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Refinishing Job

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 08-02-2015 01:43 AM 787 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had, at first, two weeks in which to complete this task. The owner of a 1953 Chevy show pickup (winner of numerous trophies) asked me to refinish the Bed Boards, in anticipation of a fairly important show at the end of August, and two, lesser, shows, in the interim. Two weeks isn’t much time. He stretched it to three weeks. Good. I got it done in two. (Thirteen days, in point of fact.) The first three photos are B&A. The other three are progress photos, showing what a difference some Pumice, Rottenstone, and Eagle One makes. (I took sixty photos altogether. No one else will ever see most of them.) I used General Finishes 450 – five coats on the bottoms and edges; seven on top. I sealed the bare wood with BLO, but, most of that got sanded out. That’s okay, though, because the first coat of the 450 is a sealer. There were some awful looking Iron stains from water that had, evidently gotten through the original finish. I use Oxalic Acid (EEEEW), and wish I hadn’t, though it does look better than it did. don’t you think? The stripper I used was some of that new-fangled, non-toxic, environmentally-friendly stuff – a Godsend (no more Toluene for me, thank you very much). I do hope he’ll be happy with it. If he’s not, one week is certainly not enough time to do it again – the deadline is next Friday. I have to wait two days to find out – he’s in Vegas. And I so want these things out of my hair.

Lessons learned: 1) GF 450, an Acrylic, like automotive clearcoat, is wonderful stuff, best used slightly diluted, because it dries really fast. Diluting gives it a chance to self-level.

2) Pumice and Rottenstone were new to me, here. The difference is well-worth the extra steps, which don’t take long, in any event.

3) Distilled Water for diluting and for washing is a must. Tap Water contains Iron, and you don’t want that in your wood.

4) Next time something needs to be stripped bare and clean (i.e. Iron stains), I’ll run them through a planer. The bottoms, when I started, were covered with years worth of road grime, and they wound up looking better than the tops. Planing the tops would have left them much cleaner, and brand-new looking. He wasn’t looking for brand-new, actually. My bloody regrettable move with the Oxalic Acid came after he said he could live with what was left of the black stains once I had sanded them down. I, however, I guess, figured that, if they weren’t dealt with, they’d get bad again, even under the new finish.

5) I should charge a lot more for something that consumes my life for two weeks, and, leaves me biting my nails for two more days about whether it’s good enough.

-- Mark





12 comments so far

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1762 posts in 530 days


#1 posted 08-02-2015 01:44 AM

They look a lot better indoors than out. Good thing: The Really Big Show is indoors.

-- Mark

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

875 posts in 1751 days


#2 posted 08-02-2015 02:16 AM

I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Those things look great!

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View Rockbuster's profile

Rockbuster

499 posts in 2075 days


#3 posted 08-02-2015 03:23 AM

I would say that you did a very commendable job here, I would hope that the fruit of your labor proved to be profitable for the length of time and tedious work involved. May I ask, how many total Sq. Ft. is involved here?

-- Rockbuster,Ft. Wayne,In It is far better to remain silent, and appear the fool, than it is to open ones mouth, and remove all doubt.

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

5247 posts in 1510 days


#4 posted 08-02-2015 04:23 AM

I believe he will be happy with the results. Looks great.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2323 posts in 3150 days


#5 posted 08-02-2015 05:14 AM

Looks great to me, lot of work and time gone if he doesn’t like it. Hope he paid up front or a deposit.

-- Bob C, Australia. I love sharing as long as it is not my tools

View BobWemm's profile

BobWemm

1816 posts in 1393 days


#6 posted 08-02-2015 06:05 AM

Looks very good to me Mark.
I cant see why he wouldn’t be very happy with them.
Great Job.

-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1762 posts in 530 days


#7 posted 08-02-2015 09:04 PM

Thank you all very much. I really needed that. He’ll pick them up tomorrow. That is, he and I will probably carry them to his house by hand, lest they get scratched. He lives across the street and two doors down. All the more reaosn he’d better be happy with it – I’ll never hear the end of it.
As to the square footage: It took a whole quart of GF450 – half of it diluted. I get 297 when I do the math. 5-1/2 X 4-1/2 X 12 coats. Anywhoooo. He has a cousin who’s fixing up a 1940 Ford, and he thinks I’m gonna finish the Bed Boards for him. I might. I might not. They will be brand-new boards, so, the jury’s still out. Depends on what he’s willing to pay, really.

-- Mark

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

21571 posts in 3318 days


#8 posted 08-03-2015 01:14 AM

Nice job Mark. Some great lessons learnt as well.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1762 posts in 530 days


#9 posted 08-03-2015 04:29 AM

He came for them today.

“5) I should charge a lot more for something that consumes my life for two weeks, and, leaves me biting my nails for two more days about whether it’s good enough.”’

They’re too satiny for him. About 100 hours, and they aren’t shiny enough.

-- Mark

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

875 posts in 1751 days


#10 posted 08-03-2015 12:49 PM

So now what?

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1762 posts in 530 days


#11 posted 08-03-2015 09:39 PM

I have to re-do the tops. I’ll use something that dries more slowly and, thus, levels itself better. Only a flat surface can be made shiny. I didn’t get it flat enough. I’ll spray this time.

-- Mark

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17191 posts in 2572 days


#12 posted 08-03-2015 10:28 PM

Nice job on the bed boards, Mark. I was thinking of doing that for a guy who used red oak and they turned black when the water got through the finish. I planned on using West System or System 3 epoxy on them so it penetrated the wood where water can’t get to it.

For more gloss, use high gloss lacquer if it is compatible with the existing finish. It will take you 20 minutes!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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