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Antique Furniture/Roll top desk disassemble help


I read your post on taking the roll top desk apart and found it interesting and helpful but I am still unable to separate the top from the lower sections.  There were 5 screws around the outside holding the writing surface on and 5 screws I could get to in the knee hole.  All 10 screws are removed and there is still no play between the writing surface and the lower section(s) (ie the drawers)  Could it have been glued?  I see 4 screws that hold the pigeon hole box in.  may there be screws under the edge of that box going through the writing top into the drawer cabinets?  Any other suggestions?

take out the top drawer and center drawer and see if you can locate more screws.

also please use the followup function and send a full view picture of the desk.
also send lots of pictures showing where the screws were and anything else you might think would help.  send to my email as attachments to one email.

many desks are made and not all are attached the same.  it is possible but unlikely that you have to remove the pigeon holes to see if someone has added non original screws, it is also possible and likely you have to remove the top casing from the writing surface to access screws covered by the upper section (roll section).  i dont know without seeing as there are differences and who knows if someone added their own screws or glue (they were never glued top to writing surface originally) although there was one that across the rear just under the writing surface instead of left and right and privacy panel as three separate units there was one board across the top of those three sections making them into one unit but the top from writing surface up still came off.  i tell you that so you will know that there are differences.

sometimes you can remove the roll section and pigeon holes from the writing surface, rarely can you remove the pigeon holes without removing the roll section becasue the roll, even when opened all the way up blocks the top of the pigeon holes from comming forward..and.. usually you have to remove the writing surface and up as one unit, then remove the roll section and pigeon holes.

send pictures please

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robert klein


Regarding American antique, vintage, and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing. Please read instructions for posting.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of American antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars through several organizations.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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