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Best way to clean burrs on wood

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Bacms

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I am planning to transform the following pieces of elm into a live edge coffee table but because of the way it is going to be used, I am thinking of filling the gaps and burrs with epoxy resin. There are also some areas with rot that I need to clean before adding the resin.

What is the best way of doing this? I was recommended to use a wire brush attached to a drill but can't find anything small enough that would go in the burrs? Do I need to purchase a rotatory tool? Also, what is the best way to clean the live edge? Wire brush again? For a desk I have built I used a spokeshave but due to the burrs on this one this isn't really possible

 

Chris152

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I've not done this so take my advice with a pinch of salt, but my guess is that if you start trying to clean the burrs with anything you'll spoil their crisp edges. So don't do that, but maybe vacuum the to get out any loose bits. If it's properly seasoned and acclimatised to the place it's going to end up in, seal any holes going right through and apply the resin? Any bark depends how loose it is - sometimes it just picks off easily, others you can chisel carefully and then wire brush. If the bark's already fallen off, just wire brush.
Someone will be along to correct me if I'm wrong.
 

Jacob

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Sand with a ROS and go down through the grits. Wire brush the outer edges to remove loose stuff, vacuum the cracks for loose stuff - I wouldn't attempt to dig anything out you could spoil the natural wild look as Chris says above. Or leave them untouched - loose stuff will drop off or detach with time.
I wouldn't bother with resin or anything it's a really boring cliche, :roll: just leave it natural, with linseed oil or similar to bring out the colour and protect the surface. It means you have to vacuum over the cracks every now and then for crumbs etc. but it can look very interesting.
PS nor little butterfly tie things - also a very overdone cliche.
 

CHJ

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I'd suggest a good Old Fashioned stiff bristle Scrubbing Brush for the live edges, less likely to leave scratch marks than a wire brush.
 

Pete Maddex

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I have used a wire brush on burr elm and it works really well, it gets into the crooks and nanny's and doesn't leave scratches.
The holes can be cleaned out with various tools, knives pics scrapers etc but don't go overboard if you are filling them, I can recommend pound shop epoxy I have used it on pippy oak coloured with ground instant coffee.

Pete
 

Bacms

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The main issue is I can't really leave it as it is because it has some rot down the middle which the tape measure is covering in the picture so would need to remove another 5mm or so to get to the bottom of it. Hence why I am considering resin, I do get what you mean with it being cliche though


 

marcros

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do you need the full width? could you cut out the rot and book-match?
 

Pete Maddex

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I would cut out the rot in the middle, you woun't get a good joint if you don't.
How loose are the bark inclusions, you can just see the brown patch on the bottom right of the last photo?

I had lots in the lid of this box I made I had to dig them out as they would have crumbled away eventually.

Oak knot box by Pete Maddex, on Flickr

Pete
 

ED65

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Bacms":19lh6p4j said:
What is the best way of doing this? I was recommended to use a wire brush attached to a drill but can't find anything small enough that would go in the burrs?
If you want a good source of the teeny wire wheels AliExpress would be hard to beat. I think I picked up a lot of 50 for less than the price of a pack of three or five Dremel ones.

Bacms":19lh6p4j said:
Do I need to purchase a rotatory tool?
God no. The small-diameter wire wheels that are used in mini drills can be gripped in many a full-size drill's jaws, although obviously they're a little more difficult to manoeuvre :D And anyway these wheels will only take you so far, you'd still have to go at it with dental picks, bodkin tools, small hand brushes etc. You could do the whole job that way; it's tedious, but rewarding 8)

Mini drills are a handy thing to have though, just be wary of buying Dremel 'cause they're not what they once were.

Bacms":19lh6p4j said:
Also, what is the best way to clean the live edge? Wire brush again?
Wire wheels, flap sanders, finger sanding wheels, chisels, picks, wire brushes, toothbrushes. They're all used by someone for this.

Bacms":19lh6p4j said:
...I do get what you mean with it being cliche though
Another way of looking at it is things get to be cliched for a reason, and I think resin fills have by no means had their day and won't be terribly dated any time soon. But besides all that your taste is the only thing that matters. If you want to fill it with crushed turquoise and resin damn the critics, go for it!
 

Bacms

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marcros":cuz2a3ax said:
do you need the full width? could you cut out the rot and book-match?
I could but to be honest I quite like the current proportion between burr and straight grain and cutting the rot out would significantly reduce the later. The rot is just the tape measure on the photos and you can still on the left side of it so I would have to take a couple of inches at least from the width to do it.
 

Bacms

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Pete Maddex":2q1inyc1 said:
I would cut out the rot in the middle, you woun't get a good joint if you don't.
How loose are the bark inclusions, you can just see the brown patch on the bottom right of the last photo?

I had lots in the lid of this box I made I had to dig them out as they would have crumbled away eventually.

Oak knot box by Pete Maddex, on Flickr

Pete
I don't think it will affect the joint in the middle at all as the rot just is not reaching the edge at all with the exception of 1 or 2 mm at one of the end so there should be enough wood to get a perfect gap free joint, no?
 

Bacms

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ED65":3os5195l said:
Bacms":3os5195l said:
What is the best way of doing this? I was recommended to use a wire brush attached to a drill but can't find anything small enough that would go in the burrs?
If you want a good source of the teeny wire wheels AliExpress would be hard to beat. I think I picked up a lot of 50 for less than the price of a pack of three or five Dremel ones.

Bacms":3os5195l said:
Do I need to purchase a rotatory tool?
God no. The small-diameter wire wheels that are used in mini drills can be gripped in many a full-size drill's jaws, although obviously they're a little more difficult to manoeuvre :D And anyway these wheels will only take you so far, you'd still have to go at it with dental picks, bodkin tools, small hand brushes etc. You could do the whole job that way; it's tedious, but rewarding 8)

Mini drills are a handy thing to have though, just be wary of buying Dremel 'cause they're not what they once were.

Bacms":3os5195l said:
Also, what is the best way to clean the live edge? Wire brush again?
Wire wheels, flap sanders, finger sanding wheels, chisels, picks, wire brushes, toothbrushes. They're all used by someone for this.

Bacms":3os5195l said:
...I do get what you mean with it being cliche though
Another way of looking at it is things get to be cliched for a reason, and I think resin fills have by no means had their day and won't be terribly dated any time soon. But besides all that your taste is the only thing that matters. If you want to fill it with crushed turquoise and resin damn the critics, go for it!

The things you learn on the internet...had no idea most of those sander wheels were a thing.

Yes, I have heard about the Dremel quality...or lack thereof quite often which is part of the reason I haven't acquired one. Most people tend to recommend Proxxon these days but have not look at them properly
 

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