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I just realized I never posted pictures of the finished door.
After reading a few books on finishing, I decided to use Linseed Oil, Shellac, and Wax. I like the fact that these products are all very “natural” and have been used for centuries. And I am really please with the results.
After one application of Linseed Oil (boiled) I mixed the shellac myself (there is a place here in San Francisco called Sinopia Pigments that sells shellac flakes) and applied four or five layers. I only sanded very little after each layer with 220 paper, and after a few days finished the door with Carnuba Wax. The last pictures show the finished door, although I don’t think the pictures give it justice.
I actually like this type of finish so much, I will continue to use it for another five antique doors I recently acquired, on windows and window casings, and on my Arts & Crafts coffee table that is still in it’s beginnings.
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During my remodel of a 1906 house we decided to opt for a larger and nicer living room door. Since I prefer to build “green,” my contractor and I went to a salvage yard here in San Francisco and found a great Oak door that was once a classroom door at the Berkeley University. The “historical” fact alone was great, especially since my beloved one will go to Berkeley soon :)
The door was in fairly good shape, just a couple of dents and hardly any signs of water damage. I took on this project and started removing the paint off one side (the one that doesn’t have the classroom number on it, not sure what to do with the other side yet). I used a scraper, then 36, 60, 100, and 120 sanding paper, and also some carving tools and lots of elbow grease. I have that side of the door now sanded down, with the final sanding of a 120 paper (mostly Random-Orbit sanding and hand sanding).
The beautiful lock mechanism by the way is dated from the early 1910s, I polished it down (with a vinegar-salt-flour mix), which was fairly easy, as it is pure brass.
I think it’s looking quite nice so far, but I am a bit hesitant about the next steps. I wonder if I should sand it further down with 220 paper, or start with the finishing now? I have read a bit about finishing (I am quite a beginner), and found Dan Kondra’s “secret mix” (http://lumberjocks.com/donkon/blog/2690) sounds really good to me. I suppose it will work good on Oak, and on a door which will get a fairly good amount of use (or abuse?).
I would really appreciate any comments regarding the next steps, prepping, finishing etc. My plan so far is to just blow off all dust and start Dan’s secret mix… but maybe there may be some better ideas for this particular project, tips, or things to be careful about.
Let me hear it all, I would really appreciate it :)
Below some photos: