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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 06-18-2014 07:31 PM 1866 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1748 days


06-18-2014 07:31 PM

Bidding a job to refinish 56 tables at a local chain restaurant.
We plan to use White Water Conversion Varnish. The first coat will be thinned 10% with butyl acetate with a full strength spray as a top coat.

We’ll be using my partners pot sprayer mainly because that’s all we have and it’s compatible with the varnish.

We’ll use Stripease first and take as much of the old water based poly and original varnish off as we can. These tables were refinished several month ago by someone who didn’t even scuff the old finish before he laid down some water based poly. They look terrible.

If the Strip ease takes off the stain, we’ll restain the area and then finish.

We’re hoping to set up a spray booth in my back yard under some shade trees with a 10’ x 10’ pavilion on a large canvas tarp and use plastic to wrap it to keep the wind out. If it’s a calm day we’ll just cover about three sides or it might get to hot to work.

Then after about 15 -30 minutes we’ll take them to a room where they can finish drying and gassing off.

We can only do about 2-4 tables at a time and there are 56 including a rather large family table, it’s rectangle. only one round table for a corner but not all that big, most are 30×48 booths and 36×36 tables.

Been studying all week about what the best finish to use and really not wanting to use a pour on anything. Everyone here seems to agree that White Water Conversion Varnish is the best choice.

What think you?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.


28 replies so far

View lunn's profile

lunn

215 posts in 1770 days


#1 posted 06-19-2014 11:37 AM

No clue as to the finish. Try Kutzit stripper, it’s the best i’ve used and i’ve tried them all. Do a little research on useing a sand blaster, useing corn cob media to remove the softened finish.

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

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RockyTopScott

1184 posts in 2940 days


#2 posted 06-19-2014 11:58 AM

Look at a soda blaster for removal. Biodegradable and fast.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

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NoThanks

798 posts in 990 days


#3 posted 06-19-2014 01:43 PM

”If the Strip ease takes off the stain, we’ll restain the area and then finish.”

I would say you could count on the stripper taking away the stain.
I also doubt that you can touch up just the areas where stain is removed and have them look good.
Once you put the stripper on you should be prepared to sand down and restain the whole table.
JMO, if you want them to look good.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21994 posts in 1799 days


#4 posted 06-19-2014 01:49 PM

Properly stripping and prepping for new finish is very time consuming. But like any other finishing process, do it right or it stands out like a sore thumb.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2510 days


#5 posted 06-19-2014 01:50 PM

It’s far better to be criticized by a wise person than applauded by a fool

A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

Amen

-- Bert

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waho6o9

7171 posts in 2038 days


#6 posted 06-19-2014 01:55 PM

Will you be using Charles Neil’s product to control blotching?

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1748 days


#7 posted 06-19-2014 03:24 PM

The wood is veneer, so no sanding guys. And Lacquer thinner will likely take off the old finish.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3038 days


#8 posted 06-19-2014 03:36 PM

I hope it all works out for you Russ ,it sounds like a tough time consuming job .

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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NoThanks

798 posts in 990 days


#9 posted 06-19-2014 03:55 PM

“The wood is veneer, so no sanding guys. And Lacquer thinner will likely take off the old finish. ”
- RussellAP

”We’ll use Stripease first and take as much of the old water based poly and original varnish off as we can.”

Still a complete strip job, I think your in for more than you are thinking.
If it were me I would ask to take one table and do it before accepting the job. Then you will know exactly what to expect.

Good Luck

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2275 days


#10 posted 06-19-2014 04:05 PM

I would bid the job as if I had to build and replace all the table tops. When refinishing veneer, that is often all that works.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1294 posts in 1534 days


#11 posted 06-20-2014 09:42 PM

I would heed the warning some have given, if you have the time to dedicate to this I would try to work a bid theoretically, with the methods you describe. My advice would be, go thrift shopping and pick up a couple of tables that are pretty cheap. Strip and refinish those, and track the time and process… Then you will have a pretty good Idea of how you should bid this job. I have opened a full on finishing operation in our shop this year, and with top notch conditions, and equipment (including a large booth), and I have turned down the refinishing jobs that have been offered to us based on risk and experience.

Some time ago, I bid this same type of job. I found I could actually buy the pre-made table tops, and finish them, cheaper than re-finishing the existing tables, re-using the bases and other hardware. (They were all oak, however, and nothing special) That said, the restaurant did their research and found that they could buy the tables, already finished cheaper than the bid. The other thing that concerns me is the first botched re-finish job… anyhow. I agree that some kind of post catalyzed product is the way to go. I am currently using solvent based, but water based is the right choice for you, if you don’t have access to a booth. I have had a lot more success with shading in a clear coat, than repairing stain, you may want to consider that, if you go for it. So for me it would be finding a product that is going to adhere well, and stripping only enough to get to that. If I were doing it, I would be sanding the existing clear coat until it was stable, and then building up with a Euro style sealer and clear coat. The stuff can be laid on thick, and builds and fills really well. It is however, IMHO, outside the reality of the equipment and workspace you have. Blasting sounds like a viable suggestion, but having no previous experience with that, the learning curve would likely eat any margin quick!!!

Edit: Iwud4u ”If it were me I would ask to take one table and do it before accepting the job. Then you will know exactly what to expect.” Or now that I re read this… How bout just +1 Iwud4u ;)

-- Who is John Galt?

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,

2387 posts in 3008 days


#12 posted 06-20-2014 11:14 PM

I have found with refinish jobs in kitchens that I can actually buy new doors from door shop and stain and lacquer those doors cheaper than what I would need to charge for stripping back the old doors. It does not appear to be economical sense to refinish a veneer product. Not to sound negative, but it does not seem to be the best project to accept into your shop.

Let me say, I am currently on a learning curve, but I have learned a lot from the school of hard knocks and have come a long ways since we opened in 2010. There have been projects that I have even spoken about here on LJ where many posts offered words of warning against the project. Reluctantly I still took on projects that with better judgement I should have passed on and felt hurt (for lack of a better word) in the end of the project. My only true blessing is that for every bad project I took I had a couple of good projects. Sort of a two steps forward, one step back type of thing with us. But looking back, I know if I had passed all of our bad projects, we would be further ahead today. Sometimes we might be tempted to take a bad project because we don’t have anything else, but in the end it may not be worth the risk.

I don’t really want to get into too many details, but one example, I had 2 jobs that overlapped some or where pretty much back to back. The first project I gained a decent profit, and I was very happy and proud, the very next project I lost on and the loss was pretty equal to the amount I gained on the previous project. With that example alone, I would have been ahead quite a bit financially speaking had I not accepted the bad project. And guess what, had I passed on the bad project, worst case would be I would have been out of work with some cash in pocket. As it was, I was working my BUTT off in a bad situation while feeling broke.

With you though, what if you are not as fortunate. If you take any major loss on a project, can you recover? You take responsibility for 60 or whatever tables, you try to cheapen your bid to win the job and so already you are handicapping yourself with a tight budget. Then what happens if something happens in your finish process and you have issues. The customer you are working for does not care about your problems, or that you may be on a tight budget, they only care that you have a contract with them and they want you to succeed with your end of the deal.

But it does sound like you are set on going to the school of hard knocks and I wish you the best on that.

-- .

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1748 days


#13 posted 06-21-2014 12:02 AM

For anyone that will read this. The general manager of the restaurant got screwed by the last guy that refinished these tables. She doesn’t expect them to be perfect, she just wants a finish that isn’t going to peel off. The chain is not buying new tables for this restaurant for about 3 years. All we have to do is strip that old poly off and clean it up and spray on the new finish.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View NoThanks's profile

NoThanks

798 posts in 990 days


#14 posted 06-21-2014 02:59 AM

All we have to do is strip that old poly off and clean it up and spray on the new finish.”

LOL, Looks like you got it handled.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7171 posts in 2038 days


#15 posted 06-21-2014 03:07 AM

Stripping the old finish is only half the equation, afterwhich

you should wash every thing off with a different solvent.

I think we used MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) after stripping it.

Good luck.

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