut round with a band saw, although it could be done easy enough.
Larger tabl;es 6 ft and up were sometimes done in 12 sided solid wood glue
Not and having the top in place...she doesn't have the access to sand in
that direction and leave such uniform large scratches -- and, besides,
she already had confirmed that the surface was left smooth.
As for my thoughts, I'm 100% convinced -- I've seen too many previous
pieces to think anything else.
Of course, there is if you've seen dozens of cases where folks have done
the same thing before.
The point is that one can reproduce the characteristic patterns easily
w/ only a very cheap substitute...
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