I want to try and restore and old kitchen table-set


  #1  
Old 07-21-14, 03:14 PM
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I want to try and restore and old kitchen table-set

Hi everyone,

So I plan on restoring an old kitchen table-set. Here are a few pictures of the table and chairs I am trying to restore.

https://imageshack.com/i/idb94f56j
https://imageshack.com/i/kq5a1707j
https://imageshack.com/i/pd60091ej
https://imageshack.com/i/ida1143cj

Let me first say, I'm completely new to this. If I mess it up, that's how she goes and I'm prepared to take that risk. Don't try and tell me I'm too inexperienced, or that I risk ruining the table. I'm one of those people that even though I'm new at something, I follow directions exactly as told and take a lot of time with my projects. I guarantee you, my determinism will more than make up for my lack of experience. So if your response is "leave it to a professional" don't post.

My plan - Here is what I plan to do, please tell me if anything is wrong or just throw in suggestions for me.

1. Sand down the entire table and chairs. I researched online that the best sander for this job is a pad sander. Can anyone confirm this? I was looking at one on sale. It is made by Skil and has a pressure sensitivity gauge on it.

I plan to really take the most time on the process, being very careful not to ruin the designs or the edge of the table. This is where I am going to go very slow.

2. Apply liquid-glass. I saw this Youtube video on how to make your wooden tables look like "liquid glass" using an epoxy mixture and a blowtorch to pop the bubbles afterwards. I plan on doing something like this, unless you guys think it would be a bad idea for this table-set. I love the look of it. My plan is to give it one coat of this, then wait a week and do another coat. Thoughts?

3. Fastening the wooden pegs back onto the back of the chair. This is where I will need help. The back supporting wooden pegs in the chair were very loose, so I pulled them all out (I figure it will be easier to restore them like this anyways) These chairs have been repaired many times for this problem in the past, but I don't think anyone ever did it properly because it never lasted.

My plan for this is to fill in all the existing holes completely with wood putty, then sand it down. Then I plan to take a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the circumference of each peg so that it will give it a really tight fit. Before inserting the peg, I also plan to put a strong wood glue in each hole.

Can someone please help me on this project as I go through it? I will post pictures of my progress as I go and will do exactly as you tell me.
 
  #2  
Old 07-22-14, 03:42 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Most things can be diyed especially if you have the motivation and some instruction

#1 - Most any orbiter sander will work fine [including a pad sander] Usually it's best to start with a chemical stripper and finish up with sanding.

#2 - I don't believe I'm familiar with this technique solvent based coatings are flammable so I'd be extra cautious with a torch!

#3 - are the holes too wallowed out for wood glue to hold it tightly together? Wood fillers generally don't stain well, the odds are that the filler will always be noticeable unless covered with paint. I don't know how well a filler will hold up when drilled and used as you propose.

Wait and see what some of the others have to say
 
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Old 07-22-14, 03:48 PM
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Great advice. I went ahead and bought the pad sander. May I ask why you use a chemical stripper before sanding? I'm just wondering what difference this would make because wouldn't I be sanding off all the paint anyways?

The liquid glass table Youtube video I'm talking about is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGxVikwTK1A

Also, good advice about using wood glue. The more I think about using wood filler, the more problematic it seems.

One thing I am wondering is about the designs on the legs of the table and chairs. How does one properly sand these areas without ruining the design? Flat surfaces are easy, but I've never done anything like this.

Open to more suggestions.
 
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Old 07-23-14, 04:44 AM
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It's difficult to remove all the finish by sanding alone. Using a chemical stripper speeds up the process although you still need to sand once you are done with the stripper. Stains need raw wood, any leftover finish will affect the ability of the stain to neatly color the wood. Leftover finish might alter the look of any clear finish being used.

While an electric sander helps a lot, there is no eliminating hand sanding. Sometimes a small detail scraper is needed to get into tight areas - always scrape/sand with the direction of the grain! Cross sanding will scratch the wood and it may take a LOT of sanding with the grain to remove the scratches.

I've never worked with it but the liquid glass is a variation of what is commonly called a 'bar top finish' It allows you to apply an extra thick coat on a horizontal surface, it does not work well on vertical surfaces.
 
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Old 07-23-14, 06:08 AM
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My $.02:
If the chairs are very old (pre-1950) and never repaired it's likely the glue was hide glue, which can be re-activated for a pretty strong repair. Yours don't look that old & you say they've been worked on before. That means the spindles have probably been coated with wood glue or epoxy and neither of those can be repaired by injecting more, or with weak filler. For best results it will be necessary to carefully sand the ends down to bare wood, add glue then wrap with a thin shaving of wood (from a hand plane) till tight in the hole. Dab on more glue & tap them home.

Traditionally the ends of the spindles would be slotted with a hand saw and fitted with a wedge & glue. Tapping the spindle home will drive in the wedge and expand it in the hole for a tight mechanical fit that guarantees maximum wood contact for the glue to penetrate.

When you just squirt more glue into a loose joint you end up with a plastic/plastic bond that has very little strength and it will soon be loose again.

It takes a lot of time & craftsmanship to properly repair a spindle chair. Even though I have a well-equipped woodshop I still wouldn't attempt more than a spot repair of 1 or 2 loose spindles. I just don't have the necessary experience.

OTOH if that's a thrift store set and not a family heirloom--have at it as a learning experience :-)
 
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Old 07-23-14, 09:50 AM
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Thanks again,

The table-set is around late 70's, early 80's so it isn't too too old.

I can already see that the spindles are going to be a pain to repair, so maybe I will just leave that until the very end and start with the table first. If worst comes to worst I can always get new chairs that look similar to the table. I would like to repair them however, if possible.
 
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Old 08-08-14, 06:51 PM
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Any other suggestions and advice please?
 
  #8  
Old 08-09-14, 03:45 AM
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I think it's pretty much been covered. If you want to restain, you must remove all of the existing finish first. If you just want to freshen up the piece you might get by with a light sanding and fresh coat of poly. The biggest issue will be getting the chair to fit back together tightly.
 
 

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