Dating antique trunk hardware
Most of it should be held together by tacks and nails that punch through the wood and have their points bent down on the inside to hold them in place. You want to be as careful as possible, since if you simply use the nail puller, they'll just tear through the wood leaving gaping holes that will require filler.Your best bet is to get under the point, on the inside of the box, as carefully as possible, then use your pliers to straighten the tips as best as you can.The second is a 'soft' restoration, where no new hardware is used, and only what was used in the original construction goes back into it's rebuild.This kind of project is best used on pieces of extreme value, where authenticity is important, but can seriously limit the 'curb appeal' of your trunk.For the tight corners, a slotted screwdriver or chisel works just as well. The best way is a graduated sanding where you start with 60 grit, to remove some of the larger burrs, then gradually reduce the grit to 300 until the piece is nice and smooth.For the paper edging, start with 220, then 300, unless it is badly damaged, then you can use 150.The best way I found was using a wire brush on the end of a drill to buff off the layer of rust, but leave the pitting and age behind.Originally I tried a brass brush, which is less abrasive, but found it left marks on the metal work, so I ended up using the steel one and found it worked perfectly.
I found it looked better without, however if you choose to, comparable paper can be found in any art store.I used combination of walnut stain with polyurethane however if you choose, you can apply them independently.I applied three layers with a soft brush, and made sure to mask off the paper edging.Another thing I learned was that it was better to leave the canvas cover on the trunk as I was removing the rust since it protected the wood, and I would be removing it anyway.I wasn't terribly concerned about the paper edging since I would be sanding it later to remove some of the staining and age, and also clean some of the rivets that pin them in place.