Need help identifying distress technique

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Forum topic by scr5008 posted 09-14-2015 12:50 PM 924 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 1185 days

09-14-2015 12:50 PM

Hi All – I’m pretty new to woodworking. We bought a dining room table pictured below and I’d love to recreate the finish on it, specifically the distressed look of it. It’s very consistent throughout, it looks like they had a specific tool or technique they used to create those markings. Any help with how to recreate them would be awesome. Thanks!!

6 replies so far

View ForestGrl's profile


450 posts in 1284 days

#1 posted 09-15-2015 02:21 AM

Just so you know someone’s trying here, I’ve looked at it in magnified mode, and haven’t got a clue! I could guess (really guess!) that some kind of wire arrangement made the lines. Can’t tell if the holes are round or pointed. Lot’s of choices for weapon of choice, but getting all that done in a production environment? No idea how they did it.

-- 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)

View realcowtown_eric's profile


617 posts in 2135 days

#2 posted 09-15-2015 03:12 AM

Cannot say for sure, it looks like band saw marks from the mill that ain’t been removed, just perhaps sanded over. Had to duplicate some ceder siding with a similar feature once. did it by taking the smooth faced ceder and running it backwards against the band saw, the teeth scoring the surface, not cutting anything. just scratching face.

Hypothetically you might take a sacrificial (dull maybe) bandsaw blade with a low tooth count, take your saw set and hyperset the odd tooth so it protrudes more than most and try it out. your feed speed would have to be consistent, and a whole bunch of experimentation may be needed, maybe setting more teeth, varying degrees of sanding, and of course staining to see if the effect is effective.

I’d suggest trying speed control on the bandsaw, but I don’t think router speed control units would work at all on a bandsaw motors, and most folks don’t have variable speed DC motors on their bandsaws, but I wonder if a Variac transformer would work. Gotta try it, My DC drive bandsaw is too small

Just my thoughts


-- Real_cowtown_eric

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1052 posts in 1264 days

#3 posted 09-15-2015 05:21 AM

Some old planers use to have serated metal feed rollers to pull the wood through. It looks as if the lines on the wood were made from something lik that with a little grit thrower in to create the pock marks.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View TheFridge's profile


10705 posts in 1684 days

#4 posted 09-15-2015 05:30 AM

Marks from when it was originally milled. It’s just smoothed out to where you can only see the lowest spots that were there to begin with.

Its gonna be hard to recreate by hand without spending a bunch of time.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2712 days

#5 posted 09-15-2015 02:41 PM

I kind of disagree on the saw marks sanded over.
I say that because there are small chunks out of some of the lines that would not be there.

I’ve seen that in furniture before, when I worked for Catnapper and Ashley. It is made by a machine to look old. See if you can see a duplication of the pattern. I bet you can find it.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View scr5008's profile


26 posts in 1185 days

#6 posted 09-16-2015 03:31 AM

Hi everyone – sorry for not replying sooner. Thanks for all the input. I actually had to abandon this technique because I had to finish the project (fireplace mantle) this weekend and just decided to beat the crap out of it to make it look naturally distressed.

I spoke with my local woodcraft store and the guy mentioned it was probably a big planer type of tool that made the impressions or a big press.

Thanks again, glad to have this forum as a resource.

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