Reply by ForestGrl

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Posted on Rustic Look

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450 posts in 1288 days

#1 posted 10-13-2015 07:22 PM

Distressing is an art, you’re smart not to dive into a finished piece. If you want to used cupped boards, pick out some that are plain sawn or poorly rift-saw, and kinda damp (if you’re planning to use construction lumber, such a thing will be easy to find. Otherwise, you might need to find someone who mills). They will cup as they dry most likely, the plain-sawn the most, nearly horizontal rift-sawn not as much. Exposure to weather or wear (hands, feet) and development of patina are the main two thing that make wood look old. Have you considered using hand-tools to saw and plane the wood? That gives you some latitude as to how “finished” the surface looks.

Think of the wear a 50-yr-old coffee table would endure—knocks with the vacuum, being bumped by shoes (translates to worn corners), perhaps a scrape or two. An occasional dent when something is dropped on it.

A coffee table out of rough boards is going to catch on clothing and skin unless you finish it heavily.

I’ll still encourage you to investigate the term “distressing”—not to do anything drastic (chain-beating and nail holes are so obvious), but just to get an idea of how it’s done. You can always practice on scrap.

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

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