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Forum topic by Biff posted 12-04-2013 01:39 AM 1109 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Biff

126 posts in 1481 days


12-04-2013 01:39 AM

My wife bought a nice solid wood desk but the top was badly stained, looks like watermarks.

I started sanding it tonight with 180 grit on a DA. For some reason, a series of spots down to the bare wood. I’m not starting the sander in the spot or anything weird like that. For some reason these spots showed up but the rest of the top isn’t as sanding as easily.

My plan was just to sand down the watermarks then hit it with some stain and poly. Should I take it down to bare wood? (It’s not veneer). The rest of the finish is pretty aggressive so I will probably have to step up the grit.

Any advice or thoughts?

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-- Interested in Oregon property? Visit me at http://www.willamettepropertiesgroup.com


17 replies so far

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3044 days


#1 posted 12-04-2013 01:51 AM

These look like water marks alright.Try this, as crazy as it sounds ,make sure your desk is moved away from any thing flammable,pour a minor amount of lighter fluid on the water spots then light it on fire,this should not harm the finish but it should remove the moisture ,again make sure your in a well ventilated area away from flammables .
A litte trick out of Charles Neils new finishing book.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View DeltaDaddy's profile

DeltaDaddy

52 posts in 1120 days


#2 posted 12-04-2013 02:29 AM

Cool trick a1Jim. Biff it Looks like you’ve done quite a bit of sanding already. the spots that are showing through are most likely just high spots in the wood or thin spots in the topcoat. If its solid and you don’t have to worry about burning through veneer, definitely sand it all the way down. that way the stain is all uniform and the clear coat wont be patchy. at least start cutting the clearcoat with a 120 grit or even 100 on the DA and work up from there. if you’re good with a belt sander that cuts it a lot faster but be careful or you will leave large dips in the surface. Good luck with your project.

-- Take it apart to see how it works

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Finisherman

227 posts in 1316 days


#3 posted 12-04-2013 03:38 AM

Jim:

With all deference, it seems to me like you’re suggesting the use of a sledgehammer to squash a gnat. I could easily imagine the solution that you’re suggesting resulting in a burned finish and charred wood. I wonder if you might be thinking of a trick where you apply denatured alcohol to a dent in raw wood and ignite it to remove the dent? If I’m wrong, please feel free to correct me.

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3044 days


#4 posted 12-04-2013 05:05 AM

Finisherman
I guess that’s one you will have to talk to Charles about, since I’ve seen dozens of fine pieces of furniture Charles has built and finished with expertize of 40+ years of finishing behind him and have see none of yours or read your book,I will have to go with what Charles knows an has tested versas what you imagine. This is in Charles new finishing book,it might be helpful for someone named Finisherman to add to his library .I’m no expert that’s why it helps me.

https://charlesneilwoodworking.3dcartstores.com/Charles-Neil-Finishing-Simply-Put-Chemistry-Degree-Not-Required_p_238.html

Oil of some sort is a typical aproach to help remove moister from under a finsh ,some say to rub mayonnaise or perheps lemon oil,but if “Biff’s” tabel’s finish is shellac denatured alcohol could just be the sledgehammer doing the damage. I’m not that sure that everyone is that experienced in “french polishing” so it may not be a good idea to have a person inexperienced in finishing to experiment with a process the takes a good amount practice to be successful at.
From other advice you have given on other post I know you have some experience with finishing it’s great of you to share, but it’s best to have experience in a technique before you find fault with It.
Best wishes for this holiday season

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Biff

126 posts in 1481 days


#5 posted 12-04-2013 05:40 AM

Thanks for the input! I stepped to 100 grit and it worked much better but there’s still a long way to go! I’ve got some stripper sitting on it now and I think it will do the job.

Now…after I stain it should it be poly finish or shellac?

-- Interested in Oregon property? Visit me at http://www.willamettepropertiesgroup.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3044 days


#6 posted 12-04-2013 05:57 AM

Poly is much more durable than shellac and protects against moisture better than shellac.Shellac is easly touched up and renewed.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Rick's profile

Rick

8287 posts in 2499 days


#7 posted 12-04-2013 08:33 AM

Agree with Jim. Poly is a much more durable finish.

Haven’t used Shellac in a LONG Time and I’m not sure if it comes in various Sheens or not. Poly does. I think “Satin” would look good on Your Table..

Rick

-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1828 days


#8 posted 12-04-2013 12:57 PM

Sanding was the worst thing to do. It should be stripped, washed, sanded, and finished with either waterborne or oil poly. Shortcuts just end up crappy.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3337 days


#9 posted 12-04-2013 05:07 PM

Take it to bare wood, trying to make this look decent will be next to impossible , take it down and do the whole top .

View Finisherman's profile

Finisherman

227 posts in 1316 days


#10 posted 12-04-2013 05:47 PM

Jim:

The last thing that I want to do in this forum is get into a pi$$ing match with another member. I didn’t intend any disrespect with my original post, and I apologize if anything I said came across that way. Admittedly, I haven’t tried the technique that you describe, and if it works, that’s great. I would frankly be nervous about mixing fire with finish and wood, but maybe that’s just me. Furthermore, I am looking forward to reading Charles Neil’s new book. I’m the first to admit that I don’t know everything about finishing and I’m always open to learning something new. That is one of the main reasons why I joined this forum. Incidentally, you haven’t seen any project pictures from me due to difficulty with computer technology, rather than a lack of woodworking experience. Hopefully I will be able to post some pictures of my recent work soon.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3337 days


#11 posted 12-04-2013 05:54 PM

Finisherman , you don’t drown it , you simply wipe a thin coat, and light it .. if you have white rings, it is like magic … they just dissapear, the alcohol burns above the surface and the heat pulls the moisture out, it happens in just a split second, there is no burned finsh or charred wood , but its definately only for cured finishes. Works great .

You mention using DNA to remove a dent, do you get charred wood from that … I don’t , it works great , but on the dent add a little water to the dent then the DNA, the dent needs some moisture, the finish doesn’t.

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Finisherman

227 posts in 1316 days


#12 posted 12-04-2013 06:20 PM

Thanks Charles. I’ll give that a try sometime. By the way, congratulations on the new book. I’m really looking forward to reading it now.

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CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3337 days


#13 posted 12-04-2013 06:29 PM

Any time , glad to help when I can.

Finisherman , thanks on the book, Its doing pretty well, its in its 4th printing. Its definately different from your typical finishing book, its kind of a ’ ” here do this, because it works , and here is how to do it, here is some products that work well and if ya mess it up, then do this, and then “heres why ya doing , what your doing ” sorta thing … Its HOW, not about , was the intent .

When ya read it let me know what ya think,,, good bad or indifferent

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3044 days


#14 posted 12-04-2013 06:32 PM

Finisherman
I don’t like disputes ether ,Charles is a friend of mine and I tend to be very defensive of my friends. It looks like I quoted Charles incorrectly any way, You use Alcohol not lighter fluid. Please accept my apology for going over board with my post.

Very Merry Christmas to you and your family also.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Finisherman

227 posts in 1316 days


#15 posted 12-04-2013 07:07 PM

Jim:

Apology accepted. No hard feelings. See you later.

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