Treating oak table top - Danish oil, Briwax or ?

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by JONXLR8, 15 Aug 2013.

  1. JONXLR8

    JONXLR8

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    We've just bought a second hand oak dining table that we're really pleased with.

    It looks like it hasn't been treated in a while and has a slightly worn rough finish, especially in the grain of the wood which you can feel as you rub your hand over it. So I'd like to treat and protect it for daily use.

    I have some Danish Oil I bought for another project and didn't use. Would it be a good idea to use this? I've also heard good things about Briwax, would this be the better solution?

    Any other tips?

    Thanks. Jon

     
  2. WalksWithTurkeys

    WalksWithTurkeys

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    It looks like there has been significant damage to the original finish. Generally the top is screwed to the frame. I'd remove it, sand it back, bring it to a nice smooth finish, then apply something like Danish Oil and then Briwax. The latter is a relatively soft finish, but it will bring the surface up to a nice shine, and show the wood off.

    There are other finishes, such as Osmo hard wax, which seems to be a mix of vegetable oils, and Carnauba wax which is a hard wax. I've never used it.
     
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  4. JONXLR8

    JONXLR8

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    Thanks for your reply, that leads me on to a few more questions.

    What grade sand paper should I use? Should I start with one grade then go over again with a finer grade?

    Should this be applied by hand or machine? How about those foam sanding blocks? If so what sort of machine? Belt, orbital?

    When sanding should you follow or go across the grain, or a circular motion? Or is this not an issue either way?
     
  5. WalksWithTurkeys

    WalksWithTurkeys

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    First a warning, I'm an amateur who has refinished two Ercol tables, and I'm in the middle of doing an Ercol chest of drawers, so I am no authority, just giving experience. That said, the plank dining table and round coffee table, both 50's designs, now look like new, gorgeous.

    A solid wood table top is very easy to refinish, because it is flat, with no veneer to wear through. I use a power sander, one of these:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bosch-PSS-2...76816944&sr=1-1&keywords=bosch+orbital+sander

    I'm not saying it is the best, but it works. It takes sheet sand paper, which is inexpensive. I might start with 80 grade to get the top layer of finish off, but it is VERY coarse. Then grade 120. I'd start with grade 120 and see how it goes. Then 240 grade, then 400 grade for finishing. I tend to finish by hand, using a sanding block and sanding paper.

    However, some finishes rapidly clog sandpaper, and a stripper such as Nitromors might be quicker, albeit pricey. The Wilko Eco stuff is cheap, and seems to work well (depending on the finish), but you have to leave it on for a few hours. And it contains water, and my concern is that it might cause warping. (I've warped a table top before, so I am wary of water on wood.)

    I've never used a belt sander, I'd be concerned about taking off too much wood. Anyway, the sander I have works just fine.

    You might come across dents and deep scratches. Once you have rough sanded the top, spit on the dents, and leave. The wood expands. If the first go did not work, do it again, and again, and again. I've removed some nasty damage with spit. If that does not work, you can fill with a mix of wood dust (from sanding) and wood glue, the UHU stuff for example. Two part filler does not take stain, and looks bad. The one part filler, by Cuprinol et al, never matches, and stains poorly. Alternatively, once the table is sanded and stained, fill dings with wax. You can buy wax sticks. (I've never done that, spit and wood dust with wood glue have served me well.) Or leave dings as 'character'.

    For finishing, perhaps the easiest is an oil such as Danish Oil, which gives a satin look, followed by a wax, to give a nice high shine. I have no experience of other finishes, except paint.

    Obviously you need to do this in a garage or a workshop, and put down loads of newspaper, or old towels beneath the top to prevent scratches.
     
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  7. WalksWithTurkeys

    WalksWithTurkeys

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    By the way, that table should come up really nice.
     
  8. DIYnot Local

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