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Thread: What are these mystery marks and can they be fixed??

  1. #1

    What are these mystery marks and can they be fixed??

    New to the forum and love that I've gotten into learning woodworking. After countless hours of research/videos/how to's I took a swing at my first farmhouse table and bench.

    Pine, only due to customer budget despite my suggestions on moisture content
    Borrowed a festool domino for breadboard ends, doweled/pinned
    Added a handful of dominos to just help with alignment during panel glue up
    Scraped glue after about 20-30 minutes as it started to turn solid (shouldve taped the seams!)
    Sanded 80-120-150 using the 1 inch per second logic
    Let wood conditioner sit for 5-10 minutes, and let dry for 30 before stain
    Minwax Jacobean stain wiped after 5 minutes, dried overnight and poly matte finish the next day

    My MYSTERY and horrific discovery when I got to the finishing is in the 4th pic:

    WHAT DID I DO Is that Glue smeared?? Do I have to re-sand and condition and stain again or sand off poly and try a little more stain to see if it hides it a little better?? It's across a few boards. Not super terrible and the customer is my friend... but definitely noticeable

    20200124_001828.jpg20200124_001811.jpg20200124_015746.jpg20200124_020230.jpg

  2. #2
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    I’m on my phone but, it looks like an area got skipped when you were working up through the grits. Another possibility is that the soft wood was bruised in handling and again, surface prep didn’t catch it (?).

    Since you top coat is on you would have to remove it to begin the repair. I would redo the whole surface as I think that would be easier than trying to make things match. I know this is not what you want to hear.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-24-2020 at 1:44 PM.
    “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it,”
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    I’m on my phone but, it looks like an area got skipped when you were working up through the grits.
    Looking at it that is my first thought.
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  4. #4
    20200124_020230.jpgAnother image to help show it...

  5. #5
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    I agree with Glenn. Strip it off, resand, refinish.

    John

  6. #6
    Aghhh... I was definitely afraid that would be the suggestion.

    I think it might be easier than trying to only sand through that area and refinish.

    It's a tought pill to swallow because I felt like I made a pretty focused effort to slowly run the length of each board with the grain through each grit... I somewhat recall looking for any "pigtail" spots and going back over with a lower grit to help re'scratch the spots (which suprisingly did help to minimize their appearance) but now I'm wondering If I didnt end up going back through with the orbital afterwards...

    This whole time I thought maybe it was dried glue that got smeared into the wood or something, but these marks are in an interesting pattern/stroke.

    I appreciate all of the insight. I really tried to overthink every step of the way on this build

  7. #7
    Since you top coat is on you would have to remove it to begin the repair. I would redo the whole surface as I think that would be easier than trying to make things match. I know this is not what you want to hear.[/QUOTE]


    Should I go back through multiple grits? or stick with just one or two? suggestions welcome. thanks again

  8. #8
    After you strip and sand, wipe the area with mineral spirits; if there is still a problem there, that might help you see it before you apply finish.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  9. #9
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    You will want to use a fairly low grit to get off the existing finish...say 100, which would mean you should go back through the grits...150...220, whatever you did before. To make things a bit easier, I’d suggest letting the poly cure for at least a week. If your sandpaper is gumming up (or corning as they call it), the finish isn’t cured. Give it some more time.

    Paul’s suggestion is something I do on almost all projects...a wipe down with mineral spirits or DNA to look for any glue, sanding marks, tear out, etc.

    By the way, welcome!, and don’t be too hard on yourself...it’s a really nice looking table and it’s not ruined. Just going to need some more work. But in the end, you’ll be glad you did...and so will your customer/friend.

    And if it makes you feel just a little bit better, I’m waiting for some finish to cure on one of my recent projects so I can completely sand it off and do over. It happens.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Collinsworth View Post
    Since you top coat is on you would have to remove it to begin the repair. I would redo the whole surface as I think that would be easier than trying to make things match. I know this is not what you want to hear.

    Should I go back through multiple grits? or stick with just one or two? suggestions welcome. thanks again[/QUOTE]

    You will want to start with the finest grit that will remove the problem area. Sanding is a process of creating a scratch pattern that is finer than the one before. I would not take the entire surface back to a lower grit. I would work up through the grits in the problem area until I get very close to the surrounding area's smoothness. Then for my last couple of grits I would do the entire surface to make sure things blend well. You can combine the mineral spirits trick with a raking light source to highlight problme areas. This works for glue, missed spots and pigtails really well. I have even used a high power flashlight for the raking light. Give it a shot and you'll see what we mean. Good luck and keep us posted.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-24-2020 at 4:07 PM.
    “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it,”
    -Jonathan Swift

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Mueller View Post
    You will want to use a fairly low grit to get off the existing finish...say 100, which would mean you should go back through the grits...150...220, whatever you did before. To make things a bit easier, I’d suggest letting the poly cure for at least a week. If your sandpaper is gumming up (or corning as they call it), the finish isn’t cured. Give it some more time.

    Paul’s suggestion is something I do on almost all projects...a wipe down with mineral spirits or DNA to look for any glue, sanding marks, tear out, etc.

    By the way, welcome!, and don’t be too hard on yourself...it’s a really nice looking table and it’s not ruined. Just going to need some more work. But in the end, you’ll be glad you did...and so will your customer/friend.

    And if it makes you feel just a little bit better, I’m waiting for some finish to cure on one of my recent projects so I can completely sand it off and do over. It happens.

    Thank you all for your input and advice! It sounds as if I will redo the process on the whole top and not just the affected section.

    Does it matter than I didnt put a top coat of poly on the top of the table yet? Maybe that just makes the sandind a tiny bit easier or less work. I've watched videos of folks using a stripping agent, letting it sit(not sure what to use yet) and then card scraping to minimize the amount of sanding. Is that just a preference thing or is that possibly the preferred method?

    (I actualy only sealed the bottom of the table so far - I know there are different opinions out there on whether or not it matters to finish both sides but I did anyway just to see what the finished product would look like before moving to the top side)

    They were hoping to pick the table up in a few days so I'm hoping its okay to just get down to the bare wood, condition and stain again then seal... and hope for the best.

  12. #12
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    I would call around, and see if there is any place that has a wide belt sander that would be willing to run it.

  13. #13
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    Tom’s suggestion is a good one if available to you. However, given there is no poly on the top, if the stain has had a day to dry you can just sand away. Keep in mind, you need to sand to an even “color”. You don’t want to leave the surface “splotchy” with the previous stain. Get down to bare wood as best you can, otherwise when you re-stain it may not be a even color. It’s just sanding. Grab a cup of coffee, get a hand full of sanding disks at the ready and just enjoy the hum of the sander. Let us know how it goes.

  14. #14
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    The dark curved areas look like it was swiped with a damp rag prior to staining so absorbed more stain
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
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  15. #15
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    Seems like a sanding problem would have shown up when the stain was applied. This happened when the poly was applied so maybe the problem is uneven coverage. Try a second coat in a problem spot.

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