Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/new oak table

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Question
We just bought a very expensive oak table from stickley. A repair man from the sotre come out to remove a scratch on the table.  He uses a very fine steel wool to remove it.  However now in certain light we have noticed a cloudy finish on the half that he used the wool on.  if you look closely there are also very fine scratches.  He came out again to look at it and reported to the store that there was nothing wrong with the table top.  we had asked to have it refinished but now the store won't touch it.  Any suggestions?  the half that he used the steel wool on now looks like the finish is flat and cloudy rather than the original satin finish.  Thanks

Answer
Hi Colleen, whatever is done to one half the table top needs to be done to the other as well so they match...especially in a situation where there is a lot of inherent light across the surface. Dining tables are a real challenge to do because of the vast expanse of surface area exposed to light, everything shows. Steel wool will flatten the finish,and scratch it, especially if used dry, and it is doubtful he will be able to get it to look like it did when you got it with that technique. Very often these surfaces are "off the gun", meaning no rubbing or buffing was done after shooting the final coat of finish, and that is among the hardest to mimic, because it doesn't show any swirls, scratches, etc. He could polish the top with a rubbing compound to remove the fine scratches, but that would likely end up too glossy....so it is a conundrum....but they ought to see the problem through until you, the customer, are satisfied.I would bug them again, escalate the issue to management until you are satisfied...keep me posted..there's no way he can't see the difference between the two surfaces....regards- Greg

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Greg Scholl

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Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects, Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings, wood species recognition and usage,tool recommendations, blade types and recommendation,techniques and methods for many Woodworking related issues, etc.

Experience

Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.) Sold, built, serviced, setup Home, Industrial, and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools , provided knowledge, parts replacement, service, and on site service, Trade show Demo, and training as well.

Publications
Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002) ...("27 year compilation of expert know-how")

Education/Credentials
Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars from major Tool manufacturers, Skil/Bosch, Delta, Powermatic, Ritter, Porter cable, Milwaukee, Dewalt/B&Decker, Performax.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT. (the Antiques capital of CT.), Golden Age of Trucking Museum,Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies. For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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