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Walnut Bureau, Hander Woodworking
Hander Woodworking was commissioned to conserve this 19th century German walnut bureau.  It was hand built by an obvious master craftsman, exhibiting superb joinery, extremely fine carvings and precise marquetry; unfortunately many areas were in need of work.  The top of the lower section had suffered significant splitting due to wood shrinkage and a number of pieces on the upper hutch remained merely as fragile, external skeletons of the originals, having their interior wood destroyed by powder post beetles.  After determining the extent of damage, the infestation was killed and then the process of repairing and rebuilding damaged parts began.  The arrows in the right photograph indicate the new pieces replacing the damaged originals. 
Walnut Bureau, Hander Woodworking
Walnut Bureau, Hander Woodworking
Walnut Bureau, Hander Woodworking
Both left and right sides of the top were severely split and in need of repair.  The above pictures show the repairs that were made, both in stabilizing the torqued and separating sections with dowels and wedges as well as portions of inlaid walnut to fill unclosed gaps in the splits.  One can also see the degree of mastery the craftsman showed in his hand cut dovetail joints.  The close-up on the right shows the hand scribe mark and a bank of five tightly fitting dovetail joints.  The picture on the left also shows a bank of dovetail joints but their fit is so tight they can scarcely be seen in the photograph, though one can make out the scribe line.  One of the sliding dovetails holding the top to the carcass can be seen in the picture as well as new molding replacing a bug eaten piece.  One more example of the extreme quality of the piece is that it was constructed entirely of wood joints, absent of any nails or screws.

Seen below in the left photograph is a wedge of walnut inlaid into the split as well as the fully conserved bottom section in the right photograph.  Generally conservation is a minimalists approach given only to functional repairs rather than cosmetic, thus the circular water damage on the shelves remained and helps provide evidence of the original finish.

Walnut Bureau, Hander Woodworking
Walnut Bureau, Hander Woodworking