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.
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.
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.