timber oil cleaning

timber oil cleaning

Dave C
Dave C

November 9th, 2014, 9:32 am #1

I don't use timber oil anymore because after a few years the carvings start to look dark, that being said a customer who has collected a number of my carvings has brought back some of my earlier carving that had timber oil on them and wants them freshened up. Does anyone have any ideas how to clean a carving that has been oiled?
How much would you charge for something like that?

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Joined: October 26th, 2007, 6:19 pm

November 9th, 2014, 11:03 am #2

Finishing questions are always interesting there are a number of things going on.


The "dark" on carvings in most cases waste from mircoorganisms. I have found cleaning it with bleach works very well. The wood will get lighter after and be wet from water but after it dries I add stain, oil and wood protector or lightly re-burn things.

The surface of the carving has a lot to do with how dark things get and how fast it happens and the placement of art works. Any fibers from the saw cut left on the piece can be a place for mold and mildew to hang out. Plus a damp area will encourage it too. When it's warm and rainy and the moss comes out on the trees the little bugs are out and party they leave a dark mess like chainsaw carvers leave sawdust after the Big Buzz!

I burn my pieces with a hot torch ( oxy-propane) to create a smoother surface. I encourage my buyers to flood the wood grain with oil finish to help reduce checking which is kind of futile but helps, then use a wood protector with a fungicide and silicon like Thompsons water seal to slow or lesson the darkening. Nothing sticks silicone that's why the water beads up on the decks in the commercials.


This could be a good argument for poly's but by completey sealing the pieces there are other issues such as dry rotting and the difficulty in re-finishing works. A smooth plastic surface will not have the places for the mini bugs to hang out.

I wedge pieces for clients I often ask a fair hourly wage same thing for a re-finish. Some things only take a few minutes I say no worries and get $20 to $40 because the folks are greatful for the help.

The surface of the piece, placement of it and if they clean or maintain it at all matter. Some day I'll put up a matainance page on my web site. Looking forward to outher thoughts and ideas.



Pinske
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rego
rego

November 9th, 2014, 12:45 pm #3

Hey Dave
Maybe some kind of commercial deck cleaner
Maybe just a power washing
Bleach can sometimes discolor wood in an ugly way but if you're going to refinish it I guess that would be ok
I think I would shoot for a power wash first.
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Dave C
Dave C

November 9th, 2014, 1:41 pm #4

I don't use timber oil anymore because after a few years the carvings start to look dark, that being said a customer who has collected a number of my carvings has brought back some of my earlier carving that had timber oil on them and wants them freshened up. Does anyone have any ideas how to clean a carving that has been oiled?
How much would you charge for something like that?
Thanks guys
I was thinking of a deck cleaner, I thought someone once said an acid wash. This is something new for me, 8 of some of my first carvings, nice to see them again.
The customer wants them the same as they were, I could make them better but that is not the task. I may learn something new.
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Joined: October 26th, 2007, 6:19 pm

November 9th, 2014, 2:01 pm #5

I have given power washing some thought but I think it's too powerful for the wood grain maybe if it's turned way down. A car wash could be a good solution they have soap too and it's not so aggressive of a spray. It would be nice to know what cleaners kill mold and remove fungus easily and will not effect the surface much. Bleach is cheap and it works it's a place to start with out having to figure out anything else.

Please keep us posted it would be nice to see what you end up doing. I just did done bears up by Okemo for a restaurant washed with bleach let them dry stained and oiled them they look good. They are old I replaced one the surface is broke down from the weather so they look beat up a bit but the color with the dark walnut stain was fine.

Joe is right wood gets a funny look from the bleach.
Pinske
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Rick N
Rick N

November 9th, 2014, 9:18 pm #6

Mr. Dave
I've refurred with a saw to remove all deck sealer. Made better fur than it was.
On another slicker piece i just used 36 grit on the grinder.
Barre and the others are over my head.
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Joined: May 29th, 2011, 2:41 pm

November 9th, 2014, 11:14 pm #7

Sometimes 'freshening' the carving can be as simple as adding a semi-transparent coat of oil or water based exterior finish in a color a step lighter than what was applied (perhaps with the exception of black). Opaque or solid stains can look too much like plastic, so I'd go with a more dilute format. The new stain tends to brighten the wood a bit.

I agree that a bit of power washing first to remove dirt, algae, mildew, creatures big and small, is the first thing to do.

I've never added bleach to a carving that already has color, so I have nothing to add there. On a freshly cut pine, it will turn the heartwood bright yellow and leave the sapwood white. This fades in a few days, but can be pretty dramatic (and disheartening) if you didn't expect it.

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pedro
pedro

November 9th, 2014, 11:44 pm #8

Ive played with bleaching wood quite a bit. Heres something to try if you have an old grey dingy carving. Spray the whole thing with bleach and it will turn an ugly color.Put it out in full sun for a couple of months and the bleach will turn the dull dingy gray to a beutiful driftwood silver.



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Dave C
Dave C

November 10th, 2014, 3:48 am #9

Love this idea and will have to try it.
All the carving are fish so I should be able to compare different methods for cleaning, I also have one laying around about the same age and condition that I should be able to bleach and see what happens.
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Joined: October 24th, 2010, 2:05 pm

November 10th, 2014, 5:38 pm #10

I don't use timber oil anymore because after a few years the carvings start to look dark, that being said a customer who has collected a number of my carvings has brought back some of my earlier carving that had timber oil on them and wants them freshened up. Does anyone have any ideas how to clean a carving that has been oiled?
How much would you charge for something like that?
Antifungal

For outdoor carvings I try to use only products that have antifungal additives.
When they don't I use an additive (Home Depot)

When I clean I use an old log builders formula- mineral spirits and bleach (25% BLEACH WEAR GLOVES)

I have been experimenting with coating with "Wet and Forget" (Ace Hardware/Costco)

When it is stained pine I sand.
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