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Old 11-08-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
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if it was easy would not call it work


Just a little rant, I am in process of refinishing some custom made mahogany french entry doors.
They have 45, 5"x5" windows in them ... or a grid. Is one piece of dual pane glass in it.
There must be a better way, I used a power planer to remove 1/32" on the flat surface and can use my orbital sander to finish that.
Because the grid has grain going in both directions can not use the planer on them.
Thing is, 45 5" squares with 4 sides is 180 5" pieces to sand. 2 doors, 2 sides each is 720 5" pieces.
I just put 80 grit paper in a block sander and did them by hand.
After 2 days sanding, I got it done, dang is my hand sore!

I have them all down to bare wood, while sanding was trying to think of right tool for the job, was thinking of different sander I could run down and buy.
I just could not think of one that would be more powerful then my hands and just do it.

Tonight I remember, I have a small 4" porter cable vibrating sander in my shed that just might do the job, I have never used it yet.

Going to bring it with me tomorrow and try it out, am down to bare wood but need to use finer paper and smooth things out.

I bet others have story's to share.

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Old 11-08-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
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if it was easy would not call it work


Where you trying to strip a finish off with a planer? It will distroy the blades.
I use a Porta Cable 5" random orbital sander for 99% of my sanding.
I order Mirka brand sand paper on Amazon. Great stuff, hold up and does not load up like cheap paper does.
They even have 40 grit for ripping off those 50 layers of paint on old houses.

A palm sander only good for getting a fine finish.

If you check out CPO tools they had some factory reconditioned Porta Cables for about $25.00.


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Old 11-08-2012, 09:24 PM   #3
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if it was easy would not call it work


Blades are cheap compared to charging by the hour for labor.
It had some sort of varnish coating on it, lasted fer several years but when new the stain color looked like cherry.
Now exterior in full sun was just blond. Some areas varnish or clear coat was peeling and flaking off to bare wood.
Only way to get it is to bring it to bare wood, and a 5" orbital sander will not fit in the holes ... I Did not measure the holes, just know that I can get my 5" sander in the hole enough to get about 2" in the middle and still need to hand sand the rest.
Doors are 90" tall, not 80" or 96" to be normal.

Going to apply sikkens natural for new finish, will be the last time I need to sand it, just apply more as needed.

And mirka is good, of all places I used to get it from Harbor Freight tools ... I never buy a tool from them, but they did have good sand paper then they stopped carrying it.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:08 PM   #4
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if it was easy would not call it work


Are you going to seal it again?
If so check out Bristal Finish.
5 times the UV protecton of Min Wax Helmsman.
Drys really fast and self levels, high build up.
Used it for many years on high dollar boats.
Out in the direct sun and salt air even on hand rails I never saw it fail.
Not cheap.
Any boating supply should have it.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:47 PM   #5
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if it was easy would not call it work


I sealed it today with sikkens. I have used it a lot around here in the new mexico sun and love the way it holds up. People complain about the price at $85 a gallon.
But I have woodwork all over town that are repeat customers, go back several years later for another job and look at old work to see how it is holding up.
Seen some in direct sun light southern exposure, after 6 or 7 years, it is time to wipe on some more.

I went the cheap way a few years ago for convenience, sikkens was all the way across town, while lowes and cabott oil at $40 a gallon was lust up the street.
3 years later it looked like it had no oil at all.
Is last time I will use a cheap oil.
I will have to check out the product Bristal Finish.

Going to have to post a photo to show the sun and weather damage to the finish I just removed from the doors.
Right now is a perfect before and after picture, the jambs and exterior trim I have not touched yet. And the doors I just sanded looked like the jambs.
Just total night and day in the color and appearance of the wood.
A perfect example as to why not use this type of finish.
Part of the job is to install storm doors, since doors are odd size at 90" tall, have to be custom made and did order them.
I am not touching the jambs or trim until the storm doors are on site, in case I need to make modifications.
Maybe next week those doors will be ready and will take a photo before I change anything.
Will really be a perfect photo as an example for others that ask in this forum, of what stain and finish to use.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:27 PM   #6
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if it was easy would not call it work


Took a couple pics today, is good example why not to use varnish and clear coats outside.
The trim is also mahogany and am sure it looked beautiful when first applied.
After a few years of sun it is now yuck!
The doors looked exactly like the trim before 2 days of sanding.
They only have 1 coat of oil on them and need a second coat, but in the future will be easy to maintain and not need to sand, just clean and wipe on more oil.
I need to remove the trim to replace the rot on the jamb extension under the top header trim.
i may just replace the trim with new at that point.
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