17th Century Oak Four Panel Coffer

  • A badly damaged front leg.

    The leg has been substantially weakened through infestation from woodworm. Notice how the break has occurred where the mortice and tenon joint is. This is because there is less timber as a result of the mortice joint.

  • Front View of Leg

    A familiar atempt to reinforce the leg using a metal bracket. The coffer is constructed of Oak, however this damaged leg is made of Walnut and is original. It can be surprisingly common for provincial pieces to be made using different timbers. The craftsmen were merely using what was available to them.

  • Leg Released for Repair

    The end of the coffer has been removed to free the front leg. You can see the pegs which are used to secure the tenons have been saved and taped for safekeeping.

  • A Scarf Joint

    Here I'm cutting in a corner to corner scarf joint, this will ensure a very strong join and it will also make blending the repair easier. A modern epoxy resin glue will be used providing maximum strength with a large glueing surface.

  • Main repair done.

    The scarf joint completed, along with the carving to the front face of the leg. Some further patching needed to the upper right face and the mortice and tenon joints need to be cut.

  • Back Together

    The coffer now put back together with the leg all repaired. The next step will be the colouring and polishing to blend in the repair.

  • Base Colouring

    The first stages in the colouring process, establishing a base using watercolour.

  • Secondary Colouring

    Building the layers of colour, the new repair beginning to blend in. Colouring is a process of building up layers of colour between coats of polish.

  • Colouring Complete.

    The final phase of colouring finished, and the Coffer now finished. The finish on the Coffer has been left as it was with the repair blended in to match resulting in a sympathetic repair avoiding over restoring.