Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Rather Irksome Realization

As much as I'd like to do a quick job on the east casing, its extremely degraded condition makes that impossible. I was forced to face this grim fact when I got a good look at this:

Notice that my inadvertently over-aggressive initial sanding of this piece has virually obliterated the triple-bead figure, leaving only four shallow, wobbly, mostly paint-choked grooves. Great. Since this would be noticeable from a distance, I have to re-establish some semblance of the original profile; given my skill set, the fastest way to do this is to sand it back into the wood.

The first thing to do is to deepen the grooves while keeping them as narrow as possible at their deepest extent. To do this, I needed something thin and rigid around which to wrap some sandpaper—say, something like a utility blade.

I filed down the edge enough to prevent its immediately cutting the sandpaper at the fold, and then I went to work.

I soon found that I had to use a straightedge to guide me at first, to keep the grooves in their proper place until a straight line was established. Once I started doing that, the method worked well.

In the photo above, you can see that I have re-established the grooves completely about halfway up the visible portion of the piece. You can also see that the middle two are a bit too close together, but since they are at least parallel, this will not be a fatal flaw.

Then, I used a sanding wedge with a concave profile to round off the internal edges and thus re-establish the beads:

I think this will do just fine. Although one can see in this picture that the middle bead is smaller than the others, what the eye sees from a distance is not the beads themselves, but the shadows they cast, and those will check out just fine from the street. In other words, the re-established figure will be fake, but accurate.

This is quite a time-consuming process, and it is extremely taxing of my weakened hands, but if I take my time the job will be done soon enough. Happily, I only have to do it on this one piece; the figure elsewhere is still in good shape.

* * *

"Kenneth, what is the frequency?"


  1. I was wondering where you were. Just finding your "Groove." :-)

  2. I keep finding the groove, but then someone jostles the turntable. :-0

  3. Well then, tell them not to do that!

  4. I could help cut your groove. Squirrel


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