stripped front door today, pics

Well, I finally got to strip most of the front door today. I think it looks more like mahogany than oak. http://picasaweb.google.com/mikerock92/StrippingFrontDoor
The Rock Miracle stuff did not work as I thought it would. It took a lot of effort to take off the varnish and stain. I sanded down the flat parts, but the moldings in the panels are almost impossible to take off anything. I was thinking maybe paint the inside of the panels and stain the rest of the door. Any suggestions how to take out the rest of the varnish? thanks
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try a marine or heavy duty stripper, go to a paint store. The work is in the details, there are tools for stripping wood that are of various shapes you sharpen with a file for curved areas. Actualy I saw at maybe menards or HD an electric hand tool with various shape sanding heads for molding sanding, forget the paint idea.
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Mikepier wrote:

always go back to methylene chloride semi-paste, Strypeeze if I can find it. MC is nasty stuff. Some of them have instructions to use water wash, but I use mineral spirits. I have found no finish that will not come off with it. It also eats plastic, so take care. The door doesn't look quite like oak, but the pix not close enough for me to tell. Pretty. Now that you have sanded the frame, stripping the panels and molding may make them turn out a tad darker than the frame if you stain. Strypeeze, a toothbrush, lots of steel wool and mineral spirits should work. I went to using little plastic sandwich bags for the steel-wool/stripper scrubbing part because stripper eats gloves so quickly. Stripper burns like fire on skin, but I have never had it leave a mark or irritation. I would be inclined to paint the whole door, especially if it gets strong sun. Personal choice. You would still have to strip the remaining wood or do a lot of tedious sanding.
I'm not familiar with Rock Miracle, so I looked at their website. Which product did you use?
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This is the product I used http://www.rockmiracle.com/productdetail.asp?cid=8&pid=45
It is a methylene chloride paste like you mentioned, but like I said it did not come off easy on the flat parts of the door. For the molding, I tried using my plumbers torch to heat the old varnish a bit, then use a soft wire brush, but it seemed not to come off clean plus I had to be careful not to burn the wood. I do have a Dremel tool. Just a basic model. Maybe they have bits for this purpose?
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Mikepier wrote:

sanding, so I rarely do it. When I refinish wood, I scrub the final application of stripper with steel wool (medium), remove that, and then clean off the stripper with fine steel wool and mineral spirits. Messy, messy job. The stripper softens the wood just a tad, so the steel wool makes it plenty smoothe. I would suggest trying another brand of stripper, semi-paste methylene chloride that labels for cleaning with mineral spirits. As I said, some suggest either water or m.s. wash. Just out of curiosity, Is Rock Miracle from a specialty store? I can't imagine why stripper would remove the finish from part of the door but not the other. Did you leave it on for at least 20 min? Work in hot sun? It has to be a thick coat, and if you see a spot has evaporated, apply more. Can't brush it on thin, it has to be very thick and puddly.
The most coats of paint that I could count, because of color changes, was siz. No problem, ever, getting any kind of coating off.
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I'm not sure why you'd want to use such toxic chemicals in the first place. Peel-Away makes a whole line of strippers that work on just about anything and most of them are non-toxic. http://www.dumondchemicals.com/html/peelaway.htm For a door such as yours the materials would cost about 30 bucks, you'd slather the stuff on, cover it with the fabric and go away for a day. When you strip off the fabric the next day almost all of the varnish would come with it, and what was left is easily scraped off with a profiled scraper.
You have a nice door. It does look like mahogany. Don't mess it up with gouges and scrapes. Don't paint the panels and stain the rest.
R
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Mikepier wrote:

A flap disk would help. I'm not thinking of the kind that look like a small wheel but of those that have numerous strips of aluminum oxide cloth with the ends of the strips slit. You can make your own by cutting a bunch of aluminum oxide cloth strips each maybe 1-2" wide and 5-6" long. Make numerous 2" slits in both ends of each then lay them on top of each other so that they form a circle; i.e., lay down one, lay the next at 90 degrees to the first, lay the third bisecting those and repeat but with the opposite side up. Do that several times. Make a hole in the stack, insert a bolt with fender washers on both sides, add a nut and chuck in a drill (not Dremel tool).
In use, the little fingers resulting from the slits get into the detail but don't sand very agressively so they don't destroy the detail; soften it a bit but not seriously. IMO. I'd probably use #120 cloth.
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Using propane, a flapping sander, dremel, will ruin the moldings relief, what you are working on might take me 1-2 days, razor sharp curved wood cutting blades, and good paint remover are what has to be done, Ive done at least 20 doors of greater difficulty than yours. After you strip it has to be broght to new wood or the door will not look good. Take a photo and go see your pro furniture refinisher man, its a job you need experiance and the correct tools for.
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ransley wrote: ...

Mostly what OP seems to be lacking that is needed is _patience_ and "sticktuitiveness".
It's slow, painstaking work, not a slapdash, done in 15 minutes kind of project.
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Its a learning process, unfortuantly I never found a fast route and there is none, he doesnt understand the time required, I would often have 2-3 guys work a old door for 2 days to restore it. He did the easy part, some striper and a sander on the flat pieces, its still at least a day more to go, I bet he ruins it.
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Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Anyway this electric sander that you saw at HD, was it the Dremel contour sander like this? http://www.dremel.com/en-us/Tools/Pages/ToolDetail.aspx?pid`00-01+Tool
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That tool will help if its a vibrating sander. When I do doors I remove them and put them on a saw horse, its the easiest way to do good work, but you probably need a helper to remove and hang it.
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You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. With the work you've already done the price at the pro stripping shop ought to be lower. You're at a point now where it will be easy to really mess up a beautiful door, attacking with scrapers and Dremel tools. Being smart means not letting stubbornness and misplaced pride lead to a substandard result. There is absolutely no way you can match the results that the pros get. Save your artistry for applying a gorgeous finish that the door deserves. Good luck.
Joe
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