Quarantine Journals – Refinishing a table (final)

And It’s Done!

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Quarantine Journals – Refinishing a Table (part 2)

Now that I have the garage cleaned out, it’s time to start working on the table! First, though, I had to take the table apart. It wasn’t that difficult – it only involved about 10 minutes lying on the floor trying to figure out how to take the top off. Then about 5 minutes with a manual screwdriver, before I figured that it would be much faster with power tools, so I got out the drill, popped a flat-head bit in, and 5 minutes later, the top of the table was off, and I carried both pieces out to the garage.

Table Top Start
Table top – before any sanding (sitting on saw horses)
Table Bottom Start
Table bottom before sanding

Time to start sanding! I plugged in the orbital sander (that’s what the orange cord is for), put on a dust mask*, turned on the sander, and started sanding. And quickly noticed that although I was making a fair amount of dust, I wasn’t doing much to get through the original stain on the wood. Turned off the sander, looked at the sanding pad – and realized that I was using a 180 grit sandpaper.

*Well, an improvised dust mask (aka bandana). Although I do have a few N95 masks that I bought several years ago (long enough that they may actually be expired) after an excursion into my crawl space left me wheezing for days, given the current situation, I figured it was probably better to save those.

With sandpaper, higher number = smaller pieces of grit. So a high grit sandpaper, like a 180, is really good for the finish sanding right before staining/painting, but not good for getting rid of old stain. So, I dug through the drawers of my work bench, and found that I didn’t have any low-grit sandpaper.

Time for a trip to a (surprisingly busy) Home Depot. I was able to find some 100 grit sandpaper. Once I got home, the 100 grit sandpaper worked much faster, and a few hours later, I was able to get the sanding done for both the top and bottom, and most of the old stain has been removed.

Bottom of the table after the rough sanding

Next up: Touch up sanding, hand sanding some of the detail spots (the groove on the posts, edges, and the drawer. Then I’ll switch back to the high grit sandpaper and do a final sanding, and clean everything to get it ready to stain.

Permanent link to this article: https://eric-abrams.net/2020/05/quarantine-journals-refinishing-a-table-part-2/

Quarantine Journals – Refinishing a Table (part 1)

So, normally I use this space to write trip reports for various trips (usually Disney-related) that I take. However, with COVID-19, I haven’t been able to travel lately. Instead, I’m going to chronicle the steps and progress towards refinishing a coffee table.

In our family room, we have a nice coffee table. It’s in pretty good condition, considering it’s over 30 years old. That being said, there’s a few scuffs and stains, and my wife and I have talked for a while about getting it refinished. Somehow, that discussion changed from “Let’s find a good furniture restoration company in the area” to “Eric, why don’t you try to do it yourself?” (I think this was after she had a conversation with one of her sisters about something that the sister was doing to their house.)

So, we decided that I’d try to handle the job myself.

First step? Clean up the garage. I had to do this in order to have enough free space to set up the sawhorses and put the table on them. It took most of an afternoon, but I was able to get pretty much everything off the floor, buy a new hose reel cart (the hose was one of the things on the floor), straighten the shelves, and also clear off some space on the workbench.

Here’s the finished result. Not too bad!

Garage after initial cleaning

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Farewell old content, I knew you well

Sadly, due to a snafu with my web host, I lost all the content that was on my site before.

At this point, I don’t think I’ll be re-writing everything, but if there was a picture you liked, let me know, and I can send you a copy of it.

Stay tuned for possible future trip reports.

Permanent link to this article: https://eric-abrams.net/2019/09/farewell-old-content-i-knew-you-well/