Refinishing an old Cherry table

From: Ken Masco
Date: 10 May 1999
Time: 02:12:55
Remote Name:


I am a fairly new woodworker (6 years). I have an old cherry table and one of the leafs has been broken on one edge (a piece aprox 4 inches long & less than 1/2 inch wide) I have glued the broken piece back on wit pretty good success, but am not happy leaving it there without reparing or patching it further. The cracks have been filled with a hot melt stick, and the color matches "OK". The table is about 100 years old. I don't think it has much value but I would like my repair to be pretty invisable. I'm not skilled enought to tell you what the finish is. MY QUESTION: If I take the repaired area down to bare wood, Is it possible to match the repaired spot without refinishing the whole leaf? If so, what should I use? Shelac? Varnish? Oil? Even if it's OK to show a little? If I do have to refinish the whole leaf what should I use as a finish? Is it likely that If I finish the whole leaf, will it be difficult to match the other leafs? Or do I have to refinish the whole table top? I would appreciate any advice.

My email is value@kenmasco.com