If you’re thinking of refinishing your project, take a close look at it first. Antiques (or potential antiques) deserve special consideration. Always try to restore the old finish rather than stripping down to bare wood. Stripping an antique can destroy the soft mellowed look wood gets with age (patina) as well as depreciate considerably its value.
It seems that for some jobs, you need three hands to get it done. Your pliers can lend you that extra hand. Use the pliers to grip the wire or small piece you need to have held. Then wrap a rubber band around the handles to maintain the grip while you complete the work.