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Whats wrong with this wood?

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IWW

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Ah the dangers of guessing what a species of wood may be from a picture! It's interesting to note that most guessers were applying names of species more or less local & familiar to you. Discovering it's an African piece chucks a whole lot more possibilities into the guess-pot. It may well be 'real' teak (Tectona grandis) which is plantation grown in Africa, or a species that looks enough like teak to get the moniker (& there are quite a few around the world!).

I live in a country where invaders from the northern hemisphere applied names of trees from "home" on the slightest of pretexts. The bark or leaves may bear a faint resemblance to a Fraxinus sp., or the wood to a Quercus sp., and so we have all sorts of trees unrelated to each other, let alone the trees of the northern hemisphere, branded as "Ash" or "Oak"! And don't get me started on the confusion of names for grain patterns in the English-speaking world - we can't even agree within countries, let alone between them.... ;)

Whatever, it looks to me like you have a rather nice example of mid-20thC "Scandahoovian" furniture, Venny, in remarkably good condition for its age. It doesn't appera to need any major surgery (other than putting the left drawer back where it was intended, as already suggested). It's far too straight & true for its age to be solid wood (apart from the legs), so be very careful trying to 'fix' anything if you are not very sure of what you are doing.

It's your piece & you have to live with it - the undercarriage looks fine to my eyes, but if you don't like it, then you don't like it, at least it's easy to change that without touching the carcase. It seems to me that from the 50s to the 80s there was a gradual shift in preferences for undercarriage in this genre, from rather skinny round or elongated "lozenge"-shaped legs (often splayed), to straighter & eventually quite short & blocky, plain square legs (although James Krenov went t'other way!), A short, blocky set of legs could be made by someone without extensive cabinet-making skills (or tools). So in a way, you wouldn't be changing the style of your piece too radically by lowering it, just "doing an update"...

From the frontal pic, I can't see an easy way of lowering the existing undercarriage. The rails are on the top & bottom so one or the other has to go if you cut it down. I wouldn't touch the bottom of the structure, if you make that narrower in its current style it will affect stability. Cutting off the top means finding a new top rail because the existing piece will be too short to re-use, but at least it's out of sight & will be even moreso in a lowered version, so any wood that's 'close enough' would do the job. Or, just put the legs in the attic as suggested, & start from scratch.

I reckon one of the best bits of advice you've had so far is to live with it a while before doing anything other than a clean & polish. It's remarkable what grows on you (aided by a soupcon of procrastination) over time......

:)
Ian
 
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Woody2Shoes

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Ah the dangers of guessing what a species of wood may be from a picture! It's interesting to note that most guessers were applying names of species more or less local & familiar to you. Discovering it's an African piece chucks a whole lot more possibilities into the guess-pot. It may well be 'real' teak (Tectona grandis) which is plantation grown in Africa, or a species that looks enough like teak to get the moniker (& there are quite a few around the world!).

I live in a country where invaders from the northern hemisphere applied names of trees from "home" on the slightest of pretexts. The bark or leaves may bear a faint resemblance to a Fraxinus sp., or the wood to a Quercus sp., and so we have all sorts of trees unrelated to each other, let alone the trees of the northern hemisphere, branded as "Ash" or "Oak"! And don't get me started on the confusion of names for grain patterns in the English-speaking world - we can't even agree within countries, let alone between them.... ;)

Whatever, it looks to me like you have a rather nice example of mid-20thC "Scandahoovian" furniture, Venny, in remarkably good condition for its age. It doesn't appera to need any major surgery (other than putting the left drawer back where it was intended, as already suggested). It's far too straight & true for its age to be solid wood (apart from the legs), so be very careful trying to 'fix' anything if you are not very sure of what you are doing.

It's your piece & you have to live with it - the undercarriage looks fine to my eyes, but if you don't like it, then you don't like it, at least it's easy to change that without touching the carcase. It seems to me that from the 50s to the 80s there was a gradual shift in preferences for undercarriage in this genre, from rather skinny round or elongated "lozenge"-shaped legs (often splayed), to straighter & eventually quite short & blocky, plain square legs (although James Krenov went t'other way!), A short, blocky set of legs could be made by someone without extensive cabinet-making skills (or tools). So in a way, you wouldn't be changing the style of your piece too radically by lowering it, just "doing an update"...

From the frontal pic, I can't see an easy way of lowering the existing undercarriage. The rails are on the top & bottom so one or the other has to go if you cut it down. I wouldn't touch the bottom of the structure, if you make that narrower in its current style it will affect stability. Cutting off the top means finding a new top rail because the existing piece will be too short to re-use, but at least it's out of sight & will be even moreso in a lowered version, so any wood that's 'close enough' would do the job. Or, just put the legs in the attic as suggested, & start from scratch.

I reckon one of the best bits of advice you've had so far is to live with it a while before doing anything other than a clean & polish. It's remarkable what grows on you (aided by a soupcon of procrastination) over time......

:)
Ian
What he said ...:cool:
 

Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
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I've always understood chatoyance to mean the that the wood is reflective. When you look at wood from with the grain direction and then along against the grain the level of chatoyance is very different. Just as with a velvet rug etc. The chatoyance has nothing to do with the actual grain growth pattern
 

Sgian Dubh

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Isn’t it usually called chatoyance? What is Chatoyance?
Below is an example of chatoyance. What you're looking at are the same features viewed from opposite ends. Indicated by the red arrow alongside the edge of a panel. Note how the specific ripple pointed at by the red arrow in the grain in the upper image looks dark, but viewed from the opposite direction in the lower image it looks light. Careful examination of other features should reveal similar reversals of light and dark.

Admittedly this can be a bit tricky because the photographs are one above the other. It would be easier for you see what I'm saying if the two photographs were set side by side, but I don't know how to do that in this reply box. Sorry about that, but maybe a kindly moderator can fix it for me. It's not the end of the world if the arrangement of the snaps can't be modified though. Slainte.

198-Cherry-Reflect.jpg


199-Cherry-Reflect.jpg
 

Peri

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Nice workmanship in keeping the bottom grain lined up which makes me think the left drawer might be better on the right hand end of the other two.
Left one out, other two move over.
Cheers Andy
I agree with that - looking at how nicely the grain runs through the other fronts, the top left drawer is quite jarring.
 

VENNY

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Nice workmanship in keeping the bottom grain lined up which makes me think the left drawer might be better on the right hand end of the other two.
Left one out, other two move over.
Cheers Andy
Well spotted now I see it I can’t take my eyes off it. The middle draw is slightly taller inside than the other two. The other two are slightly wider than the middle one. Basically I tried moving them about and I can’t.🤨
 

VENNY

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F4009474-7A04-4CD3-B819-BCD50EB386BA.jpeg

House is a work in progress but it’s here and I’m very happy. I don’t think it needs much of any restoring. Maybe an oil just to tart it up a little. Bonus is it came with two original little trays and lots of curly wood on the inside. So nothing really to do so I’ve moved on to a new project. Restoring an old Ercol daybed.
DBA5EBFB-CB79-4B67-999C-B1D2892B8603.jpeg
B98BEEA8-665A-464E-BDED-69DE9E62C588.jpeg
 

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