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Restoring water spots on Redwood Coffee Table

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Forum topic by gdaveg posted 09-17-2020 09:18 PM 427 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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gdaveg

54 posts in 85 days


09-17-2020 09:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing question

I have a redwood burl coffee table that has some water spots on the surface. There are 3 fairly close together.
In the photos they are between the points of the square coasters. Second youngest grand daughter is the likely culprit.

The finish likely is an oil based finish with hardeners in it. This table was built by my dad somewhere between 1962 and 1964. He built a couple of rifles that he used Tung oil and boiled linseed oil on.

I will do some finish tests to really figure what is on it. On to the crux of the matter:

1. Do you guys/gals think I could just work the spots with steel wool with mineral oil (or appropriate solvent) to remove the spots?

OR:

2. Bite the bullet and sand entire table top and refinish?

This was purchased on the family move from Issaquah, Washington to the south in 1962 when we were passing through the redwoods. It had chain saw marks and a thick band of bark around it. Dad bought a cheap set of gouges from a tool liquidator company. My two sisters and I would sit around this and pick at the bark until we were about 1/2” from the real wood when dad would make us stop. And he would finish removing the bark, leaving the nubs.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA


7 replies so far

View metolius's profile

metolius

240 posts in 1613 days


#1 posted 09-18-2020 04:54 PM

Its a bummer to be faced with a problem like that without a way to experiment a solution. First try’s not always the right one.

If I had to work that, I would start with a card scraper
maybe follow that with feed-n-wax

.. YMMV

-- derek / oregon

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pottz

11708 posts in 1867 days


#2 posted 09-18-2020 08:03 PM

id just sand the top and give a fresh finish,no big deal.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3414 posts in 2681 days


#3 posted 09-18-2020 11:57 PM

That’s easy just put some more tung oil on it. Don’t expect it to look like new. Just even out the spots so they don’t stand out .
Consider yourself lucky to have a nice looking large redwood burl that didn’t split. Now let it age let show it’s age it will most likely out live all of us. And become more beautiful with age.
Good Luck

-- Aj

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gdaveg

54 posts in 85 days


#4 posted 09-19-2020 02:53 AM

For the past two years have been using Old English Lemmon oil on it that seems to make it fade away, but that dries out and the spots reappear. Maybe some tung oil will make the spots fade away longer.

Hadn’t thought about a card scraper, good idea though.

And always have the sand it down and refinish choice if that is not satisfactory to me.

When my parent’s health dictated them going to assisted living and my sister was trying to get the parents house ready to sell she asked if I wanted it. It didn’t fit with her decor. Hell what decor does a redwood burl table not go with. Told her I would make the 3 hour drive the next day.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA

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ChefHDAN

1772 posts in 3732 days


#5 posted 09-19-2020 11:37 AM

If you have not taken any steps yet, try the mayonnaise trick. before using any destructive measures on the finish. Yes, I said mayonnaise, I learned this decades ago from an uncle and in most cases it does work or lightens the defect to a point of such low visibility that once buffed out and re-waxing the piece you do not need to take any further measures.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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pottz

11708 posts in 1867 days


#6 posted 09-19-2020 09:26 PM

alright leave it to a chef to teach woodworkers new tricks.who ever thought of that.probably someone spilled some on a water stain and saw the ring was gone.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1772 posts in 3732 days


#7 posted 09-27-2020 09:47 AM



alright leave it to a chef to teach woodworkers new tricks.who ever thought of that.probably someone spilled some on a water stain and saw the ring was gone.
- pottz

Pottz, who knows, but the toughest thing is if the piece is too big a pain in the butt to move and you have to keep the dogs away from it because it can take a few hours. last time I used the trick it was for a small occasional table I got for free from the side of the road, applied the mayo, covered with plastic wrap, let sit for 24 hours, cleaned waxed and buffed the table, sold it for $40… makes me smile!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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