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Stripping cellulose lacquer from veneered MDF

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Jarviser

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I have a 1980 repro dining table (Buckingham Productions/Larkswood)which has a top which seems to have wood lipping fixed around a manmade top, and veneered all over in oak. The lipping has moved and telegraphed through the veneer.
It is currently finished in a tudor oak coloured cellulose lacquer, with a clear lacquer topcoat. The manufacturers gave me some of the polish once - real peardrops lung-rot stuff. Any chips, including where the veneer has moved, reveal white oak, so I don't think it has soaked in much.
I want to strip the lacquer, reduce the size of the top, fit new lippings flush with the veneer, stain almost as dark and repolish in Danish Oil.
Advice sought :-
- Should I use paint stripper, or sand it off, or what else to leave a veneer that will stain well?
- Any tips how to trim the lippings flush with the veneer - hand plane, or router trimming bit, or belt sander?

No pressure, but the table up til now has been the pride and joy of SWMBO.
 

Chris Knight

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Jarviser,

A regular card type scraper is a good way to start - much more effective than sandpaper in removing coatings - they don't clog for one thing. When you get down to the veneer in spots, then switch to a sandpaper, about 180 grit.

For trimming lippings, I like to use a long plane set fine with the rear resting on the veneer and just take it carefully. Switch to a scraper if tearout occurs.
 

Jarviser

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waterhead37":14hux507 said:
A regular card type scraper ....
Cheers Chris. How about a no. 80 for the first layer? Not sure if my thumbs will take 12 sq ft of bare knuckle scraping.
Also I was thinking about stripping the polish before sawing off the lippings to keep the edge full thickness?
 

Chris Knight

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Jarviser,

Stripping will of course work but it might soften the veneer and leave it fragile - probably no more than a poor sanding or scraping job however and it would definitely be easier to accomplish. Removing at least some of the lacquer mechanically will reduce the amount of stripping needed. It is ages since I stripped anything so others will be better placed to advise on this.

Re scraping, I would not care to use a number 80 myself simply because I feel more in control with my hands on the scraper and therefore less likely to tear out the surface of the veneer.

I do indeed think you should remove the lacquer and get down to the veneer before removing the lippings - this will help preserve the edge of the veneer which is easily damage otherwise.
 

jasonB

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Just bear in mind that the veneer is likely to only be 0.5mm or so thick so you have little room for error. You could ask if your local joinery firm would feed it through a large thickness sander.

Would it be less hassle to buy a sheet of oak veneered MDF and start from scratch :?:

Jason
 

Steve Maskery

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If you are using a card scraper for a long time, you might like to visit your local stationers and buy a box of rubber thimbles. I've never tried them, but I believe it is a good way af avoiding burnt fingers.

Cheers
Steve
 

LyNx

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or masking tape some rag/cotton wool to your thumbs :lol:

Andy
 
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