getting that distressed look

I'm planning to build a country kitchen table. My wife really wants a "distressed look", i.e a weathered, old table look. I'm having a hard time bringing myself to do all the work necessary for a quality glue up, and then "damaging it", but we'll see. Does anybody have any experience getting that look. Someone told me to beat it with a chain! Sounds like fun, sort of. Are there other techniques?
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snipped-for-privacy@hvc.rr.com (Doug) writes:

Just wait.
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Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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(Doug) writes:

HA!!! That's great! Thanks for the laugh. I'm happy to report that my wife is in great shape at the moment, and the hard part isn't a problem.
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techniques?
I did some of that see @
http://home.mchsi.com/~larrylhote/projectspage1/shakerbenchesbig.jpg
A few more details are on my site. See projects page 1. If you need more help ( my e-mail isn't munged) contact me.
Larry
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Lawrence L'Hote
Columbia, MO
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Doug wrote:

A friend made a very nice trestle table in maple - wedged M&T joints and all. Spent a lot of time getting a beautiful, durable finish on it and presented it to his wife for her birthday. She'd been wanting this table for years. She was pleased but a little reserved in her response.
When he got home from work that night his wife greated him at the door, all smiles. "Come and see what I did all day! Now the table tells a story - its history is there for all to see!"
"I had to go out and get a cigar, but here are the burn marks where great uncle George set his cigar down and burned the table. Great aunt Bertha never forgave him for that and some say she drove him to an early grave because of it. And here's where your great great grandfather carved his initial in the top with a fork. I got a cinder block and dragged it all over the top and then used some of the used motor oil you've got in the shop to bring out the texture. I hope you don't mind but I used one of your hard light colored boards to bang and scrape and rub all the corners and edges - chairs did that in this table's story. And here's where you're dad put a hot cast iron skillet of bacon on the table instead of using a trivet to protect the table top. That white ring in the top's finish is where you're uncle left his scotch on the rocks and the sweat from the glass got under the finish. These little dimples in the surface over here are from your great aunt when she was a kid. On her fourth birthday she got so excited waiting for her slice of cake that she pound the heel of the fork handle on the table while expressing her glee. ..."
Needless to say, they are no longer married - and of course she got the table in the property settlement. He wanted it so he could burn it while yelling curse words but ...
The moral of the story - you built it, let her add the "character" and make up the stories for each ding, dent, scratch, scrape, burn and water ring. You'll be amazed at what happens when the creative juices begin flowing. You can provide the technical assistance but get here to make up the stories and create the "history". You can make another table for a lot less than the price of a divorce ...
charlie b
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Easy to do. Invite two of my grandkids for dinner. You will have all the distress you can handle. Ed
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Sat, Jul 31, 2004, 10:00am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@hvc.rr.com (Doug) wants to know: <snip> Does anybody have any experience getting that look. <snip> Oh yes, usually any time I've been around my kids for too long.
JOAT The highway of fear is the road to defeat. - Bazooka Joe JERUSALEM RIDGE http://www.banjer.com/midi/jerridge.mid
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Throw it down some stairs or let it fall off the back of the truck on the freeway... <grin>

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I own a wood crafting shop in Michigan and do some antique reproductions. I find that using a light stain, say colonial maple, then adding wear marks and sanding lightly through the stain on obvious wear areas, then re-staining with a darker stain like dark walnut and rubbing most of it off really ages it.
Also, use a hand plane in places to unlevel the wood some before you stain and leave some tool marks. Sand with 80 grit, many old farm pieces didn't have a lot of sanding. When using chain be careful it doesn't bounce back and hit you! You can age it outdoors for a few weeks also.

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Have you ever tried using a glazing stain, Liam? Much of the furniture that I own (brand-name stuff like Schnadig) appears to have had glazes applied to turnings and moldings to get a deeper color in recesses which in turn gives the piece an old world look. I haven't used a glaze in ages and now that I'm into building furniture, I'm thinking a glaze might improve the overall look of my next project, BUT I won't be using any turnings; just moldings.
Are you using solvent based pigment stains or water based dyes?
David
Liam wrote:

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hi I built some fake beams for a friend of mine and to make them look old we beat them with with am old chain saw chain ( use gloves and watch it does not bounc back on you) we also put some burn marks on them with a plumbers torch and used a hand plane to give to give them a hand cut look add some stain to your liking sand then add some more stain. The beams looked like they had been there for 200years or more when we were done. good luck and be careful.
jimmy

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Mon, Aug 2, 2004, 12:20pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net (Jim&Sharon) says: hi I built some fake beams for a friend of mine and to make them look old we beat them with with am old chain saw chain <snip> burn marks <snip> stain <snip> sand <snip> more stain. The beams looked like theyhad been there for 200years or more when we were done. good luck and be careful.
I've seen beams, in buildings in Erope, and the Far East, that've been up 200 years, and some for a whole lot longer. Hand-hewn, some of them, yes. I've also seen some of those with initials carved in them. But, I haven't seen any that looked like they'd been burned, stained, or beaten with a chain or anything else. In general, all I've ever seen looked about in the same condition as when they were put up, except now usually quite dark, from age, smoke, etc.
JOAT The highway of fear is the road to defeat. - Bazooka Joe JERUSALEM RIDGE http://www.banjer.com/midi/jerridge.mid
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To give character, I use a couple different methods - using a chain definitely works - just be kind of gentle...here's some options: use an old icepick to give "wormholes" lay a screw on it & then hit the screw w/a hammer - leaves a cool impression using the butt end of screwdrivers to make indents that are not too harsh paint it, sand off the high spots & random edges down to bare wood then stain it & polyurethane or whatever to finish it off... use old wood to start with... There's lots of ways to get it done...

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snipped-for-privacy@hvc.rr.com (Doug) wrote in

Coat hanger wire and a hammer. The chain is good, but be careful of the ceiling and any critters that might get in the way. Getting a dog who needs a nail trim to run across it does a good job - better if the dog is chasing the cat - DAMHIKT.
LD
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I'm sure the other suggestions are effective, but when I was growing up, my neighbor used to take a large ring of old keys and beat the surface.
todd
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spend some time trying to work with my wife. ***************************************************** It's not the milk and honey we hate. It's having it rammed down our throats.
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