It is characterized by graceful straight lines, light construction, tapered legs, and the use of inlay, and contrasting veneers.”
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.
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.
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.
Here I have removed the nails and glued the pieces back together with hot hide glue.
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.
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.
Again veneer was lifting on the top surface.
Here the top has been lightly scraped and the polishing begun.
With this repair I hope you can see how thicker old veneer and hide glue make repair feasible and much easier.