Hi, Don and i have been having more fun with our hobby. We enjoy
refinishing furniture. When we have too much, we freecyle it. We generally
are working on 'good bones' solid wood pieces. Its sanding the odd round
bit or the detail work that has me looking at the dremmel models.
If any have experience with them, could use some on which model to get. I
do not need the heavy duty professional level stuff.
I have refinished a lot of antique furniture, not highly valuable, but I
would never sand it. Don't believe I ever have sanded antiques. I also
own a Dremel and have used it for lots of hobby and odd household work -
fixing rust on my old Buick and regrouting ceramic tile in our shower.
My battery operated Dremel has variable speed, which is very handy.
When I refinish furniture with grooves or carving, I scrub the paint
remover into the fine spots with whatever tool works. I slop it on
thickly first, let it work, then scrub it around - toothbrush on fine
detail, fine steel wool on flat surfaces. Dig with toothpicks or wood
skewers to get the gunk out of grooves and carvings - paint remover
softens wood, so I don't like to use anything harder. Unless there are
many coats of paint, I usually get the finish off with three
applications - one will get most varnish off, but a couple more get to
the last remnants of finish and most stain. I clean it all off with
rags, paper towels and finally, fine steel wool. Scrub with steel wool
and mineral spirits to get the stripper out. Let dry. The scrubbing
with steel wool has the effect of sanding, as far as removing fuzzies,
but I would hesitate to sand part of a piece of furniture for fear of
ruining the patina.
I have a Dremmel and I refinish furniture, but don't use a Dremmel to
do it. I sometimes mount a spindle on my lathe to strip off the old
finish. The abrasive rope (sold in woodworking shops) works well
getting into crevices. Power tools can quickly damage furniture
unless you are always careful.
I know little about antiques except the more they are screwed with the
less they are worth (gleaned from the Antiques road show).
Dremmels, though I have some experience with. For versatility try to
get a variable speed with a flex shaft, get a selection of collets,
get a big package of off brand tools for it cheap, so you can
experiment & see what works for you, then you can try to find a
quality version of the bits you use a lot. I still use most of the
cheap set, & never found anything I needed the best of except the cut-
I have a Foredom, which was a gift, and I dearly love it. Of course, I went
crazy and bought about $300 worth of bits for it. Then I got a $14.98 7,000
piece Chinese plastic case with tons of stuff in it. Guess which ones I use
the most................. Using an handpiece is tricky to say the least.
You can't beat them for some things, and for other types of work, they are
perhaps the oscillating sanders like the Fein Multimaster or it's Harbor
Freight "equivalent" would be better. Ryobi and others make similar
products,too.They're good for the detail sanding,all sorts of crevice
A Dremel can take off a LOT of wood or finish before you realize it.
Also,I've read the Dremel quality has dropped.
My old model 270 fixed speed Dremel is still running fine.
I agree with norminn completely. I've done restoration work for many years
and always use the least destructive procedures possible. One note: 'Fine'
meaning use #0000 (four-ought) steel wool, the finest generally available.
I will also look at the other tools out there. One minor confusion, this
isnt for 'antiques', but regular stuff. Generally mistreated bits that are
20 years old or near it. Confusion probably because I've mentioned I also
work on antiques but they are a whole nuther ballgame in how we do it!
Ryobi sounds like a possible path for our simple needs.
I used to help Don with the sanding for our hobby but we are both getting
older (VA just officially said I'm 50% disability). Nothing wrong with a
few simple tools suitable to keep enjoying a hobby!
Last project is kinda funny! Cheap ass pressboard 3 drawer dresser. The
kind you used to get at Kmart for 15$ in 1990. We used it to teach our 15YO
daughter how to paint furniture after proper stripping down and
undercoating. It's actually pretty cute in the garage in it's new cherry
It will go eventually maybe to a family that needs it, but might keep it as
one of her projects ;-) She learned staining but that was her first time
painting one alone.
There are some good things to this economy. One is that people are selling
GOOD tools for GOOD prices. If one does have a lot of disposable income,
they can go out and buy really spendy stuff, but for a garage operator on a
budget, one can still enjoy quality equipment and not spend an arm and a
leg. There are lots of GOOD tools that aren't really expensive, as Ryobi
stuff. If you're not going to use it 8 hours a day 5 days a week, one can
get their money's worth out of it. And if one gets it at a yard sale for
cheap, so much the better. For all the rest of the "stuff", yard sales,
Harbor Freight, the Borg, and wherever will soon get you a nice setup that
will put out nice work.
I've always said it isn't the tools, it's the workman. Fifty and a hunnert
years ago, craftsmen cranked out some pretty nice stuff with what we
wouldn't consider using today. Spend all day on one newel or post when
today, we'd do it on a wood lathe in ten minutes. Same for planing and
sanding. A good craftsman can do good work with what he has to work with.
Others have thousands of dollars of stuff, and still don't grasp plumb and
My two cents, anyway.
Have fun. I'm disabled and retired, but still manage to work my butt off.
Need to go fishing more. Yeah, right. Just as soon as I redo the woodwork
on the boat. And the upholstery. And the carpet. It never ends and
there's never enough time.
Yup! I don't have a huge expendable income, but I'm not complaining. I use
it wisely and support local businesses when I can.
Absolutely! Don and i have done some really pretty pieces over time, out of
other folks botched 'attempted to fix the stain etc' sorts of things. One
we just got, a lovely little piece. Sort of a combination short credenza
and hall wall table sort of thing. Good bones underneath the truely ugly
orangy antiquing job on black walnut stain someone had tried. Got it for
10$ at a yardsale. It turned out to be solid cherry. Potentially a true
antique, the stain job was so bad there was no way to recover without
completely sanding down to bare wood.
Now that we have it stripped totally (some had to be done by hand, no tool
would be suitable this time due to the looks of the item and it's
construction), I'm going to google a bit for the *right* products to get to
finish this one off.
Yup. Seen that plenty a time.
Grin, I hear ya. I'm still working full time but Don's truely retired now.
Hi Folks! An update.
Don found a sweet little 4.8v hand held unit, cordless rechargable. Dremmel
Model 754. Came with an extensive attachment kit (looks like about 50 pieces
in there). Dunno exactly what he paid but he said it wasnt bad.
This isnt a heavy duty tool, but we needed one like this for tons of small
lightweight jobs on relatively delicate woods where the bigger units would
chew things up. Like, my 100 year old shadowbox kitchen from germany (has a
kitchen inside, parts built at angle so the depth is neat to see). I can
use this to carve a new chair since one of them subsided pretty much beyond
repair. Once I get the chair right, I can put it in place.
We will still be looking at the Ryobi's as well as we also have a need for a
fairly heavy duty tool to strip rust off a fair amount of metal tools and
fishing equipment. They got damaged while in storage for 7 years.
Ok, lets face it. I wanted an excuse to get some new toys ;-) I know how
to insure it too! I'm getting Don a 100$ gift certificate at the local
Lowes for his birthday in October! Yeah! I bet I get lots of new toys too
since he's the sort who's happy to share with his wife |:->
Yeah, I'm a girl who drools over the tool section. Shoot me.
We have his-and-hers tools ... his toolbox is like my purse, and if any
of my tools go into his toolbox, they disappear :o) Live in condo, no
garage, so front closet and some creative storage schemes contain some
of his tools - wicker trunk in living room for huge wrenches and
My mom used to build miniature rooms, 1/12 scale. She made some
fantastic things from scratch, perfectly to scale - my favorites are a
working floor loom and wicker porch furniture made with wire and linen
macrame string. A 100 y/o room would be interesting to see - mom had
lots of mini tools, including lathe. Inherited her Dremel and still use
it - drilled a hole in a teacup so I could use it as a little planter.
Re-grouted shower tile, cut out rust to do body work on the old Buick,
etc. If you have a full shop of standard-sized tools, you can always
start on mini's :o)
Let Reddy Watt do the heavy lifting WRT rust removal:
I tried it. It works if you dry and coat the piece as soon as it is
derusted. If not, it will begin to rust immediately.
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