Northwest #11: Kryz's 1939 Hollywood Desk

Northwest #11: Kryz's 1939 Hollywood Desk

Jan 31, 2008

Name: Kryz
Location: Berkeley
Time: 16 hours
Cost: $442.36

Signed: Rulon E. Murphy - Hollywood Calif. - Jan. 1939

A combination of solid Birdseye Maple and veneer, turned knobs, stilted legs, and five drawers. 53" x 16.75" x 29.25"h

Potted plant on the top surface caused a severe watermark, and rippling of the veneer. An opaque cherry stain is concealing the radiant Birdseye grain patterns. Surface has nail polish remover marks, and overall wear.

Re-veneer the top, strip the finish, sand to the natural Birdseye color, and refinished "green", highlight the exquisite wood.


Tell us the tools and resources you used for the project:

  • 3M Hi-Strength Spray Adhesive 90
  • Soy bean stripper from (non-toxic)
  • Sheet of Birdseye maple veneer from
  • (5) 220 sandpaper, (5) 320 sandpaper. (2) 400 grit
  • #00, #0000 steel wool
  • Sanding block 220 grit
  • Bondo wood filler
  • Bullseye Shellac (all natural, non-toxic)
  • Howard's bees wax and citrus oil (all natural, non-toxic)
  • Bag of rags
  • Razors
  • Scraper
  • Natural bristle brush
  • Dewalt palm sander


    Share step-by-step instructions for how you completed the project:

    Day 1:

  • Removed the top surface from the desk
  • Laid down towel over the damaged veneer, and steamed the surface with a household iron allowing the glue to get soft and veneer to ripple
  • Then lifted the veneer with a scraper and scraped off the glue
  • Once the veneer and glue was completely off used a razor along the edge to remove debris and create a clean sharp edge
  • Sanded the surface with 220 to remove excess glue. Did a few minor fills with Bondo to create a completely flat surface
  • Measured the space and cut the veneer to size using an L square ruler and razor
  • Fit the veneer into place
  • Cut a piece of craft paper slightly larger than the veneer
  • Sprayed the back of the veneer and top surface with 3M adhesive and allowed it to dry for 3 minutes
  • Then sprayed another coat in the opposite direction and allowed it to dry to a tacky surface
  • Then used the craft paper to separate the two surfaces while lining them up to the exact position
  • Once ready, pulled back the craft paper one inch to get the initial connection established
  • Slowly removed the craft paper a few inches and used a steel roller to press the two firmly together
  • Repeated this process until the surface was completely flat
  • Then lightly sanded the surface
  • Began stripping the desk with the soybean stripper.
  • Allowed the stripper to soak in, and used #00 steel wool pad to scrub the surface, and a cotton rag to
    > wipe the surface clean
  • Used a natural bristle brush to clean out the corners. Repeated this process until the finish was removed to the bare wood
  • Allowed it to dry overnight


    Day 2:

  • Completely sanded the surfaces with a Dewalt palm sander on the flat surfaces, and sanding blocks on the rounded areas
  • Starting with 220 grit, then 320, - 400 to make the grain pop
  • Removed all the dust
  • Then sprayed the first coat of shellac. Allowed this to dry two hours, and sprayed another coat. Then allowed the shellac to dry for five days

    Day 3:

  • Wet sanded with 400-600 grit for a smooth finish.
  • Used #0000 steel wool on the curved areas. Then buffed with Howard's bees wax and citrus oil to an all-natural gloss finish

  • More posts in Do it Now! The January Jumpstart Contest 2008 - Northwest
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