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Old wood top splintering after applying finish...Help!

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Forum topic by jtworkshop posted 1000 days ago 1123 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jtworkshop

71 posts in 1297 days


1000 days ago

So I just rebuilt an old worktable/farm table. It looks decades old to me. I don’t know what type of wood it is, but basically it is a beat up old top. I’ve sanded it a ton and got if pretty smooth, but not perfect, as I wanted to leave in the old marks, scratches, etc.

Anyway, I have now applied raw linseed oil and after doing so, many small splinters appeared throughout the top. I took out as many as possible and then resanded using heavy to light paper, and this helped a ton. however, small tiny splintering still is happening. I even sanded again using very fine sandpaper, which got many areas super smooth, but still, when you run your hand or a cloth over the top a tiny splinter catches it.

Any advice on where to go from here….bring it way down with a hand planer? more deep sanding?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

(Final finish will be raw linseed and the top boards are not removable at this point so whatever I do has to be done in place.)


15 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10697 posts in 1640 days


#1 posted 1000 days ago

Hmm was it rough sawn to start with? Im curious if while sanding you may have just embedded slivers of wood and then when you applied the linseed oil it “popped” them out. Im not real sure as to what to do but i think finiding how it happens will help out. Im sure someone will chime in soon with more thoughts.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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chrisstef

10697 posts in 1640 days


#2 posted 1000 days ago

My thought would be to use card scrapers on the top once the linseed oil is dry (in about a month ;). The oil should have worked into the wood long enough by then to not effect the color once scraped.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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jtworkshop

71 posts in 1297 days


#3 posted 1000 days ago

Great idea with the card scraper. I just learned what they are the other day. I think you are right, that would bring the wood down just below the splintering, and just in the places needed. where can i pick one up?

to answer another question: the wood was not rough sawn. the same thing happened on a prior project using old dried out barnwood. sanding over the oil seemed to take care of things, but not this time.

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chrisstef

10697 posts in 1640 days


#4 posted 1000 days ago

you can get them at woodcraft or rockler wither in the store or online for around $15 so theyre afforadable. Just read up on how to creat the burr. Ive had good luck doing it by clamping a mill file in my vise and runnign the card over it until i hear a particular sound. I dont turn a burr with a burnisher personally but ive also never tried.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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jtworkshop

71 posts in 1297 days


#5 posted 1000 days ago

what is the burr?

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jtworkshop

71 posts in 1297 days


#6 posted 1000 days ago

also, i just checked out your projects chrisstef and was wondering what kind of paste wax you use?

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chrisstef

10697 posts in 1640 days


#7 posted 1000 days ago

its the little curl on the back side of the card scraper thats the business end of things. Your objective is to creted angel hair shaving not saw dust, Mark Spagnola has a good video on usign card scraper over at the woodwhisperer.com

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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chrisstef

10697 posts in 1640 days


#8 posted 1000 days ago

Its crystal clear paste wax .. it doesnt really lend itself to a brand but thats what it says on the can “Crystal Clear Paste Wax”... id bet i got it at woodcraft.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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jtworkshop

71 posts in 1297 days


#9 posted 1000 days ago

Much thanks for all this info! btw you are making some really cool stuff

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chrisstef

10697 posts in 1640 days


#10 posted 999 days ago

glad i could help and thanks!

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1850 posts in 2195 days


#11 posted 999 days ago

I’m thinking that the wood may have been pounded on which crushed the fibers. If so the only way to get rid of them would be to plane it down far enough to get through the damage.

-- Joe

View CrashDavis's profile

CrashDavis

9 posts in 1014 days


#12 posted 998 days ago

I knew a guy once that taught me all I know about dealing with old wood to make rustic furniture. Whenever he needed to put a finish on the wood he used a 1:1:1 mix of linseed oil, turpintine, and non-detergent wax motor oil (Not used motor oil of course).

He was a chemist who figured out (this is going off memeory so may be a little wrong) the linseed oil crystalized on the interior of the wood first adding outward pressure and causing it to start pushing up on any wood above it (assuming the cause of your splinters in this case) so by “diluting” the linseed oil it will crystalize less and give less pressure causing the splinters. He has more to say about why he picked those additives but I have long since forgotten the reasons.

Not sure this helps but when I read this post I instantly remembered this way to finish as I have used it many times in my life and never has a single problem.

Crash

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jtworkshop

71 posts in 1297 days


#13 posted 997 days ago

Thanks AJoseph….I may just have to take it down a bit. I believe the wood was severely used/abused as it looked like an old worktable when I began.

and crashdavis: great advice. I love reading stuff like that. Sounds like it would work, but for my designs, i try as much as possible to go zero solvents / natural materials….hence the raw linseed oil….i may have to try the planing route.

Once I finish I will post a photo of it on lumberjocks.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3421 posts in 2594 days


#14 posted 997 days ago

I would use a wash coat of shellac, sand, then BLO.
Raw linseed oil will take forever to settle down. The alcohol in shellac will flash off with negligable VOC impact. You’ll have some solvents in the BLO, but not enough to create any probs.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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jtworkshop

71 posts in 1297 days


#15 posted 993 days ago

update: I was ready to buy epoxy and try that….but first: I took a small planer and took down every area that had splinters, then lightly sanded them. then, because they were so light in color, I took a little dark polish on a cloth and blended it in. Table is splinter free(and hopefully will stay that way) and looks good. Will try and post photo if I get a good one taken. Thanks all, J

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