Saturday, November 26, 2005

Three Down – One To Go

I finished the third side today on the pocket doors. This one took the longest mainly because the finish was the most intact, but also because it was tinted shellac and instead of just plain shellac. I tried something new that I thought was working at first but then I changed my mind.

One Pass With the Heat Gun

On the flat rails and stiles I could use the heat gun to get most of the shellac off and then just go over it with the denatured alcohol and steel wool. The panels have too much small detail close together and it is hard to get the scraper in there. I was just using the alcohol and steel wool to scrub it off. Kind of a slow process. I thought that maybe if I hit it with the heat gun and then scrubbed it might go quicker. The idea was that the heat gun would loosen the shellac a bit.

I thought it was working at first but after finishing one of the long panels I wasn’t so sure. I think there may be a magical period of time to hold the heat gun on the shellac and a magical period of time that the shellac is loosened and it is easier to scrap off. Hitting it right on proved to be difficult. If the heat gun stayed on too long it seemed to bake the shellac on. If I waited too long to start scrubbing after I hit it the heat gun it didn’t seem to work too well either. It seemed like if I did a 6-inch square spot with the heat gun for just the right amount of time and then scrubbed quickly it worked ok. Getting all that right was not easy. Then there was also the issue of working with a heat gun and alcohol at the same time. I could have explosive results if I’m not careful. I decided to drop the whole idea and go back to just the alcohol, steel wool, and elbow grease on the panels. It worked.

Finished Product

The Messy Aftermath

The one on the left now has both sides scrapped. Notice how it is kind of dark just like the one on the right. The one on the right is the one I had problems with because of moister darkening the wood – or so I thought. I now think that both of these sides had the tinted shellac. The finish was in such bad shape I couldn’t tell at that point that it used to be tinted. If that is true then this last side I need to do should come out lighter and match the other door. Below is the last side to do. I think this one will go very quickly because the finish is in really bad shape. It does not look like tinted shellac either. Yippee!


Anonymous said...

My goodness, those are beautiful doors! I really enjoy seeing the fruits of your (copious) labors!


Becky said...

He he. Love the messy aftermath shot :)

Trissa said...

so much fun- the doors are looking great & the elbow grease is paying off! Nice work-