Our first order of business was to start thinking about refinishing some of the cabinetry. A woodworking trick to remove old finish is a cabinet or card scraper.
To use a card scraper, you first file the edge square, then use a burnishing tool to add a small burr which removes the finish like a very fine plane. To do this, you need a vice, which we had as it came with the house, and something to mount the vice to, which we didn't have because the original built in workbench was falling apart...so we built a small workbench out of scraps we had around the yard.
After scraping the old finish off, we added just a single coat of Zinzer amber shellac which really brings the old ash back to life. We will probably add a few extra coats to the final cabinets but you can see the contrast below
We also used the bench to start rebuilding the newly built stove, icebox cabinet which was broken in the rush to tear down the carport and get everything into the garage.