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Thank you for your input on the interior finishes. The above approach is too invasive in my opinion. What we are doing is to clean the shellac while retaining the original finish system. Then we add another coat of clear shellac. Our test results are beautiful.SDR wrote:I like that; it would have the effect of sealing the wood with soaked-in shellac, a hard substance, followed by dressing with a more fluid substance which would fill remaining pores and, with buffing, become a dirt-resisting topcoat.
My Danish woodworking master, Tage Frid, brought us another recipe, again for interior woodwork (i.e., furniture). In this case, oil is made to penetrate the wood; then, with a thicker coat, a surface is built up and polished:
Linseed oil, which is made from the seed of
the flax plant, is one of the oldest finishing
materials, and for many years was the most
commonly used. But even after lengthy dry-
ing, linseed oil never hardens through com-
pletely and, when used by itself, is not a
durable finish. For many years I have used a
three-step linseed-oil finish that is much
more durable than plain linseed. Allow 24
hours of drying time between each coat.
For the first coat, mix half pure raw linseed
oil and half pure turpentine. Put on a heavy
coat with a rag and allow it to soak into the
wood. (In between uses, I keep the rag in a
closed container with the linseed oil.)
The next day apply the second coat, using
pure boiled linseed oil. Leave it on for two to
three hours, then sand the surface with
some worn, fine sandpaper and wipe it clean.
On the third day apply the last coat. Mix half
boiled linseed oil and half japan drier. When
applying the finish, don't cover too large an
area at one time. For example, if finishing a
cabinet, first put the oil on one side, wait
about ten minutes, and apply it to the other
side. After ten minutes more, do the top. The
reason for allowing the time between is that
after a while the finish gets tacky â€” some-
times after twenty minutes and sometimes
after five hours, depending on the drying
conditions. When the finish gets tacky, you
have to work fast, because it will dry sud-
denly. If you haven't allowed the ten minutes
between areas, the finish on the last area will
dry before you have a chance to wipe it off.
When the finish gets tacky, use a piece of
burlap to rub the oil into the pores, going
across the grain. Then wipe the extra oil off
with a clean rag.
To prevent spontaneous combustion, put
used burlap and rags in an airtight container
or burn them.
On the fourth day, steel wool the surface and
wipe it clean with a rag. For a shinier surface,
sprinkle on some rottenstone and polish
with a piece of leather, going with the grain.
Rottenstone is one of the finest natural abra-
sives for polishing surfaces.
Â© 1979 by the Taunton Press, Inc
My question would be, what are you using to clean the shellac, assuming that at least some of the darkening has occurred within the top layer of old shellac ? Or are you finding only topical soiling ?
Alcohol is the solvent for conventional shellac, I believe. What other solvents could be used -- mineral spirits, presumably ? -- without disturbing the existing shellac coat(s) ? If any of the existing film is broken, a wet cleaning process might allow soils to migrate through the coat to the wood below ?
Is my meaning clear ?
Those could easily be handscrews -- wooden clamps with deep throats -- visible at the lower corner of the right end of the balcony, second photo.
Are there actually two c. 12" long boards on the face of that parapet ? Really, the kindest thing -- to the architect, if to no one else -- would be to replace the whole face. You won't flatten boards like those . . .
1. the smeared substance shielded the veneer wood either from UV, but more likely, from penetration of the shellac which can darken wood
2. it bleached the wood
3. it left a coating that itself has discolored
I can't imagine the finish carpenters would have knowingly left such obvious smears in such prominent places, which leads me to believe they were not visible in 1951. Unfortunately there are no 1950's pictures of the house's plywood and batten partitions...I'm led to wonder if they were significantly lighter.
We all appreciate the work that was done at Pope-Leighey, but I believe that their recommendation will drastically alter the appearance of the house. The bigger question is, what are you trying to preserve, and how will it appear when finished?
Photos of Pew and of Pope, taken at various stages, are further illustration of the issue. Having been reassembled twice, the Pope exterior looks especially stressed, perhaps, with beat-up edges and multiple fastener marks; the current finish doesn't make it more attractive, I think, with signs of darkening not consistently or completely removed. It will be interesting to see what it looks like in another five years; the only constant, here, is change.
Dan, glues or sealants that are allowed to remain and dry on unfinished wood, even if invisible when new, will affect how subsequent coats penetrate the wood and change its color, immediately or over time. A cabinetmaker knows that all glue squeeze-out, for instance, must be completely removed if the finishers are to have a hope of obtaining a consistent appearance to the work.
Consistent methods (can) produce consistent results, has been my operative advice. Correcting (trying to correct) the mistakes of others, after the fact, can be a thankless assignment !