After the reductive work of the Rasp and File or machinery like the Planer, surface preparation for finishing begins with the Scraper, a relatively thin plate of tempered steel, very like that of a handsaw blade. Scrapers are made in varying thicknesses and a number of shapes. Scraping is followed by sanding starting with coarse and moving to finer grits.
Furniture restoration will compel you to find a varied selection of clamping devices, and call upon your ingenuity on-the-fly when manufactured solutions are not available.
A bench is a conveniently elevated and (hopefully) flat clamping jig. Large and heavy is best if you do not require mobility. I prefer to have attached vises rather than stops and hooks.
I can't think of any pieces of furniture designed to withstand a blow from a 12 X 12 inch oak beam swinging downward from 30 feet above...maybe some Stickley items.
This walnut table was shattered by a powerful downward force. The client asked to have it put back into good order.
You may find this tool chest a very practical design for your needs. I made my tool chest of solid mahogany. Its a great design to experiment with, you can purchase a couple of nice clear pine 1 x 12's and make a test version to suit your particular measurements before you commit to that curly maple or quilted cherry.
Marriages in the world of antique furniture are are often greeted with mild contempt to outright horror, usually proportional to the potential value of the piece.