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Weathered Oak – Cleaning and Restoring

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  • #511003
    Doug Finch
    Member

    I’ve got a rare piece I’m restoring. It is a custom rolling oak butcher block bar cart from the 60’s. This thing has been out in the elements for quite some time and the butcher block has separated at the glue joints. All of the wood that is still with the piece is solid, but weathered. I’ll need to recreate some pieces, but my biggest challenge is somehow cleaning this wood. I suppose I could just sand and scrape everything down. I did do an initial steel wool and mineral spirits to the top to clean it a bit last night. This thing soaked the mineral spirits like a sponge. I need to glue up the top and repair the glue joints in general first. At some point though, this wood will need to be rejuvenated.

    Any thoughts? This is a real piece of art here. This is some of the reference materials I found:
    Bill W. Saunders Oak Bar Cart

    I’ve attached a current picture of it before I disassembled it.

    Attachments:
    #516134
    Doug Finch
    Member

    Update on project. After disassembly, I found that this thing was thickly covered in years of dirt and grime that comes from being outside in the weather. I took some deck wood cleaner and cleaned all of the wood components thoroughly. I found more areas that needed repair. I also began cleaning the chrome and metal parts with vinegar and steel wool. Surprisingly, these cleaned up nicely.

    Saturday I began the glue-up repairs on the butcher block and other cabinet components. I also had to replace some missing wood in various places. Sunday I constructed the box that sits on the back – all by hand. Other than some very minimal sanding on the butcher block, where I used an orbital sander, everything has been done by hand on this. When it is completely restored I’ll upload some comparison photos before/after.

    #521863
    Doug Finch
    Member

    I finally finished cleaning this up – now it is time to sell it and get it out of my shop. The weathering on the wood had really faded the beauty of the oak. I used some brown dye to bring some continuity between the pieces and revive the coloring of the wood. I finished it with 4 coats of shellac and then paste wax.

    The chrome was cleaned up with vinegar and a wire brush and steel wool. I’d say I got 80% of the rust off overall.

    Image-2018-04-05_06-05-55-471

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Doug Finch.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Doug Finch.
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    #522537
    Ronald Kowalewski
    Participant

    you did a nice job, on a really cool piece!

    Protect the line.

    #522717
    Doug Finch
    Member

    Thank you

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