Mark Mandell - Gone Round In New Jersey
chemicals for fear of staining delicate veneer.
I'd opt for a well sharpened and burred card scraper to just remove the existing finish. Any low spots can be gently sanded to match.
Other way is with a good R-O sander planning on going thru a number of 150 grit discs. No courser than 150 for fear of going through the veneer, especially at the edges and corners. In fact, I'd use a block and sheet paper to do the corners and edges, keeping the power sander away from those areas.
Once the wood is of an even color across the refinish area, while I'd prefer to oil, then seal with dewaxed shellac, then topcoat. The problem will be, if only the top surface is being done, matching the color of the other veneered parts. Without seeing the piece, I think I'd skip the oil, use two light coats of super blond dewaxed shellac, and then pick a gloss waterborne topcoat like General's Hi-Perform poly , Target's Em-Tech, or General's Enduro. I'd also have some Light Brown and/or Amber TransTint dye with which you can carefully tint some of the topcoat product to sneak up on a color match with the other veneered surfaces.