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I'd Like a Catalogue from Rockler's

Restore that heirloom!


Preparing the Object.

Place the to be Restored piece in a suitable, well lit spot, so that it may freely be observed from all sides, as the overall look of the piece is as important as its details.
The first thing of preparation is to Actually Examine the object from close up as well as from normal viewing distance, to consider what you exactly want to achieve with your restoration and to consider how you're going to do this.
Get a piece of paper and pencil and write down your observations! This will make the restoration much easier as you'll gain more insight into the project.
Stand in front of the piece and see how the balance effects the look.
If you have a pair or a set of items view them together.
A set of chairs looks better if they all have the same lean, and when their backs are all the same height.
Some times what looks good on one piece is impossible to achive on its partner so that it is better left alone.
Having now a feel for the all over situation and possibilities of the piece(s), a start can be made on the details.
I use masking tape most of the time, to mark the damaged or missing areas but if you are afraid this might damage the surface then chalk is a good alternative especially as it comes in differing colors.

WRITE DOWN what needs to be done, and write down on separate pages the supplies you need and if necessary put samples (when trying to match, screws, handles, ect.)in a box with it, write down the measurements of what you need now, no use having to go back later, as you have it in your hands now.
Sometimes it is impossible to acquire matching pieces, such as handles, consider making a match from one, whom is nearly the same, or use pieces from differing ones to create a match or replace the lot and save the good ones for the next object.
Use order in your Examination, as in Top, Front, Right, Back, Left and Bottom, so you can be sure that you have examined the whole piece once you're finished, note each missing piece as you go along and mark the spot, mark dents, stains and scratches which need attention, make notations for each item separate and note an estimation of the time each item will take, this will show you how much time is required for the whole job.

Rewrite the things that needs to be done in the order that they needs to be done, you can't glue a drawer until the carcass is glued as it may not fit when the carcass has altered shape, but if you insert the drawer while gluing into the chest, with freezer bags separating the drawer from the chest to avoid gluing the drawer shut, then it will always fit no matter what shape. (always let the drawers stick out a bit, measure that the front of the drawer is parallel to the face of the chest, when gluing a drawer as this allows you to knock the drawer in, (if any of the glue sticks, thus breaking the bond ) also you can get your hand in the drawer to pull it out.)
Now check the supplies, order what we can so it may come down while we're starting the project.

More paperwork, write down changes in procedures and additions as you go along, this increases your knowledge of restoration enormously for the next job.