|Project by Carey Mitchell||posted 06-03-2013 02:32 AM||1051 views||0 times favorited||4 comments|
While not exactly woodworking, I thought someone else might benefit from this experiment.
We bought this antique table with a travertine insert in the middle. When we got it home and cleaned up and viewed in good light, there were numerous minor scratches, many rings from glasses, and a couple of stains which would not come out. The wife wanted me to make a wood insert to replace the marble.
Assuming it to have no value as it stood, I decided to try to polish it out, using plain old wet/dry sandpaper.
I started with 320, liberally wet with water. I used an old 1/4 sheet sander, so no big loss if it burned out. After every grit change, I took the disc outside and washed it well to remove the coarser grit; also rinsed the sander (unplugged, of course) to prevent contamination of the next step with coarser grit particles.
The 320 completely removed the original luster (no surprise there, except how easily it happened) and took out the visible scratches. Then came 400, 600, 800, 1000 and finally 2 full operations with 1200 grit. After drying, I applied a coat of wax and there it was – the original luster, without scratches, rings and stains !
I did notice that there is a very slight waviness in the surface that I did not see in the original. I assume this was due to differences in the hardness in different areas of the stone. Perhaps a wider base on the sander would have left a flatter surface, but I really have to look hard to see it and I assume that if a photo does not show it up, it won’t show in indoor light.
The entire exercise took about 2 hours. the result speaks for itself. Cost – about 6 sheets of sandpaper. I suppose one could go to even finer abrasives and get a really shiny surface, but these are what I had for sharpening and they worked.