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Thread: restoring an old dining table- long winded

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    oswego county , upstate n.y.
    Posts
    280

    Question restoring an old dining table- finally done .

    hi all,

    well where to begin ...... i have this old table from a friend of ours on this forum .....hi joan she has been patiently waiting for me to refurbish it . i have had it for a couple of years now gee time flies when your having fun i have reglued alot of it and repaired a few small parts, so now its time to get down to the real buissiness of actually refinishing it. i want to preserve the charachter of the table , it is well over 100 years old . unfortunately it sat in a basement or garage environment for 10 to 15 years and time has taken its toll. i know sanding will make alot of that time dissapear. i just dont want the detail going with it . so i have alot of questions........ the table appears to be made out of solid quartersawn white oak ( i am going by the medulary rays i see) joan wants the new finish to be no darker than the remnents of the present remaining finish. i dont know if the table top will get any lighter in color i have had two kinds of stripper on it already .... so i think thats it , but i may try it again just to be sure.



    ok so the whole plan at the begining of this venture was to get her into woodworking ........mission accomplished she is hooked on turning BIG TIME

    i told her at the begining i was nervous about doing this project and i still am a little . the extra 3 years experience in WW hasn't hurt any. i think with a little help from my friends ,(thats you guys and girls) i can do this . i dont have spray equipment so this job will be brush and sandpaper and steel wool or synthetic pads (you know the ones , look like scrubber pads for pots and pans)

    all this rambling and i haven't asked the main question
    how do i make a 100 yr old table look like new AND so people still know its 100 years old thanks for the help in advance pictures to follow along the way
    Last edited by jim capozzi; 08-23-2010 at 05:02 PM.
    what are you building today ??

    GRIZZLY

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    oswego county , upstate n.y.
    Posts
    280
    ok so like what happened to my pictures ??? sorry folks i will work on it and see if i can fix that part
    what are you building today ??

    GRIZZLY

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
    Posts
    185
    Jim,

    Try this link. Vaughan did an excellent job of explaining pic posting.

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/showthread.php?t=3082
    Regards,
    Bill Antonacchio

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    1,487
    Hey Griz,

    From what I can see of the pics, looks like a cool table. I would think the stripper with synthetic pads will remove the old finish. If you use sand paper, be careful with which grit you start with so you don't remove the patina. I'm sure there is someone here that will provide the proper techniques in the restoration.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Floydada, Tx
    Posts
    1,941
    The stripper that I use for stain and shellac is Forbys. It is alittle exspensive but works great. For paint I use Stryp Ease for the BORG. A brass or stainless steel brush works great for getting into the carvings and turnings. Just be carefull of how how you scrub with the stainless steel brush. After you are done useing stripper on it, wash it down with mineral spirts to neutralize the stripper. Then wash it with TSP The will remove any mildew that may be on the wood.

    If you want to go lighter then wash it with some bleach. This will help remove the stain from the grain. I try not to use anything below 150 grit when refinishing. Then work your way up. The corser the grit the more of the patina that will be removed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
    Posts
    5,533
    pro photo guy to the 'rescue'











    long winded, ha! folks for Him that was long winded
    -Ned

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Floydada, Tx
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    1,941
    Wow, that is a exellent table. It will clean up real nice. Some Forbys stripper on the top will clean that right up. The gray on the legs will go away when it is washed down. Can't wait to see it finished.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,697
    Looks very much like one we have in the breakfast area. After watching the twins on Antiques Roadshow chastise people for refinishing their antiques, I decided to just leave ours alone and let it look old. I did protect with a beeswax finish/polish and repaired the mechanism. But other than that, it is old and looks it.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Rio Rancho, NM
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    1,417
    In my humble opinion, I'd sand it relatively smooth, don't try to remove any of the color that's there, and finish with a clear satin finish.

    I had a similar dilemma presented to me a number of years ago--I was given an old locking bookcase that had been in my aunt's family since the 1890s. The rub was that it had been painted with putrid green latex flat wall paint!!! I went through several gallons of Formby's, a couple of brass brushes, a full box of toothpicks, and uncounted pairs of rubber gloves until I had all of the green off it, then turned around and very innocently asked hubby, "now what do we stain it with?" He took one look diagnosed it as solid cherry, and said "we Deft it--that's all." It still looks its age, since it has some of the "gingerbread" carvings missing, but that lacquer finish has lasted well over 20 years, and the wood hasn't darkened very much.

    Keep the character of the table, don't cover it up. Just something clear.

    Nancy
    Nancy Laird
    dandnspecialties@msn.com
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!


    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    oswego county , upstate n.y.
    Posts
    280
    hi all

    thanks for rescuing the pictures ned now they look the way they're supposed to

    ok as for the descision making part of this .........its all joan's descision as to what she wants the table to look like. old or new i can do it ........i think

    sorry folks for the gray apperance on top of the legs. they really are the same color as the pedestal, dark brown. i just neglected to blow the dust off of them before the pictures

    stay tuned progress pics as time goes on and i peel away some more of the years
    what are you building today ??

    GRIZZLY

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