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Church Pew finish?

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Doug71

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Our local church has just sold some of it's pews as they are having a bit of a change round.

The pews are really nice, solid oak, all got individual carvings but over 9' long. I have been asked by a couple of people if I can shorten them which seems quite straightforward as they are kind of made in 3 sections so I can just cut it down and refit the end making it about 6' long.

I was hoping to not damage any of the original finish by hiding any fixings but originally there have been 2 large screws through the ends hidden under wood plugs. It will make a better job if I remove the plugs, screw the end on and put new plugs in but then I will need to stain/finish the plugs to match.

Any tips on what stain would be good for this and what would be good to spruce the whole pew up a bit, just some furniture polish? Not sure what the original finish is, I have zero experience on this kind of thing.

I know a photo would make it easier but still have not got round to working that out. The pews are a typical golden brown colour.

I did get a pew for myself which I can experiment on, I am shortening mine.

They were ridiculously cheap, £150 each, mine was only £75 as it has a little bit of woodworm damage.

Thanks in advance, Doug
 

xy mosian

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Shortening? As you cut the pew allow material to form Tenons, or similar, around the screws. Form matching mortices in the newly shotened pew and glue together as usual. No need for repairs to the finish.
About a hundred years ago, as a lad, my father helped his dad to look after the local Parish Church. One of the jobs he didn't like was re-varnishing the pews. Church Pew Varnish, name or description I don't know, was so thick it had to be used soon after evensong to have any hope of being dry before the following weekend.
xy
 

custard

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I wouldn't worry about matching the plugs too closely. The grain on plugs rarely aligns with the grain on the piece itself, so there's always some differential reflection. Just use a dab of any oil based finish on the plugs and you'll be plenty close enough. The eye seems to happily accept plugs of a different shade.

If you're determined to get as close as humanly possible then a dab of a Dark Oak aniline dye or Van Dyke Crystals is the way to go.

http://www.jpennyltd.co.uk/shopping/sta ... e=1&cat=10
 

Doug71

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Thank you for the advice everyone.

I had a go at shortening one of the pews today and managed to hide all the fixings so turns out the colour matching of plugs was not an issue.

I didn't want to use too much glue as bringing them from an old church to a centrally heated house I am expecting them to dry out a bit so used screws with over size holes where I could.

Andy, thank you for the link to the reviver mixture, will be giving that a go.

Doug
 
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