Refinishing an oak dinning room table top


Hi My oak table top has posed a new problem. The original lacquer is all but gone. The table has been used for many years as such. I used a varnish remover to get rid of what was left but when I started to sand it lightly my sandpaper came up with brown dust bunnies. The paper filled up to useless quickly. I suspect that there may be vegetable oil etc on the surface. What do I do to get rid of it or at least neutralize the oils in the oak?
Thanks again Ed's Stuff
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On Mon, 13 Jun 2005 22:40:23 -0600, "Ed's Stuff"

hard to say without seeing it, but some combination of sugar soap, maybe patio deck cleaner (oxalic acid and detergents) or even caustic soda (good on surface grease) should sort it.
Some of these may lighten the oak in patches - ammonia fuming will darken it again and is a useful technique for evening out patchy cleaned oak. It will darken all the oak though - good for "old" pieces, not good on modern pieces that are deliberately light.
Old post http://groups.google.co.uk/group/uk.d-i-y/msg/e716ab43259a36a4?hl=en
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Wait!
I certainely wouldn't go fuming this piece, at least "I" wouldn't suggest it without a lot more information and can't imagine why I would given the info you haveprovided in this post.
Not sure what you are seeing on the sand paper. Are these "bunnies" gummy or is the paper just loading up. If the paper is loading up you may have varnish/poly/lacquer still on the surface.
Lots of questions. What color is the wood? Can you see raw, un-colored wood? If it is some sort of oil, you might try wiping the table down with naptha or acetone.
Pictures would really help.
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wrote:

I wouldn't recommend it blindly, but it's a useful technique.
Oak fuming isn't magic - it's only doing what teh timber will do naturally, given a century or so. So if you have a piece that's that sort of age, and you have to sand or plane it to remove damage, then you're left with a pale and non-oxidised spot of previously unexposed timber. Fuming can darken this to match the rest, and it's likely to be a better match, more easily achieved, than anything done with stains.
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