Federal Style Table [ broken apron ]

The Federal period in the US was from 1780 to 1820, “It Combined the neoclassic furniture style characteristics of Hepplewhite and Sheraton.

Hepplewhite style chair, with distinctive shield-shaped back, made from mahogany, circa 1790.

A Sheraton style chair with rectangular back

It is characterized by graceful straight lines, light construction, tapered legs, and the use of inlay, and contrasting veneers.”

Table with Federal elements

This particular table was made in the early 20th century and incorporates elements of the Federal Period with other elements [ pierced fretwork and carving ] but maintains an overall Federal feel. The top is a glued up solid wood substrate veneered top and bottom with two cross grain layers of veneer.

Table as received

The fret work is made up of three pieces band sawed from solid wood, a top and bottom rail and a shaped center piece. The entire table was assembled with hide glue.

Broken fretwork

At some point someone attempted to repair the table with nails. In the picture below you can see the results of driving a nail through a piece where the grain runs in the short direction. Mechanical fasteners need to be used with caution when building furniture, they do not expand and contract with moisture changes with the wood and can cause damage. You must always view fasteners in light of wood movement.

Nails in fretwork

Here I have removed the nails and glued the pieces back together with hot hide glue.

Fretwork glued

Here you can see that at some time the table was stored upside down in an out building of some kind where birds perched above the table. You can also see the veneer is lifting due to water damage. I see this kind of thing all the time, you never know where your furniture will end up in the future.

Table underside

The table has been cleaned up and is ready for the veneer to be glued down. Caution is a good idea when dealing with bird droppings, birds can carry several diseases.

Underside cleaned

The veneer was hammer veneered back down and then the apron glue into position, all with hot hide glue.

Underside repaired

Again veneer was lifting on the top surface.

Veneer lifting

All the lifted veneer was again hammered down with hot hide glue.

Veneer glued

Here the top has been lightly scraped and the polishing begun.

Finished Table

With this repair I hope you can see how thicker old veneer and hide glue make repair feasible and much easier.

About millcrek

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2 Responses to Federal Style Table [ broken apron ]

  1. Gary Newland says:

    Nice job, thank you for sharing. What are you using for the finish?

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