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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    Brisbane
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    4

    Default First time restoration: Silky Oak occasional table

    Hi everyone and thankyou for your generosity in sharing your experiences. I am tackling a small silky oak table as a first project. I have taken it apart (see photo) as it was very wobbly and have sanded the pieces back with 120,180,240 and 320. My intention is to sand now with 400 and start applying shellac (50g dissolved in 200ml). To this end, I have done a test run on a scrap of pine. On lightly sanding the first shellac layer with the 400, I created horrendous scratches. (see photos) I've put another couple of shellac layers to no avail. Have I missed something in my research?

    IMG_9172.jpg IMG_9098.jpgIMG_9093.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Brisbane
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    Default

    So after sanding up to 320, I have applied 2 coats of shellac without sanding in between.
    IMG_9099.jpgIMG_9174.jpgIMG_9176.jpgIMG_9180.jpg


    The finish is very smooth. Is it necessary to lightly sand between coats from here?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Rockhampton QLD
    Age
    64
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    1,651

    Default

    Welcome to the forum.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    230

    Default

    Since shellac dissolves into the layer below, I would think you shouldn't need to sand, unless a coat comes up rough, eg, dust.

    Someone who actually knows what they are talking about may differ. [emoji848]

    Russ

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vic
    Posts
    2,545

    Default

    Hi .
    Cutting back with paper helps . It doesn't have to be between every coat . Give it three and then try a cut back .

    Pro polishers don't cut back with fresh new paper at these light weight of polish body stages. Its to coarse when new. Even when its 400 or 600 grit . The pro will either pick up a well worn bit of 400 all choked up from cutting back lots of work . Or if they have new stuff to use , they rub new against new lightly to dull the paper off . I remember one guy calling it flour paper I think ?
    Is that a pad or a polishing rubber in your jar ? That's what you want to use .

    What you need to do is body the job up , meaning build up the shellac body . Just coating layer upon layer works but its not the best way . Getting a good amount of coats on, and waiting until it dries off for 15 minutes or when its just right , then giving a body with the rubber , circles and figure eights pushes the elastic first coats sideways . You cant see it . But do that three times right with a good drying time in between the three and you can have a bodied up / choked full grain job . That's when getting it flat with paper is now important . Just before attempting final finishing rubbers with very much diluted shellac and some oil dropped on to smooth it off . You cut it back with paper and a linseed oil and turps mix .

    That's a quick run down of polishing .

    Otherwise coat it up till your happy, cut back with fine worn paper . Id still give it a rubber at the end . Then a fine cut back with 0000 wool and a wax.
    A better way to do the final part is use the linseed oil mix I mentioned . Cover the dry final coat of polish with some. Then flick some wax dollups into that and very evenly work it with OOOO steel wool following the grain back and forth . Doing that works better than just wax . You go over it 5 or 6 times then buff it off dry with clean rags .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    4

    Default

    They are wonderful tips, thanks auscab. What you say about the new 400 is spot on. I didn't even think of using old stuff, but it makes total sense and explains the deep scratches in my test piece.

    It is the rubber that I made that is in the jar. I have been happy with how the shellac has gone on although I have simply been dipping the rubber into the jar of shellac. It doesn't seem to be loading very much that way. Perhaps I should soak the fabric that is inside the rubber?

    Interesting what you say about about applying in circles and figure eights. I have applied the first 2 coats with the grain. As I am just starting out I might continue with that, as you suggest, for the third and then use some worn 400 to give a light sand and repeat.

    Won't get back to the project for a couple of days now but thanks again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Sydney Upper North Shore
    Posts
    3,352

    Default

    I load my rubber by opening it up and pouring a little on the central cotton pad. That way you can regulate, by pressure, how much you put on the surface. I followed instructions from Ubeautís book and my job turned our fantastic. Auscabís advice is spot on. I used a grey 3M pad to sand back between coats then a white pad before the final diluted coats. Make sure the shellac mix is fresh and metho is 98% or better.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Brisbane
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    4

    Default

    Well I didn't get back to this project quite as soon as I expected to....
    The couple of layers that I have applied will now be well set.
    I am wanting to apply a few more coats of shellac. Do I need prep the surface before continuing?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Sydney Upper North Shore
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    3,352

    Default

    If the grain is filled/choked, then a light sand back with well worn 400 sandpaper or a grey sanding pad, dust down then start applying the shellac with your rubber following Auscab’s advice given above.

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