Thanks Pete and Mark, well, it did get thrown out, sort of, by my neighbours who gave it to me a few days ago. The honest answer is that it's quite an amazing looking piece and nearly all the old furniture is colour sprayed to match everything in together but after 50 years or so doesn't need it so it's just a method. Strip things till they are really clean, scrub them with soapy water and a Spontex scourer three times (some lacquers react) and polish. It has a very dilute water stain, two / three coats of sanding sealer and waxed. This one didn't even need any repairs, just some new oak and metal knobs from a nice fella off Ebay.