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Veteran Advisor
Allen Worsham
Posts: 1,092
Registered: ‎10-22-2009
0

Any tips for finishing reclaimed Doug Fir?

My wife has me making her a new headboard for our bedroom as well as a barn type sliding door going from our bedroom to the bath as it is just an open passthrough currently. She found a headboard online made from an old door and liked the idea, but trying to find an old solid wood door was very difficult, so I decided to make one. She also liked he idea of using old wood, so we went out to a recycled lumber place and picked up some reclaimed Douglas Fir that came out of a building that was constructed in the 1800's. It has a lot of character as well as spliters so it will require some careful sanding so that I don't injure myself as well as keeping the patina. Here is a cellphone photo in my garage. 

 

downsized_0615121036a.jpg 

 

I want to keep the original colors and I don't want to put on stain or use a  film finish on it like Poly or Endurovar so I was chewing on an oil and wax finish but I have never done that. So what would you suggest?

Allen Worsham, Corona, CA

allenworsham@gmail.com





"Graze in every man's field, but always give your own milk."

J.V. McGee
Honored Advisor
ynoT
Posts: 10,833
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
0

Re: Any tips for finishing reclaimed Doug Fir?

If it were me, Allen, I'd go with BLO, shellac, and clear top coat.

 

Nice looking woood.

 

Tony

"Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you."
Esteemed Advisor
smallpatch1
Posts: 2,828
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
0

Re: Any tips for finishing reclaimed Doug Fir?

Allen you guys are really getting after the by gone era.  I guess you all are younger than my wife and I for we had to live in what you all are trying to recreate........

 

Growing up we had hard wood floors,,,, You could see light between some of the cracks...You didn't dare go without your shoes in the house cause you would ram a splinter plum through your foot...... Dad told me the cracks was for air circulation. Some of the north walls had cardboard as a protector from the cold winter winds.No need to try and put that pretty wall paper up to hide anything cause the wind coming through some of the cracks would make the wallpaper come down.... Matter of fact every piece of furniture we had look like that wood you have in your picture. Were we proud of our furniture, hell no but it was all we had and couldn't afford anything the people on the other side of the tracks had,,,,,actually everyone in our town had the same kind of house and furniture and I don't remember any tracks anywhere!!!!!

 

I would suggest if you really want to have things like yesteryear you should take out the running water in your house and buy a # 2 wash tub and once a week take a bath in front of the coal oil stove your little lady will be cooking the meals on. She does; know how to cook corn meal gravy??? Don't she???

 

Now if you really want to go back in time do away with the electricity.. You will start going to bed right before dark if that's a good thing cause the coal oil lamps didn't give off enough light to see to do anything.

 

Summer time made it hard to go to sleep before midnight cause we didn't even have a fan to circulate the air.

 

Oh yea, you are bringing back some memories but they are the ones I prefer not to re-live with again.....

 

Patina,,,,  aw   thats a new word no one  ever heard of growing up. Funny how times have changed.

 

I think when you guys get  your house undated you aught to put some turn stiles at your front door and charge entry fees like Knox Berry Farm..                 Patina,,,,,,, Ha

Honored Advisor
Steve Mickley
Posts: 1,567
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
0

You may want to rethink your minimalist approach …

Allen;

 

An “old door” made from wood that was at least surfaced (hand planning qualifies as surfacing), if not finished is a far cry from gathering up some reclaimed material that may only have seen duty as sheathing.  I applaud your plan to use the reclaimed lumber for its character and patina.  In our home we have a number of primitive pieces that my bride and I both treasure.  But, the wood is surfaced (hand planed) and appropriately finished.  The boards in your photo, prepared only with “carful sanding” are likely to become dirt magnets, clothing snagers and, worst of all, hair grabbers while leaning against the head board while reading in bed.  

 

In your post you say that you “… want to keep the original colors and I don't want to put on stain or use a film finish on it like Poly or Endurovar …”

 

On that we agree, at least in part.  The last thing I would do with reclaimed lumber equipped, as it were, with its own built-in color and patina is to apply stain; especially a heavy gel stain that would obliterate subtle grain and figure.  I would also avoid polyoneverythane like the plague and a blue-gray imparting water-borne acrylic, however labeled would be out of the question.

 

But “oil” as an alternative is virtually guaranteed to produce a blotchy light and dark surface (mostly dark) because of the irregular absorption properties of the old wood.  Further, I have no idea how you will apply and buff out wax on a rough surface prepared only by carful sanding.

 

What would I suggest?  Surface at least the exposed face of the boards.  If you don’t want to use a planer that’s fine, just tune and sharpen that old hand plane that has been sitting in a drawer.  Follow the planning with a properly tuned cabinet scraper; no sand paper necessary.  Follow the surfacing with a coat of shellac to seal the old wood that is almost certainly, by virtue of its age and former use, a mass of irregular density and absorbency (hence the likelihood of oil blotching).  The shellac will seal the surface so the finish to follow won’t penetrate deeply in some areas and not at all in others.  Finally, follow the shellac with a dull sheen varnish, thinned and wiped on.  You will lose none of the “patina” and you will have created a finished surface that will be easy to keep clean … and you won’t be pulling your hair out (literally) every time you lean back on the headboard … 

 

 Steve

Finishing & Refinishing Forum Host
Veteran Advisor
Allen Worsham
Posts: 1,092
Registered: ‎10-22-2009
0

Re: You may want to rethink your minimalist approach …

Here is a photo of the headboard. The sliding door will be similar in design. Once I got things cut to size, I ran eveything through the planer on the back side to even up the thickness. I did a few tests and found that it was best to do the sanding by hand using a ROS along with sandpaper and sanding sponges to deal with the edges and for sanding the dents and holes. If I ran the wood through the planer or drum sander it took the texture down too far and my wife wanted to have the texture.

 

DSC_4245.JPG

 

I will also be putting a small shelf  nad some crown on top as well as adding in 2 sconces for lighting which are on order from Amazon. When completed it will be hung on the wall using cleats. My wife loves the color and texture and is very happy which makes me happy. I had not thought about the oil absorbing differently so thanks for the reminder. I will go with the shellac and then a thinned wiped on varnish. Thanks for the advice.

Allen Worsham, Corona, CA

allenworsham@gmail.com





"Graze in every man's field, but always give your own milk."

J.V. McGee
Apprentice Visitor
shariyamartin
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-10-2013
0

Re: You may want to rethink your minimalist approach …

I think wood recycling is good in any form in which it is done.Some tips given here are very nice,I loved them and I wouls like to apply them.

 

Retaining wall

 

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