Can you help confirm this wood type?

rjingaApril 13, 2010

I purchased this chest from an estate sale and I am pretty sure it's tiger or curly maple. Is this what you think also?

AND, it appears that someone put on a coat of some other varnish or something on it (you can see the "buildup" in picture #3 on the fronts and on the top there are a few crystalized looking spots) So I'd like to remove it and get this wood back to it's original state. What is the best first method and materials to use to try to clean it up? It's now inside my booth at the antique mall and I could and would have to take it outside to do any major stripping, but perhaps there is something I can try first that's less abrasive?

here are the pics of it

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It is curly maple. Might be difficult to repair without causing a strong smell and I don't think the price increase would be significant. I would stay away from products such as Formbys in this case. The person who buys this will want to refinish it themselves. You could lightly sand off the runs with very fine sandpaper if you must, and then clean and wax, but be carefull because it looks like the curly maple is veneer.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 9:34PM
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Can you tell me what you see that makes you think it's veneer? would 000 steel wool work? and what about using something like RAF after the light sanding?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 9:57PM
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Veneer because the curl doesn't continue into the molded edge and the outside and inside parts of the drawer appear to be veneer in the photo. That's from looking at the photo and not the same as seeing in person. OOOO steel wool would be good and then wax. RAF sinks into the wood and changes the color of the finish. By the way, veneer does not equate to cheap. Some of the most expensive furniture ever made was made using veneer.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 12:25AM
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You can see the edges of the veneer on the drawer fronts and at the edge of the top.
The top and drawer fronts are veneer, the rest is not veneered. It does look like tiger or curly maple....which are simply different terms for the same wood variant.
I wouldn't touch that with steel wool or certainly not sand paper, or you can destroy whatever value you have.
If you want to spruce it up for sale, I would simply rub it over with a light maple stain on a rag....just to darken the scuffs....and leave anything else to the buyer.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 12:07AM
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One of the other dealers in the mall offered me some of the cleaner he uses and swears by called Kotton (or maybe just cotton) cleaner. I applied it with 000 steel wool and it cleaned up very nice. The crystallized stuff on top all but came off. and it was mostly just grime on the drawer fronts. there was also a water mark/ring on the top that this stuff and the steel wool took away! (after looking at the pics below, it appears that I could still work a bit more on the drawer fronts, but it's definitely an improvement).

here's an after pic.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 8:50AM
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Nice job. Looks 100% better. If I were you though, I would use 4-O steel wool for anything else. Also, if you get MinWax Furniture Wax Dark, it will also help.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 5:39PM
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