Reply by Waldo88

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Posted on Refinishing a MCM dining table -- sanding, staining and finishing advice/opinions/help welcome!

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207 posts in 1856 days

#1 posted 09-17-2018 01:53 PM

The table is almost certainly veneered. I have multiple Drexel pieces from the era, including the hutch that matches your table. They used thick veneer, but its still veneer.

That is not teak. Drexel did not use teak in any of their main MCM lines (Declaration/Profile). Drexel used walnut for the most part (but the ends don’t even look like walnut, smaller Declaration tables definitely use walnut when using solid wood, that almost looks like ash, old walnut should darken when sanded).

The breadboard looking ends are solid, but the main tabletop is veneered. All MCM furniture is this way. Only a handful of makers used solid wood for everything (McCobb for example).

It is not stained. Staining is more of a hobbiest/DIY way of coloring wood. Drexel colored the wood the same way any volume furniture maker did, then and now, with a tinted lacquer called a toner.

MCM furniture did not use “teak oil”. Some of the imported danish stuff used different finishes, more like “danish oil” or even just oil/wax (think high end stuff back then), but most of the imported stuff and basically all domestic MCM furniture used a lacquer finish. Compared to all other finishes, lacquer is the only one that is commercially viable for non-high end furniture, and its been this way since about WW2 (all others are WAAAAAY too slow and labor intensive by comparison).

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