Sophie's Desk

Repairing and refinishing gives new life to a ratty old desk.

SHOP OWNER: David Sophusson

    Becky brought home an old mahogany desk thinking I might be able to do something with it and then give it to her daughter for use in her own office. The edges were beat up, the top was dented and faded from the sun, there was a big dark spot where the desk blotter had been, and the black metal strips that attached the front vanity panel didn't add to the beauty of the thing. It also had one leg broken off. Overall, it was pretty ugly.
    I disassembled the whole thing and let Becky have at it with some stripper to clean it up a bit. When she was done with it, she turned it over to me for repairs and finishing. I needed a way to repair the damage to the edges of the top and decided to edge band it. For an accent, I used some quilted maple that I had laying around. I managed to steam out most of the dents in the top and gave it a light sanding.
    Next, I made new strips of quilted maple to replace the ugly black metal strips on the front vanity panel. I also made new drawer pulls with the quilted maple to replace the wire pulls that were on it. I also had to inlay a hardwood block in the bottom of one of the drawer cases so I could reattach the broken leg.
Sophie's Desk

    For the finish, I used BLO to pop the grain on the maple and used Bartley's Pen Cherry Gel Stain for everything else. After I got everything evened out and looking decent, I squirted on three coats of gloss pre-cat lacquer, using 0000 steel wool between coats.
    We loaded the whole thing up in Becky's granny van and headed for Jackson, Wyoming to reassemble it in Rudy's office. This was the first time we saw the whole thing assembled as a single unit since the renovation.

. . . Sophie



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P.O. Box 493
Springtown, PA 18081