The Mystery Corner Cupboard – Chapter 5

January 10, 2015

Now that the right foot was structurally sound, it was time to restore the 2-part mahogany bracket foot face. The left half (front facing) was basically sound and intact. The right side, though, had lost the lower 1/5 to decay.  The owner had, years ago, built up most of the missing part with window glazing compound and done a passable job shaping and coloring it. I elected to stabilize the rotted parts, and keep her repair (after all, it was part of its history) but to build it up or trim it as needed to refine its shape. The last step was to bring the color up and make that putty look like old mahogany.

On the top, cove-molded edge, I repaired a couple of split-open nail holes; the original nails had completely rusted away.

For nails to completely rust away, and for mahogany to rot like this, proves this piece was in a very damp/wet area a very long time. Why? Because this type of mahogany is almost impervious to water. Boats are made of it.

Now that the right bracket face was restored, it was time to re-fasten the faces to the foot structure. They matched up everywhere but on the bottom. A quarter inch on the bottom right must have rotted away.  It could have been faked (I was ready to be done with this foot and move on to something else), but it wouldn’t have been right. I found a mahogany scrap with matching grain and color and “grafted” it on, then shaped it down. This time it matched well. I fastened it on.

The left foot required only minor repairs. I made them and did fine touches – light shimming of minor gaps between bracket faces and substrates. At last the feet were restored.