Gixxerjoe04

Fixing fine scratches

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My wife has a client that had her table get some fine scratches on it and she came to me for a solution.  Was hoping they could be buffed out but wanted to ask the experts.  A couple people suggested paste wax and 0000 steel wool.  Seemed like a good idea but didn’t know if it could affect the sheen?  What say you finish experts? 

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Not steel wool and wax. That will just scratch the surface more and the wax will just wash off.  I'd say festool platin pads or some sort of abrasive polish. You;ll probably want to start around 1000 grit or 500 grit to remove the scratches and then work up to the grit neeeded to make the sheen. If you don't remove the scratches first it'd just take more work at the higher grits.

This is like auto body scratch repair work.

If you do this figure out what you need to do on a test piece.

 

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Your success will vary with the finish in place.  If there is a decent film the next step is to determine the size of the scratches.  If the scratches are the size of 220 grit you will have a challenge.  If they are the size of 400 grit it becomes easier.  I have 1000, 1200, 1500 and up for such things BUT, if the scratches are minimal I would start with a little Novus or other plastic polish liquid to see if I could get an acceptable fix first. 

I find Novus 2 to be course enough to do many things while being fine enough to be the final grit on things like guitars and pianos; works great for car scratches too). There is no penalty for starting at too high a grit other than wasting a little time.  If the scratch size is too large for the grit you will notice pretty quick and can reassess. 

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11 minutes ago, gee-dub said:

Your success will vary with the finish in place.  If there is a decent film the next step is to determine the size of the scratches.  If the scratches are the size of 220 grit you will have a challenge.  If they are the size of 400 grit it becomes easier.  I have 1000, 1200, 1500 and up for such things BUT, if the scratches are minimal I would start with a little Novus or other plastic polish liquid to see if I could get an acceptable fix first. 

I find Novus 2 to be course enough to do many things while being fine enough to be the final grit on things like guitars and pianos; works great for car scratches too). There is no penalty for starting at too high a grit other than wasting a little time.  If the scratch size is too large for the grit you will notice pretty quick and can reassess. 

I have plastic polish I use for my turnings, haven't heard of those brands though, where do you get them?  Would you just buff the affected area with the polish and like a lent free rag or something?  Kind of want to use this as an excuse to buy a sanding and polishing set up from festool haha.

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I would use Restore A FInish, and a gold Scotchbrite pad for car clearcoat.  The Restore-a-finish dissolves some of the original finish, moving it around to fill in scratches.  It comes in a number of colors, but for really fine scratches, with no need to really add back any color, the Natural (or clear-don't remember all the names) should work just fine.

I use it all the time when I'm asked to work on a piece of old furniture in one of the houses we're working on.   For a table, you probably will have to go over the whole top to get it to all blend in.  Sometimes it takes two or three applications, but I've never harmed anything with it.  If there is finish under the table, it's good to do a test first before attacking the top.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000LNSIM8/ref=asc_df_B000LNSIM85479048/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=394997&creativeASIN=B000LNSIM8&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167151917164&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17637608200156070920&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010024&hvtargid=pla-312331425023

I keep most of the colors on hand.  I haven't found the end of shelf life for it yet.

Since I found this stuff, I haven't used steel wool any more:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/3M-7745-Scotch-Brite-Clear-Coat-Blend-Prep-Scuff-Roll-07745-4-3-4-x-15-NEW/252434539065?epid=1511799854&hash=item3ac6456239:g:aoMAAOSwDNdV3zmM

Once in a while, I use this stuff:

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/all-3m-products/~/All-3M-Products/Collision-Repair/Automotive-Products/Compounds-Polishes-Glazes/?N=5002385+8710722+8711017+8711413+8716717+3294857497&rt=r3

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1 hour ago, Gixxerjoe04 said:

I have plastic polish I use for my turnings, haven't heard of those brands though, where do you get them?  Would you just buff the affected area with the polish and like a lent free rag or something?  Kind of want to use this as an excuse to buy a sanding and polishing set up from festool haha.

I don't want to discourage someone from buying something they want but i do auto body work here and there and don't really see a need for polishing stuff. A good compound and hand pressure goes a long way at these small grits. Power polishing just gets you in trouble FAST (on cars at least)! Unless your polishing huge tables daily i don't think that you'd get the use out of it that warrants the cost.

Now on the sander part. Watch https://www.festoolrecon.com/ the sanders pop up a lot. Not long ago i saw the ETS 150/3, ETS 150/5 ($270) as well as the ETS EC 150/3 (~$365) which even though refurbished is way easier to stomach over new. I've bought quite a few things from the site already and quality is dang near new ... in fact i couldn't tell the difference. An WTS 150/3 with platin pads is all i need for woodworking polishing.

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I bet she only notices them when the light from the window is just right hmmm?

Start with a good wax. You go messing around with any abrasives, then your really going to have a problem with swirl marks. It appears it's the raking light from the window showing all the very fine scratches?

-Ace-

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I'm a fan of Howard's Restor a Finish products but  I don't think that table is going to benefit from them. Hand applied cleaner/polish is the best first thing to try.

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Give Howard's bees wax and orange oil blend a try.

I've used it a few times and it took care of light scratches.

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