The Mystery Corner Cupboard – Chapter 4
December 29, 2014
I decided to work from the bottom, up. After all, one needs to have something stable to set the top section on while working on it.
First, I restored the feet. The back foot was largely rotted off.
It was made up of two back boards nailed to the frame, ending in a simple foot, backed up by an infill made up of 2 shop scrap pieces nailed together. For the restored foot to have full strength, the entire two back boards needed to be replaced. Providentially, I had on hand an amazingly similar board – old-growth poplar, same thickness, hand plane marks, and large enough to replace the two boards.
Even a slight bow was identical. I let the original edge be the one that shows, and also used antique hand-wrought nails from my supplies which were just like the originals.
The right front foot also had considerable moisture-caused decay. It was made up of a white pine front and side board substrate nailed together, backed with a solid infill of poplar. Its 2-part mahogany bracket foot was 20% reduced on its right side due to decay. This decay also extended to part of the substrate boards which fastened to and helped make up the right foot.
I determined it was best to save the rotted base of the white pine substrate by turning the soft decayed wood back to being hard and strong, then building up the missing areas to their original dimensions with 2-part epoxy. I found that flooding decay-softened areas with different strengths (“cuts”) of shellac performed admirably – without the toxic fumes of other methods.
After stabilizing and strengthening the wood, the new poplar infill was made and fastened in.
2-part epoxy was mixed up, building up rot-diminished areas and then shaped down to original dimensions.