Unfortunately, to properly sand this piece I had to take it apart. Notice the disconnected dowels and X’s on the bottom of the shelves. I thought that clearly the person who repaired this piece didn’t have a clue what they were doing. Nails, heaps of glue and cut dowels would all need to be replaced or removed and replaced properly. Piece of cake or NOT.
Then I noticed the tip of one leg was missing. Well, no problem, I can just add on a piece of wood. Sure.
I began by cleaning up the pieces with mineral oil and commenced to serious sanding. Many of you may know boiled linseed oil could easily be used as a non-penetrable coating on body armor.
60 grit sand paper on my power hand sander was needed just to penetrate the glue and initial coats of linseed oil. I ended up removing the heavily glued dowels.
The dowels I could not pry out with a vise grip, were cut off and sanded flush. In the process of sanding and pulling out dowels, the decorative strips and dots on the outer legs broke off and could not be repaired.
I wound up purchasing metal shelf tabs, new trim, a stencil to cover the water stain marks that I could not sand out. I was able to re-stain the pieces to match reasonably well. I painted the wood half rope trim black and used black to accentuate the tile stencil.
While reconstructing the piece, I discovered the genius behind using dowels. Namely, dowels were the only way to get the darn thing to stay together. By using no small amount of carpenters glue, small L brackets and clamps the piece finally stayed together. Incidentally, that replacement foot tip mentioned above wound up being cut off flat along with the other three legs. I used a high gloss poly finish to accentuate the trip and help keep the piece glued together.
A friend of mine mentioned that the piece reminded her of tables she had seen in Morocco and I went with it.
After gently removing the clamps, and waiting two days, I set the piece next to my bed and have my fingers crossed that it will stay together.