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Thread: finishing a treadle machine

  1. #1
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    finishing a treadle machine

    Last year I bought a treadle sewing machine and my hubby took it all apart and sanded down the exterior and they he got very sick and today he is not strong enough to do anything and I am wondering what kind of finish should I put on it. I thought polyurethaine spray so it will get down in all the very ornate pieces of wood. I know I can do it but what are your suggestions.

  2. #2
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    My husband redid my old machine I've had for 50 years BRUSHED with polyurethane, several coats.

  3. #3
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    My DH finished my treadle cabinet with just Tung Oil, and it came out beautiful! It's no chemicals like poly, and makes the wood just glow!! I like it a lot! Easy to apply with a brush or a wad of cheese cloth or a sponge. Super Easy!!

  4. #4
    Super Member mary quilting's Avatar
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    This would be the way I would do it It would look more original
    Quote Originally Posted by jljack View Post
    My DH finished my treadle cabinet with just Tung Oil, and it came out beautiful! It's no chemicals like poly, and makes the wood just glow!! I like it a lot! Easy to apply with a brush or a wad of cheese cloth or a sponge. Super Easy!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
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    I like using shellac. It's not super durable like polyurethane or an oil-based varnish, but I find it easy to work with and "refresh" spots if needed. I like to thin it out a bit with denatured alcohol and wipe it on with lint-free cotton rags. It dries quickly and after many thin coats "melt" together, it is a pretty finish.
    I have a screw driver and YouTube--I can fix it!

  6. #6
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    I like using shellac. It's not super durable like polyurethane or an oil-based varnish, but I find it easy to work with and "refresh" spots if needed. I like to thin it out a bit with denatured alcohol and wipe it on with lint-free cotton rags. It dries quickly and after many thin coats "melt" together, it is a pretty finish.
    Ditto. According to Glenn, it's also authentic to the time period of these old girls. It reallly gives a "deep" finished look...and it's easy to work with.
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
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    I used shellac on my straight leg treadle cabinet, and I was surprised how shiny it was! My experience with shellac previous to that had been with a couple of mission oak library tables my mother refinished. She "rubbed" the final coat with paste wax on some extra fine steel wool and then buffed it--those tables have a beautiful satin sheen and are as smooth as anything I've felt.
    I have a screw driver and YouTube--I can fix it!

  8. #8
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Dianna, Please use shellac it is food safe when cured and easy to work. You can rag it on or brush. PM me if you need instructions Skip
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  9. #9
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    I agree with the no poly chemical thing. Just the shellac.
    Last edited by ube quilting; 06-11-2012 at 04:38 PM.
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone for the choices I think I will go with shellac

  11. #11
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Dianna, I posted 3 of Skip's (Glenn's) tutorials on my blog....the link is in my signature. He's absolutely awesome about helping out via PM or emails too! (One of my heroes!)
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  12. #12
    Super Member jeaninmaine's Avatar
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    I'm going to have to try the shellac. I have a treadle that desperately needs refinishing.

  13. #13
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    Ladys I would suggest you read this before buying anything.

    http://www.finewoodworking.com/pages/w00060.asp

    He does a good job explaining the different product for the final finish.

    I have a life time refinishing antique wood item's and will NOT use shellac. It's a base coat, not intened as a top coating ( finish) it need a coat of varnish or lacquer over the top of it .....

    why would you replace a finish that failed with the same product ?

    Look at any piece of furniture made over 30 yrs ago, coffe cup rings and starting to flake off or lift giving a rough to touch feel..

    Those of you that have a home built say in the last 15/20 yrs and have wood cabinets, look at those, that finish is lacquer.

    on mine Iuse a product called chemguard II made by chemcraft, check out there web site, chemguard II is a semi Catalyzed lacquer, giving an option to add more catalyst if wanted

    you will go to a store and find varnish ect priced at 8 $ or so a quart, but lacquer will be 20 $ aquart, there is a reason for this. we buy this by the 5 gal butcket @ $480. My and I have used this for well over 10 yrs now with no failures, this has been building cabinet for these new mini mansion's during the housing boom.

    after you read that the link above on shellac , you will find it is no safer than any other product out there, you can get shellac flake, but you will add the chemcails to that so that you can use it...those chem's are not going to leave once dry, if they did the shellac will fall off.

    This lacquer is spendy but worth every penny, on a above 60 degree day , sprayed or bushed it will dry in about 15 minutes, so it can be recoated, in maybe 30 minutes it can be sanded smooth, then fine ( wet sanding ) sanded and ready to go.

    these picture are of my cabinet , I bought it looking about as shown 20 yrs ago, for the last 5/6 month I have done nothing but restore treadles, so it was time to redo the top of this one, I sent a total of 5 1/2 hrs.

    I use a utily knife blade/ razor knife to scrap off the old finish, it's faster than sanding and leave a nice smooth finish, then hand sand with the gain.. one brush coat, then another coat. I brush to get the thickness, spraying is to thin and I was in a hurry...again it dry's in minutes..

    not saying this cabinet is good, but it's now smooth it cures as hard as a rock overnight , I have no problem laying my tools on these cabinets when doing the work on the heads,,, you would die, if you saw my ol hammer and screw driver laying on one LOL.. only thing I know that is harder is fiberglass resien thats another story..

    before kind of



    after.. it was evening so there are a bit dark, remember this took one afternoon and will out last me and my kid, The whitish on top is sanding dust



    Last edited by xxxxxxxxxx; 06-12-2012 at 01:25 PM.

  14. #14
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    This is the same cabinet it's necchi who know's what they use for a finish, I just hop is not from those jo jo cats, they use for making coffee

    here I did nothing more than scrape off the top coat, leaving the under coat, not sure what you can see here, most all furiture is done in coats using a different product as a top coating... at the time, now we have a little more advance products than 40 to 50 yrs ago... this area was no where near as bad as the top, but still flaking away or lifting, to the touch it felt much sand paper, so top coat removed, color sanded ( wet sanding ) and it's as good as the top .

    this is sanded with 800 grit wet/ dry paper ( black paper) that takes it to a stain look, if you want a hi gloss, go to a 1200 then 2000 grit paper, which you can find at a auto paint store, most building supply's only carry 600 to 800



    Last edited by xxxxxxxxxx; 06-12-2012 at 01:28 PM.

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