Refinishing a Walnut base - Router Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Default Refinishing a Walnut base

I don't do much of this but I was asked to take this Walnut base, made in the 40's and an heirloom from BAFB, and freshen up the finish to make it closer to the original Walnut color. It had faded quite a bit from sun and room light. They asked me to strip it but I refused because of the mess involved and I truly don't want to be doing any stripping. Besides, there was no way I could guarantee the safety of the precious original medallions because they can't be removed. Those that were removable have been added through the years but the original ones were firmly glued in place. We discussed using heat but some of the medallions looked like heat would be detrimental to their already delicate condition.

So I masked everything off, dry sanded it with 220, cleaned with Naphtha, and then dusted one light coat of Nitrocellulose sanding sealer. I gave that an hour and then lightly scuffed it with 220 again to make certain it bonded ok. Once I knew that worked then I shot one wet coat of sealer and sanded it again. Then one light coat of gloss lacquer followed by toning with Mohawk Perfect Brown Ultra Penetrating Stain. When the color looked right I followed that with one coat of gloss followed by sanding a few hours later. After that I shot a final wet coat of gloss and let it set overnight.

I think it came out nice and they really liked it when they picked it up today. I'll try to get a photo with all the medallions in place before it goes back to Barksdale.

Before -
Refinishing a Walnut base-001-before.jpg

Masking off -
Refinishing a Walnut base-002-masking-off.jpg

After -
Refinishing a Walnut base-003-after.jpg

Refinishing a Walnut base-004-after.jpg

Enjoy!
David
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 03:11 PM
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you are a braver man than I! that is an impressive bit of history.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, glad it came out nice, Doug.

I just realized that I said I used Perfect Brown but what I actually used is Van Dyke Brown (slightly more red than Perfect Brown).

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 12:16 AM
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I have to ask....
what is it? and whats it used for?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 07:59 AM
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Working on something of that age and history would be scary. Nice job, David, the finish looks much richer.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 09:39 AM
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Davis,

This really looks great. I work mainly with Walnut, but have always used a wipe on urethane I get from Rockler. I got a new project and may try the stain first.

Frank

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 09:41 AM
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David I would have used Danish Oil but the way you did it makes it look way better. Just shows the difference between someone that knows what they are doing and me who knows very little.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnybob View Post
I have to ask....
what is it? and what's it used for?
Bob, all I know is that a General wanted it freshened up and made to look new again. The plates have names of Colonels and Generals through the years with their particular bomb, fighter, or missile wing and some of the older emblems are of an entire squadron. I don't know the criteria for being honored with your name on this award base.

I believe this is located in headquarters in a highly visible spot for all to see. You can see in the photos there are holes where something else mounts on the top and I can only assume that is some trophy or plaque that didn't need refinishing, maybe all metal.

They just told me it is a prestigious award and a base heirloom and not to mess it up...

David

Emblem close-up
Refinishing a Walnut base-005-emblem-close-up.jpg
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 01:28 PM
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Really looks nice with the fresh stain and finish and I'm sure you will be glad when it is delivered. I know when we had things in our shop like this we worried that we would knock it over and destroy it or mess up an irreplaceable item on it.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-11-2017, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Today I saw the assembled piece with all awards mounted so here's a photo of that (the lighting is a little different than my shop but it still looks nice).

Refinishing a Walnut base-006-completely-assembled.jpg

David
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