Can I use an orbital sander, what pad (Ercol Restoration)

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tim.j.sparks

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Hi all,
I am attempting to restore a Ercol 478 Chair
My plan is to remove all the old varnish with stripper and then give it a good sanding.
I have done one pass with stripper but it had minimal effect.
So I am faced with the prospect of lots of sanding.
I was wondering if an orbital sander would be appropriate with some kind of soft pad + sandpaper.
I would greatly appreciate any advice on the use of an orbital sander and any specific pads.

Many thanks
Tim

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Jameshow

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I wouldn't perhaps a delta sander on the seat / arms but the rest with a fine sandpaper and block.
Too much risk of damage.
 

MARK.B.

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Even when used with a soft pad to help with the contours of the chair a random orbital sander may just be to big for what you need ,even with the finer grades of paper they can and will remove a lot of material if you are not very careful. I would hand sand through the grades, pain in the bum yes,but it would not take that long to do.
 

tim.j.sparks

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Hi all,
You are confirming my lazy suspicions :D
Do have a recommendations for sandpaper, blocks and gloves (brands)
What grits would you work through and finish with?
Many thanks for such quick responses!
Tim
 

Coyote

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I use these with Abranet mesh which last for ages, much more cost effective than the single use sanding “sponges”.

 

TRITON

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Its a 2 pack cellulose finish thats on Ercol.
Its best removed by winding cloth strips around the component parts, soaking them liberally in acetone, then wrapping cling film around the cloth. Otherwise its 50 quid worth of sandpaper and you really really need a mask.
I refinished an Ercol 3 legged table and thats the only way i found to get the stuff off.
 

scholar

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Ok, this is on topic for me - I have just commenced refurbishing an Ercol Jubilee (bentwood) settee and non-matching footstool.

The footstool was in dark stain with a lacquer on top - I scraped and sanded this which I found much easier than I expected. I used a Stanley carbide scraper and then mostly 80 grit sandpaper so far. On the legs, the scraper got most of the stain and coating off and I then used a strip of cloth-backed 60 grit paper so far. It is only roughly sanded so far, but I am very happy with it.

The settee promises to be a different proposition - all those spindles…. I think the stain on the footstool actually helped me to see how the scraping was going - the blonde finish on the settee is not so easy to judge. Anyway, my plan is to scrape and then sand (Festool RTS orbital sander) the flat surfaces (basically the main seat frame) and then strip the rest with proper old-style stripper that I trust will get the lacquer off, then wire-wool and sand.

As to finishing, I plan to use Osmo hardwax (possibly with a light oak tint - I am still researching that) and that requires all of the previous finish to have been removed. I found a useful bit of guidance on this yesterday and will dig it out.

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Please let us know how your chair restoration proceeds.

Cheers
 
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recipio

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No need for all that hand sanding. Just get a few 3M paint and varnish stripper wheels and use with an electric drill. They are tricky to find - I had to buy them off the US Amazon site but they are perfect for any varnish stripping.
 

scholar

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No need for all that hand sanding. Just get a few 3M paint and varnish stripper wheels and use with an electric drill. They are tricky to find - I had to buy them off the US Amazon site but they are perfect for any varnish stripping.

Interesting - this could help…

Could you point to the wheels you used - there seem to be various 3M products.

Cheers
 

recipio

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Interesting - this could help…

Could you point to the wheels you used - there seem to be various 3M products.

Cheers
Sometimes sold under the 'Scotch Brite ' label. I see one on Amazon UK but it is a rip off at £32. I normally pay about $8 each on the US websites and it's worth the hassle of having them sent over Don't get the 'rust remover ' wheel - it's too hard..! Just be aware that there is a single and double version - the latter is the best as it gradually wears away with use. They are great for cleaning up rusty tools as well. Look for the red and yellow packet and obviously the ' paint and varnish remover ' label.
 

Fordgate1

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Hi I did ercol chairs many years ago. I used stripper, nitro-mors, removed remaining varnish with coarse wire wool, wearing gloves, then stripped again using N /M 's with more wire wool, working down the grades, then 400 grit paper before using polyurethane varnish, final finish beeswax applied with a green kitchen abrasive pad. Still have the day bed 35 yeas later
 

scholar

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Hi I did ercol chairs many years ago. I used stripper, nitro-mors, removed remaining varnish with coarse wire wool, wearing gloves, then stripped again using N /M 's with more wire wool, working down the grades, then 400 grit paper before using polyurethane varnish, final finish beeswax applied with a green kitchen abrasive pad. Still have the day bed 35 yeas later

Good to know that Nitromors (original) worked - this is what I am planning to use assuming the can I have is still potent after all these years…

cheers
 

Fordgate1

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To assist the Nitromors I blistered the old varnish very slightly with hot hair paint stripper. I had Ercol Golden Dawn finish, I wanted clear polyurethane.
Long Job, best to work outside, well worth the effort.
 
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