Jeff Segal Cabinetmaker - Handmade furniture in the Arts and Crafts tradition

Rosewood bookcase restoration


Rosewood bookcase original topRosewood bookcase new underframeRosewood bookcases with new tops

Restoration of contemporary bookcases in rosewood

This was a project to restore the tops of four bookcases which had "cupped" badly (above left), split and broken away from the carcase due to defects in the original construction method. Any wooden furniture will continue to take in and release moisture centuries after the tree was felled, and will expand, contract or move as a result. The cabinetmaker has to allow for this.

The Thai rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) of the original is no longer available, so the nearest match was Madagascar rosewood (Dalbergia greveana). Any rosewood of course should be avoided in new construction - it's highly endangered.

Each new top was built from three boards, which will be more stable than the single wide board that they replaced. New underframes (above centre) had to be built in such a way that they would shrink and expand naturally with the tops above. And the whole piece had to be attached with customised metal plates to allow it to move independently of the carcase.

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