Reply by Lazyman

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Posted on reusing old furniture

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6312 posts in 2357 days

#1 posted 02-18-2018 09:25 PM

From the 1920’s it is very likely that they used hide glue which is not toxic but would come off during washing of a cutting board. Based upon my research, I think that chemical glues where not widely used until the 30’s. One advantage to using hide glue is that the joints can be “unglued” or reversed with heat and moisture. Look for info on restoring turn of the 20th century furniture for techniques. The veneer was probably also attached with hide glue which can be easily removed with heat and moisture.

Another feature of hide glues is that the joints can sometimes be broken using shock with a sharp blow from a mallet or using a chisel to split a joint. Mortise and tenon joints are tough with either heat/moisture or the shock method so require considerable patience. If you are not trying to repair the furniture, you can simply saw them apart and leave the tenon in the wood as a plug.

But if it really is mahogany, I would find a use for it other than a cutting board.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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