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I Screwed Up My Manzanita Burl Table!

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Forum topic by BurlyBlues posted 1221 days ago 5091 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BurlyBlues

11 posts in 1221 days


1221 days ago

Hi, I’m just joining this forum and I am a complete novice when it comes to woodworking, so bare with me.
Okay, that said, I REALLY #!#* SCREWED UP A BEAUTIFUL MANZANITA BURL WOOD TABLE! She was a beauty 48×24 base with a 60×34 glass top. Found it on Craigslist for $100.00 and nailed it! Okay, so it was 30-40 years old and it was dirty and I wanted to spruce it up.

I called my local wood workers shop and asked them what the best product would be to use on it. The guy told me Teak Oil. I bought the most expensive can they had! I was going to make my table like new again! WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. Teak oil turned my beautiful blonde and reddish table black. I tried washing and scrubbing it off but there was no budging the teak oil. So….what to do, what to do?

I decided to put it outside in the rain, the snow, and the sun and let the elements have at it for about a year. That indeed got rid of the teak oil and it looked like a piece of grayish white driftwood. I was ready to tackle it again, someone recommended Linseed oil this time. Wrong again. Linseed oil over silvery driftwood turned it to a mucky lifeless brown and black. So that’s where I’m at this Sunday afternoon looking for help. I really want to save this magnificent piece of burl art but afraid it’s just firewood at this point. I remember seeing this table at 30 years ago at Macy’s retailing between $3000.00-$4000.00. Can anyone guide me in the right direction as to what to do.


33 replies so far

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1654 days


#1 posted 1220 days ago

Burly,

Post a picture so we can see what we’re dealing with. But from here, I would say SAND, SAND, SAND! You’re going to have to stART with 60 or 80 grit and work through the grades to at least 220. First though, we need to know how thick it is. If it’s solid, and you’ve led me to believe it is, you have material to sand down to get back to the natural beauty of the burl. You must be careful about sanding evenly and thoroughly,do not skip any grades, then go for the clearest clear finish you can find. If you can flip it over, you can experiment on the underside—if it’s solid and you can get to it. By now you’ve probably learned not to trust guys at the wood store (some of whom know nothing), NEVER experiment on the show face of a project, and NEVER get into something you haven’t studied, researched, and planned (see the thread on do-overs). Never fear, there is a solution to this problem, and I’m sure some different suggestions are coming. Read them all, think it over, and ask more questions. But post that picture so we’re not shooting in the dark.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View drewnahant's profile

drewnahant

218 posts in 1692 days


#2 posted 1220 days ago

Agreed, SAND! that grayish color isnt skin deep, it is a solid layer of wood which has had all of it’s color rich compounds washed out and bleached by the sun, there is no bringing it back without grinding down to new wood, and applying new finish.

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BurlyBlues

11 posts in 1221 days


#3 posted 1220 days ago

Hi fussy, I don’t know how to post a picture here. Can you walk me through it? I think I’m going to have the thing sandblasted. There’s no way I can get a tool in between the twists, cracks and crevices of these raw gnarly burls. I’d love to post a picture. Mean time I’m looking up sand blasting companies. I hope it’s not too expensive to have done. It’s a gorgeous table and can’t believe I screwed it up so badly! Manzanita and oil do not go together!

View Luke's profile

Luke

537 posts in 1897 days


#4 posted 1220 days ago

Do not sandblast. You’ll ruin it. but we need pics.

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14614 posts in 2279 days


#5 posted 1220 days ago

How about hand planing?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View patron's profile

patron

12976 posts in 1944 days


#6 posted 1220 days ago

the little button up in the comment header
says img
press it and you can load pictures to the comment
you are making
keep them under 3mb’s
or they wont load

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View wseand's profile

wseand

2116 posts in 1645 days


#7 posted 1220 days ago

When you post a reply click on the “IMG” button just to the right of your Avatar. This will allow you to post a pic from your comp. or the Net. I agree do not sand blast. It will leave you with an uneven surface and tears out the softer wood easier then the harder.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112001 posts in 2180 days


#8 posted 1220 days ago

Naptha will clean it . It depends what you will use it for as to what to do next.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View BurlyBlues's profile

BurlyBlues

11 posts in 1221 days


#9 posted 1220 days ago


I hope this worked. Thanks BTW: The flash on my camera lightened it up considerably. The real color is 10X darker.

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BurlyBlues

11 posts in 1221 days


#10 posted 1220 days ago

This is what it looks like upside down with glass.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112001 posts in 2180 days


#11 posted 1220 days ago

My best guess is to spray some lacquer on it after it’s clean. You might have to use a stiff brush and some naphtha to try and clean it. or even put some in a garden sprayers.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1654 days


#12 posted 1220 days ago

Well Ollie, this another fine mess you’ve gotten us into!! Forget sanding, forget planing, and forget sandblasting. As Jim says Naptha might clean it, but that’s a BIG honkin’ piece. I thought you were talking about a burl slab. If you try Naptha, do it outside, wear nitrile gloves, place a fan so as to blow away the fumes, and DON’T SMOKE WHILE YOU’RE DOING IT. Seriously, if you try-anything you try- try to find a inconspicuous spot and be gentle. What do you experts out there think of soda blasting? Environmentaly benign, gentle (so I hear) and probably less damaging than anything.. Best part is any debris left in nooks and crannies can be washed out with water. Or am I all wet?

If that fickles your tancy, check out soda blasting at Harbor Freight (www.harborfreight.com). It’s on sale, and the medium is nothing but Arm and Hammer baking soda. You might even be able to rent a blaster and buy nothing but the soda. If you try it, experiment on an out of the way spot, and start of with low preasure and bump it up a little at a time until it works.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14614 posts in 2279 days


#13 posted 1220 days ago

Yeah!! no hand planing that table ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View BurlyBlues's profile

BurlyBlues

11 posts in 1221 days


#14 posted 1220 days ago

Yes Stanley, this is a fine mess I’ve gotten myself into…tee hee ha ha :{ This big hurkin’ coffee table is suppose to be blonde with reddish highlights! It’s not going to happen with sand paper.
Thanks for suggesting the Naptha & I’ll check out the soda blasting. I thought you might see the dilemma once you saw it. If nothing works I’m going to put it back outside in the elements and plant a fern in the middle of it!

View ScottN's profile

ScottN

259 posts in 1283 days


#15 posted 1220 days ago

If nothing works and you want to get rid of it let me know. That would look awesome in my theater room. :D

-- New Auburn,WI

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