I’m happy to document as I go with my projects because I can look at things with a fresh perspective.
Back then, I had my Makita finishing sander. The Makita palm sander has two speeds: off and 14,000 OPM. Since then, my purchase of a DeWalt 1/4-sheet palm sander has allowed me modify my approach with an adjustment wheel from 8000 OPM to 14,000 OPM.
Would I have avoided sanding through the veneer if I’d been able to adjust the speed of the sander? Maybe!
More importantly, I would have looked for evidence of a veneer and found it just about immediately.
But even if I had known that it was a veneer, the rings on the table had gotten so bad that I don’t know what choice I had but to keep going.
The takeaway: Now equipped with tools that can adjust, I can be sensitive to thin veneer while trying to remove damage completely.
The table has been working wonderfully.
Here’s the original post:
As I await the arrival of what I hope will be the last piece I need for the end table project, here’s a standalone post about a side table project.
I found a listing for an end table on the free stuff section of craigslist, which you know by now is where I go almost exclusively for things to refinish. Of course not everything worth redoing is limited to the free stuff section (more on that in a future post), but that’s the page that receives most of my focus.
The person who listed the table set it outside for me to pick up at night, and about 50 minutes later, I was home with it. But with everything these days, outside it stayed at first.
Daylight gave me comfort this table with its solid wood top just had water damage that could be sanded off easily. The white paint was in pretty good shape, and I figured that the paint was thick enough that light sanding would be the way to make it bright again.
As expected, the more I took off, the more the water damage went away. It was shaping up very nicely.
As I kept going, I got to see how the tabletop was looking so much nicer than I had expected.
I was marveling at how the top was made with a single, wide piece of wood and with no knots. How did I come across such a gem? And then I realized my mistake. The top wasn’t one solid piece of wood like I’d thought. Rather, a wood veneer had been applied to some other hardwood underneath it. That’s why the grain didn’t line up where it should have.
It seemed like I couldn’t go much further without running out of veneer, so even though there were parts that showed discoloration, it was time to stop.
In my first woodworking post I mentioned that I had decided against refinishing the coffee table with teak oil because it had that weird yellow river, and I was concerned that it would stand out without stain. Faced with a similar situation, I decided to go for it. I’d learn a lot from it. And what kind of guest (remember guests?) is going to be looking at my bedside table?
I found I had not stopped sanding too soon. The teak oil make it obvious where I’d gone through the veneer. But the discoloration of the veneer itself seemed to be hidden well.
While this isn’t normally my style of furniture, it fit well physically in the room and was a very quick turnaround.
I learned a lot from this project.
- Wood veneers can look very good but require much more caution for a flawless refinishing.
- Teak oil doesn’t absolutely require a surface that is free of all discolorations for the result to look good.
- It’s kinda nice to have some projects that don’t take forever.