Red mineral on Furniture Cabinet

New to letterpress and picked up a cabinet of furniture on eBay.
Was wiping off the furniture and the cabinet and there was a section in the cabinet where something may have leaked onto it. It was hard to tell what it was as it is covered in black. (It’s not very visible in the attached picture. It’s where the shelf and upright meet around the 24 pica mark on the ruler on the side of the cabinet. Can’t see much, just some hard, black goop at the cross piece.)
I attempted to remove it with a chisel and a small amount chipped off revealing a bright red substance looking the color and look of a cherry life saver.
At that point I decided that it might be something dangerous and stopped.
Any idea what it could be? And how the heck it got there?
Is it unlikely that it would be any sort of lead by product in a furniture cabinet?
What should I do?

image: Furniture Picture.jpg

Furniture Picture.jpg

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I’m not seeing anything too scary in the picture … just a nice old furniture cabinet with good patina! Inks can dry very hard and brittle sometimes, so it might just simply be red ink or a varnish that can look very red when a thick amount dries and chips off. If it was around a litho shop, maybe blanket fix—but nothing I’d worry about (just don’t TASTE it!) :)

Thanks! I did kinda sound like I might eat it when I described it as the color of cherry lifesaver!

It could be dried red ink. Could it be some kind of glue, too? The section a couple over is damaged. Maybe they were strengthening this section. Is is a kind of cross pattern on the uprights and the shelf.

Here’s a better shot. You can see the red better here.

image: IMG_1047.JPG


As you get into printing you will find yourself scraping all sorts of unknown substances from presses, type, cabinets and equipment. Take it outside and gets some disposable gloves and a dust mask if it looks particularly gnarly!


Sealing wax from setting the guide pins.

It’s the color of sealing wax, but It’s translucent, and it’s really, really hard.

Just wanted to make sure that nobody thought it was some deadly lead by product or anything like that.

no matter how much it looks like cherry lifesavers I would advise not eating it. It will wear off eventually.