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Heirloom Carving, should I do anything?

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Forum topic by CharlesA posted 09-28-2013 02:49 PM 534 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CharlesA

1929 posts in 552 days


09-28-2013 02:49 PM

I have a carving that our family has had for at least 50 years. My parents were missionaries in South America and this was done by hand with a pocket knife as a gift when we left. It has served as a coffee table with a glass cover, but now I want to hang it on the wall (this is the new coffee table: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/90078), and I’m noticing some imperfections in the surface. The glass cover was smoky, so it hid thee imperfections in daily use.

One looks like a water mark, another like some kind of food stain, and in the middle it looks like the glass has worn off the carving slightly. I have no idea what kind of wood it is, and, to my knowledge, it has never been treated with any kind of finish.

I have at least four options:
1) just leave it as is.
2) try to remove the two stains and leave it as is otherwise
3) try to remove the two stains, clean up the worn marks, and leave it as is otherwise
4) step #3 plus adding some kind of finish such as plain Danish Oil or Arm-R-Seal (I would test on back first)

I’m leaning toward #1, but would love your input.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson


9 replies so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4905 posts in 1047 days


#1 posted 09-28-2013 02:51 PM

Number 1 IMHO.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View jap's profile

jap

1240 posts in 809 days


#2 posted 09-28-2013 03:19 PM

#1

-- Joel

View sras's profile

sras

3948 posts in 1884 days


#3 posted 09-28-2013 03:30 PM

Another vote for #1. Things get old and stuff happens – those marks are part of the story now.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

4985 posts in 830 days


#4 posted 09-28-2013 03:32 PM

Definitely #1. The stains are part of the piece. You’ll notice any damage you do inadvertently 100 times more.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View rejo55's profile

rejo55

175 posts in 997 days


#5 posted 09-28-2013 04:11 PM

Leave it alone as it is. Remember, it is old and tired and has earned every scar and wart and hicky on it. I don’t think old men should have cosmetic surgery and think the same thing applies to old wood.
I, too, have some carvings given to me by friends I made in South America. None of the pieces were made by professionals—- just country folk who had nothing else to give me when I left. They are not perfect, but I treasure them just as they are.
BTW, I have a hand carved tiger that a young roughneck on a drilling rig made for me. He learned that I was leaving the next day and he took off work early, walked about six miles home, carved it with a pocket knife, sanded it with handfulls of sand and walked and ran back to the rig to get back in time to give it to me.
Does anyone think I would do anything to it? Not on your life.
Have a good’un,
Joe

-- rejo55, East Texas

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3590 posts in 2715 days


#6 posted 09-28-2013 04:15 PM

Yep! Leave it alone.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

1929 posts in 552 days


#7 posted 09-28-2013 04:51 PM

Looks like I was leaning the right way. At least no one suggested spray paint.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Randy_ATX's profile

Randy_ATX

695 posts in 1196 days


#8 posted 09-28-2013 05:23 PM

Really nice piece. Hang it up and admire it even more.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

1929 posts in 552 days


#9 posted 09-28-2013 06:57 PM

Thanks for all the really helpful advice. I’d never have forgiven myself if I’d screwed it up in the process of “fixing” it.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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