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Thread: Restoring the exterior of a cedar cabin using three Festool Sanders

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    Restoring the exterior of a cedar cabin using three Festool Sanders

    I am part way through a four summer project to sand and then re-stain the exterior of my cedar “log” cabin at Pellow’s Island near Hearst in Northern Ontario. When I started the project in 2005, I described the project in a thread on Saw Mill Creek. Then, in 2006, I reported progress in that thread. I am no longer a member of Saw Mill Creek, so I thought I would start a new thread here, describe the project, and report what was done in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

    Background:

    Pellow’s Camp (also known as Pellow’s Island) has been in our family since the 1920s. The main building at Pellow’s Camp is a Pan Abode western red cedar “log cabin” that I built in 1976. It is partly constructed on the rock foundation of the original log cabin that my dad and his friends built in the early 1930s. That cabin burned down in 1961.

    I used Solignum Woodland Natural stain on the walls and that looked quite good for about 5 years on the walls exposed to lots of sun and about 10 on the walls with little exposure to sun. So, periodically I have sanded down, then re-stained different sides of the cabin.

    In the past I used a combination of a Makita belt sander and a Makita palm sander. They were much harder to use than my Festool sanders, the sanding job took about twice as long, and the results were not nearly as good.

    This time around, I used Solignum semi-gloss Woodland Natural stain. Previously I used their gloss version but this time I used their semi-gloss version. The first reason for doing this is that I think that the cabin looks more natural with the reduced gloss. The second is that I hope the semi gloss stain will last longer. No one has told me that it will last longer, but I have a feeling that it will.

    I will split this into posts for each of the three years that I have (so far) worked on the project.
    Cheers, Frank

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    2005

    2005:

    This year it was the north wall’s turn. I last stained this wall 16 years ago so the turn was long overdue as you can see from these photos:

    Attachment 12500 Attachment 12492

    I used all three of my Festool sanders to do the job:

    • First, the Rotex RO 150 E random orbital sander in aggressive mode to remove the majority of old stain and decayed wood (with Saphire P50 paper). I also used this sander with Saphire P24 paper on the log ends.

    Attachment 12503

    • Next the Deltex DX 93 E extended triangular pad sander (with Saphire P60 paper) to remove gunk from corners and groves. Note that, when the extended pad is used, it is not possible to connect the sander to the vacuum but I was willing to the sacrifice the benefits of the vacuum for the extra reach provided by the extended pad.

    Attachment 12501

    • Finally the Duplex LS 130 EQ linear sander (with Rubin P80 paper) to smooth wood before re-staining.

    Attachment 12494

    Although my Festool sanders make the whole job faster, easier, and better, it still takes quite a bit of time (19 hours to be precise).

    Here are photos of the two segments of the north wall after the sanding was completed:

    Attachment 12495 Attachment 12496

    And here are photos of the finished north wall:

    Attachment 12499 Attachment 12497

    The finish on the very top logs had not deteriorated, so I left it. Those logs (see the top at the far right of the first photo) are glossier and do not look as good as the others.
    Cheers, Frank

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    2006

    2006:

    This year, I sanded the west wall (last sanded and stained in 1998). Again it took 19 hours to do the sanding. Here, the sanding task is underway:

    Attachment 12507

    Here, the sanding job is finished:

    Attachment 12504

    Here, the staining job is finished:

    Attachment 12506 Attachment 12505
    Cheers, Frank

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    2007

    2007:

    It was the turn of the east wall this year. It was last sanded and stained in 1997.

    This time I did not have my Festool vacuum with me. That makes the sanders less efficient, results in the use of more sandpaper, and makes a big mess with dust all over the place.

    Just starting to sand: Attachment 12508

    All sanded, starting to satin: Attachment 12509

    Finished: Attachment 12510

    This wall has the smallest amount of material but some of it is difficult to get at, so sanding took almost as long as the other walls -17 hours instead of the 19 that I spent sanding the other two. And the reduction in sanding time was more than made up for by the time it took me to clean up all the dust on the porch and on the walls.

    The walls that I stained in 2005 and 2006 still look great and I am optimistic that I will never have to sand the place down to bare wood again.
    Cheers, Frank

  5. #5
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    Tokyo Japan
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    Boy Frank that looks good as new!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Boy Frank that looks good as new!
    Thanks Stu, it really does.
    Cheers, Frank

  7. #7
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    beautiful cabin in a beautiful location frank! i can see why you like to spend your summers there.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  8. #8
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    Big Job!! Well done!!

  9. #9
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    Dec 2006
    Location
    Punta Gorda, Florida
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    It is absolutely beautiful up there Frank. Fresh fish every night? What kink of fish do you have up there? How about electricity? How do you heat it? How far is it to the nearest place to get supplies. Can anyone survive up there during the winter? I know that these are not woodworking questions but these are the questions that pop into my mind as I look at your photos.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2006
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    London, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pellow View Post
    This time I did not have my Festool vacuum with me. That makes the sanders less efficient, results in the use of more sandpaper, and makes a big mess with dust all over the place.
    Wow, I bet you regret that. Still, the job is lovely.

    We've taken our kids camping, and we've taken them to a cottage. But never to a place so remote. I should try that sometime.

    A Festool sander+vac just keeps climbing up my "I want" list...

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