Sunday, 23 March 2014

Pine Desk Refurbishment

I was mooching about  at our local Joseph weld here in Weymouth, just looking really.  I suppose wasting time while we were waiting to go elsewhere.

I spotted this old pine computer desk,  I had been pondering of either, waiting till we move before getting one or, making one when I have the new workshop setup but that will be sometime from  now, and could really do with it now. I know I could easily make one but,  as the workshop is in the process of being shut down  it aint possible, to many tools already packed away, and anyway I cant buy the timber for the price I paid for it, not only that the money goes to a really good charity. After  some friendly bartering , I now have a slightly  battered, damaged to the fold down false drawer sliding shelf  hanging off t, plus a lovely water stained desk top , pity  I didn't take a photo of it fully assembled first.

First the two grubby base cabinets, inside and out, not to bad inside but, outside the woodworking finish leaves something to be desired.

I took it all straight to the workshop mainly to try and get the water stain out of the top which to my surprise I did just that (you'll see later. I must admit primarily it took some doing. I tried sanding it, I ran straight into my first problem the pine stain finish was all waxy, I don't know if its had a second coating over the years  or, if its had furniture polish worked into it over a period of time, trying to sand it off all it did was choke up the sandpaper like it was going out of fashion, so out with the the hand scrappers, phew,that made me puff, its been a long time since a scrapped a top right back to bare pine.

As seen above choked sandpaper, the scraped top and I,m getting ready to resharpen the scrapers both Stanley s first I used the No 112 for the heavy scraping and then down to the No 80 for the finer work and then in places a hand scraper. it had a very light sanding now the stain has been removed, I still need to go finer.

After a closer examination of the bottom door moldings  and panel molding plus the drawer front joinery  which  I stated left something to be desired, I have decided  that after scrapping all the moldings  around the desk  top I need to speed things up a bit  I'm going to spray paint the entire desk with the exception of the top  which will be re-stained as original and the lower section sprayed probable a stone color  to help cover up the, lets say poor joinery.

Anyway to help clean it rather than scrapping , I,m using white spirits and scouring  pads surprise just how clean it comes up  and  it appears a lot of the waxy  feel to the wood has gone as well  drawers are now drying I,m going to try again to sand them tomorrow let you know how it goes.

End grains all furry and needs cleaning and sanding, top two cleaned with white spirits and a scouring pad (still wet), bottom  drawer still to be done, last photo all three done  top two (still wet), bottom drawer done  the previous day. There now dry and ready for sanding.

Before we start sanding lets change the pad on the palm sander to a new  clean new one, end grain  of drawer front now sanded and smooth as it should have been in the first place, three drawers sanded and  placed back in there places to prevent any possible damage, sanding pad after I had finished showing very little residue left on the paper, well pleased with that, shows the white spirits and  scouring pads  worked well, its certainly saved a lot of heavy scraping.

On to the doors and more moldings, these are going to be fiddly, all done the same as the rest with white spirits and Brillo pads, to get right into the corners I used my sharp marking knife to scrape out the corners then another small wash and wipe down with white spirits and disposable paper kitchen towels. All ready for sanding now, still drying, the backs were done with exactly the same routine.

Showing the difference between panels cleaned and still to be cleaned, plus both doors now done and drying awaiting sanding later tomorrow maybe.  Today the big scrub down of the base pedestals  still the same  method being used white spirits and Brillo pads. I started with the two  internal shelf's from the left hand pedestal  then onto the sliding key board shelf and final the  pedestal itself, I am well chuffed with the results I'm getting as well.

First photo  shelf's drying next  you just see my hand print on the shelf as its half cleaned and last the cleaned base unit. Tomorrow I,m going to give the base unit a second going at.

Fingers and knuckles  getting a bit stiff now so lets give the cleaning a break for now, I'll sand up the doors which I cleaned off yesterday.

These doors have cleaned up really well   and have now been sanded as seen  done with my palm sander,  and are complete.   When I have the other pedestal all cleaned and sanded in a few days time that will then complete the cleaning down  with spirits and Brillo pads, leaving only a final hand sanding all over. But first a trip out  to fetch more sanding pads and  some very fine  sand paper 240 grit.


In the last photo it shows some damage to the inside edge of the pedestal, probable done with someones trouser leg scuffing along the edge over a period of time. Rather than splice a Piece into the edge I,m going to rum a stopped molding down that edge and another one down the opposite pedestal to match it. I'll show this a little later.

Only a short day today   A before and after photo, One base pedestal machine sanded and had sanded as well with 180 grit paper smooth, plus both shelves  from the opposite base pedestal  and the sliding key board shelve all sanded and finished. It's beginning to come together now, I'll  soon have to  decide  if it's going to  be painted or  a re- stain.

I have now finished cleaning the the other base cabinet today, thank goodness all the cleaning down is now finished,   with the remaining time today I made a start on  hand sanding the top section,  I got it to a stage today  that has left a few imperfection in its top a few dings and some rough grain here and there nothing serious,  to be sorted tomorrow.

I've placed pencils on the top to show where the small imperfection are, Hopefully they will all be sorted tomorrow then all the cleaning and sanding will be complete.

I had to fit  two new backs into the base pedestals, Originally when this desk was first made there were backs to it  but somewhere along it's journey they have disappeared. I also fitted a new keyboard  shelf  the  Original all  bowed and buckled as you see in one of these photos.  The two backs and keyboard shelf + the shelf that I fitted for the mouse shelf fitted into the top of the right hand drawer are all from a half sheet of 15mm  birch faces ply I had left over from another job.  Before fitting the backs and shelf's I pre-drilled  the hole for electric cables and finger hole to the mouse shelf. I have also rebated two molding down both front inner edge to both pedestal to  remove those damaged edge I shown you

I don't like flush styles brass hinges that are just screwed flush to the surface with no adjustment on setting the gap down the edge of the doors, I popped into B/Q early yesterday morning and bought 2 pairs of 50mm brass hinges supplied with brass screws, ha ha. what a joke they are.

As seen below , as soon as I opened the packets I knew these doors would be hing bound (meaning that when you try and close the door it will spring back at you because when the hinges are closed the screws that were supplied with the the heads are to big for the counter sink in the flap of the hinges and come in contact with the opposite screw head the flaps need re-drilling to suite the screw heads so the heads sink in to the hinge flush.) I decided to fit them anyway just to show what i mean.

The photo on the right the cent-re hole has been re-counter sunk to suite the screw head. Both doors have been rehung using the new hinges, both internal shelves have been fitted in new position. The left pedestal had two shelves originally but I intend to place my printer in that side, I removed one shelf and lowered the other one to suite, the now spare shelf is now fitted in the right hand pedestal.

This now leaves the fold down drawer front as seen in the photo, laying on the desk top. I have to make a new front for it as it has a bad twist in its length to much to attempt to plane it out.

Top shelf in the right hand pedestal No prizes for guessing at what's going on it, and more than possible under it as well.

It's now all rebuilt and finished ready for the finish,I'm still not sure to either paint it or get some antique polish for it hmm.

Some of you who read the original posting here may find some changes from here onward ,unfortunately this post decided to go walk about and disappeared for nearly a week totaly vanished.

Luckily some very clever people located it for me, I managed to restore it here, but, unfortunately the last few paragraph and photo s were missing so I have had to rewrite it from here on  my apologizes to you all.

Well here we go again, I decided to paint it in the end I used  acrylic emulsion  its not white its stone colored  three coats, it look great.

I only painted the base units and drawer unit section. The top I decided to stain  and polish ,no varnish, the stain was  an antique pine two coats  just wiped off with a rag, then two coats of sanding sealer followed by two coats of pal polish from Mylands.  Just to add that bit extra I decided to stain and polish all the knobs to match the top I felt it gave that bit more to the finished styling to the desk.

I loved the polished finish but  need must,  the top soon disappears under the  all the other bits and pieces still to be added to the desk top.

 Here it is now finally finished. I hope you  enjoyed this post, feel free the leave any comments you like.

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