What material is this? Can I sand this table down?


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Old 08-31-22, 03:34 PM
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What material is this? Can I sand this table down?

I have this hard wood table that I bought from a thrift store and I want to see if I can sand it down and stain it again. Can I do that to this? Itís raised in some areas and Iím unsure of what the material is. Any suggestions on how to sand it or how to fix this? Thanks!



 

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09-01-22, 01:29 PM
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But he'll never be able to sand that blister down, to make it level with the rest you'd sand thru the veneer.
 
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Old 08-31-22, 04:10 PM
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If the table has a removable leaf, take it out and give us a photo of the edge and bottom. If it's veneer you shouldn't sand it. And that ripple in the photo makes me think it's veneer. Might have gotten wet and ruined the edge of the veneer. It's possible you could reglue and then clamp those areas back down if that spot moves up and down when you push on it. Looks like oak veneer to me.
 
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Old 08-31-22, 04:46 PM
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That heavy gloss could be a really thick coat of Urethane that filled the crevice, That heavy grain looks more like wood than veneer, what does it look like underneath?
 
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Old 08-31-22, 06:18 PM
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Hmm. Iím a bit confused on what you mean. Hereís a picture of the full table and a picture of the inside.

 
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Old 08-31-22, 11:05 PM
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A veneer is a finished thin wood layer glued to a larger wood product.

In your picture it looks like the surface is a different material than the table.
That would indicate a veneer that can't be refinished.
 
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Old 09-01-22, 02:25 AM
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Veneers can be refinished but you can't do much sanding. Once you sand thru the veneer it's toast. I agree that unless the bubbled areas can be glued back down you'd need to either replace the veneer or the entire top.
 
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Old 09-01-22, 02:31 AM
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A really close up shot is needed, tables with veneers are easy to see, this isn't jumping out as a veneer!
 
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Old 09-01-22, 02:38 AM
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You can tell by the blown up pic in Pete's post #5 that it's a veneer.
The bubbled up section in the 2nd pic in post #1 is another clue.
 
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Old 09-01-22, 02:46 AM
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Looks like veneer to me. And yeah, solid wood doesn't bubble. Plus the table hardware tells me it was sold by a company that only sold Asian veneer products. Sorry, easy to see.
 
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Old 09-01-22, 03:25 AM
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Wow! Thank you all for your responses. I see that the conclusion is that itís a veneer. Can I remove it, or sand it down until itís gone? Is that even feasible, or should I just leave it as it is? The raised areas are annoying me a bit, lol, and I want to see if I can ďfixĒ them.
 
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Old 09-01-22, 03:42 AM
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No, you should NOT sand it. If you don't have the know-how to glue and clamp the veneer back down like I said earlier, you should just have a piece of tempered glass (the same size as the table top) made at a glass shop, to lay on top. Ask for a ground edge on the glass perimeter.
 
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Old 09-01-22, 06:08 AM
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I see that the conclusion is that itís a veneer.
Post a close up so we can see clearly, I'm still not convinced,
 
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Old 09-01-22, 09:45 AM
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@Marq1 are these better? I donít see a transition in the side where the veneer would be, but at the same time I have no knowledge of this sort of thing. Iím trying to learn. I do know the table is solid wood underneath, or at least a solid heavy something ( LOL). Weighs like 200 pounds.




 
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Old 09-01-22, 10:04 AM
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I was thinking veneer from the begining and the last group of pictures enhances that. The joint seen on the surface continues to the end and we see no evidence of it. With a cross-piece for end-grain stability (like on a cutting board), we wouldn't see evidence of the joint, but neither would we see the surface joint. Veneer!
 
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Old 09-01-22, 01:16 PM
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So the first picture shows a solid "plywood" construction across what looks like individual planks so yes it does look like a veneer cover. But it does look sufficiently thick that a light sanding and re-staining is possible as long as you realize your going to loose some of the grain and need to stay in the dark stain color range!
 
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Old 09-01-22, 01:29 PM
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But he'll never be able to sand that blister down, to make it level with the rest you'd sand thru the veneer.
 
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Old 09-01-22, 03:02 PM
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The blisters need to be glued down, period.

And "light sanding" doesn't mean much to a newbie who has never sanded before. They sand through the veneer EVERY time. Which is another reason why he should not sand it. And once they sand through it, it's going to be ugly. Can't put it back on once you've sanded through it. It won't accept stain like the rest.
 
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Old 09-02-22, 05:06 AM
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Well, I think maybe, just maybe it's up to the OP to make that final decision.

A lot depends on what he has, what his plans are, what he paid for it, and what the final look is desired. He now has all the information at hand to make an informed decision. Clearly it's not a piece of fine furniture and hopefully was purchased for a reasonable price at the thrift store!

Here is my 42 year old first ever purchased coffee table that now serves as game station in the bonus room. It has been refinished 2 maybe 3 times over that long period of time.

On the final "light sanding" I did indeed go through the veneer. And guess what, who cares, the world did not come to an end, nobody broke thru the door to arrest anybody, just a minor flaw that doesn't do anything to diminish it still useful existence.


 
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Old 09-02-22, 05:45 AM
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Thank you all for your help. Youíve given me a better idea of what Iím working with and what I can and canít do. I paid $20.00 for the table and it took four of us to bring it into the house. Iíll try to clean and work on it as I can and letís see what I can accomplish with it. THANK YOU!!
 
  #20  
Old 09-13-22, 07:48 PM
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I would suggest you flip it upside down and sand the bottom of the table top because veneer or not on the top the bottom is going give you a good idea of what the wood will look like if you sand the top smooth. You may find that you like the way the wood looks in which case you could sand the top smooth as a baby's bottom if you wanted to, just know that you would need to put some sort of finish on it after you sand off whatever is on it now.
 
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Old 09-18-22, 02:17 PM
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I thought, at first, that there were bubbles in the veneer. However, looking at the edge, it's apparent that there was water damage to the base material. The damage is such that I suspect it's not solid wood. A better view would be to take a very sharp knife and scrape the edge, then photograph that. From what I'm seeing so far, if the base material isn't wood or a wood you'd want for a final finish, you could sand the veneer smooth, then laminate another sheet of veneer over it. However, I wouldn't do it because you'd be spending far more time and money on this than it would be worth. On the other hand, doing so would be a good educational project.
 
 

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