Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pièce de résistance

I think I'm maturing with age. You should all be very proud of me for not using the blog title, “I got wood today!”. Proud or not, I really did get wood today! Mad River Woodworks finished making the missing parts for the stairs so I zoomed out to Blue Lake on lunch today and picked up my booty. We'll call it a Blue Lake Booty Call.

Damn! It just dawned on me that I have missed several opportunities for sexually implied stripping metaphors over the past few weeks while I've been stripping shellack off stairs. Oh well, it's not too late. I think I'll strip as soon as I'm finished with this blog entry. By that, of course, I'm mean I will be taking my clothes off instead of stripping shellack off the stairs.

Aaaaanyway, back to the story of how I got wood....

I had the 2 lower newel post caps reproduced and 20 of the missing finials that go in the circular cut-outs on the balusters. The post caps where badly damaged and the finials were missing. People must have thought they were souvenirs, or something. Fortunately they did leave a few, so I knew what was supposed to be there.

I raced home after work with plans to oil them up and nail them in place, but there are issues. After applying oil to some of the pieces I found that the color does not quite match between new and old wood. Only the two post caps and 3 of the finials in the picture below have had oil applied.

The post caps are the worst. I will need to stain them. I have more of the exact wood that those were made from, so I can do some testing. The finials are actually a closer match, but they are still a little dark. I was planning on applying another lite coat of oil after I'm finished stripping the shellac and I think the color will even out then. You can see that I applied a light coat of oil to the lower, right-hand circular cut-out and it looks better.

Next up, more of the strip show.


Joosmeister said...


Your stripping tips are fantastic for stained wood. I wanted to throw out some alternatives... I've had to strip a lot of items too.

The best chemical stripper I've used is Citri-Strip. You leave it on for a longer period, and you can wrap the object in saran wrap to keep it moist. It smells a lot better, and is a lot milder than the strippers that'll burn your hands. Like all strippers, you have to scrub with mineral spirits to get the reside off, and then soapy water or murphy's oil soap to scrub the final goo away. Works great.

I was buying so much Citri-Strip that I finally got the "Silent Paint Remover" - it's basically like a safer heat gun. I would not use it on stained wood because it can burn... but for stripping painted doors and home exteriors it's a fantastic product - no goo, cleaning, scrubbing... you just heat the paint and off comes 6 layers!

Greg said...

I have heard a lot of good things about Citri-Strip. The next time I'm going to strip paint off wood I would try this product.

I do have to disagree with your one sentence...

"Like all strippers, you have to scrub with mineral spirits to get the reside off, and then soapy water or murphy's oil soap to scrub the final goo away"

You do not need to do this when stripping shellac off wood when you use a methyl chloride stripper. As soon as the stripper comes off the wood is ready for oil. Maybe a light sanding with 120 before the oil.

If used correctly, there will not be any residue. In fact, you should avoid using water on the wood because it will raise the grain.