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Forestville OG - To Stain or Not to Stain

wbranko

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Feb 1, 2004
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That is the question!

The original finish on the clock (shellac) was one of two clocks I've had over 15 years of working that was SO BAD the finish had to be removed. The clock had spent 70+ years in a PA attic collecting...well, stuff...and with the summer temperatures, moisture, etc the finish was more stuff than shellac.

So I removed it.

upload_2020-7-18_12-47-25.png

I'm now down to bare mahogany veneer, and it looks pretty great. So, I am uncertain. I could re-stain using Minwax Red Mahogany veneer and achieve a "probably original" but dark look to the case, and then finish with shellac.

Or...I could just finish with shellac (after finish sanding and faux painting a few bad veneer repairs). This would bring out the natural color of the mahogany veneer.

I would like to hear from anyone who has faced this dilemma and has an opinion on where to go next. This would be very helpful.

By the way, the case is just dry fitted in this photo...not yet re-glued or nailed.

Bill
 

gleber

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My opinion is the wood looks great, but that color just doesn't look right at all. I think it deserves some stain. Can you thin the stain so you can darken it gradually until you get a darker shade, but not hide the grain?

Tom
 

wbranko

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Tom,

That's an idea I hadn't considered...I must have been tired when I finished sanding! I'm going to think about that seriously.

Anyone else have input?

And thanks again Tom!
 

tracerjack

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Personally, I think the color should be darker. I have never seen a light color on an OG, but that’s not to say one doesn’t exist. Perhaps a quick online search looking at other examples of OGs will help you come to a decision.
 

Dave T

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I'm thinking when you apply a finish, shellac, lacquer whatever, it will be darker. You might try to just wet it in a test area and see how dark it is now.
Normally mahogany doesn't need a stain.
 

Jim DuBois

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Personally, I think the color should be darker. I have never seen a light color on an OG, but that’s not to say one doesn’t exist. Perhaps a quick online search looking at other examples of OGs will help you come to a decision.
Here are examples of light ogee colors. Just FYI, some are quite light but the clock in this thread sould be fine with just shellac finish, or use orange shellac if you want a bit more mellow and deeper finish.

20190105_223208.jpg forestville upside down.jpg light-veneer-seth-thomas-ogee-plymouth_24702408927_o.jpg 1206shogee.jpg seth thomas pale OG.jpg 0051_2.jpg
 

tracerjack

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Jim-
Your examples are much lighter than all the ones I have seen. Most likely the only ones I’ve seen were still covered in age old dirt and grime, because as I recollect, there wasn’t much wood grain showing in any of them, if at all. So it will be the original poster’s preference how light or dark the clock will be. You are correct that just shellac on this thread’s clock will bring out the grain and be a perfectly acceptable color. So, you have convinced me from your information to change my vote to “don’t stain”.
 
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Jim DuBois

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I have always had a soft spot for ogees, and I have owned many. I usually went for those that were a bit different. That was often ogees with unusual movements, and there are many of those. The clocks themselves are common, having been built by just about everybody starting in about 1830, and some were still being built by New England clock company as recently as 1980. A 150 year run with many makers leaves us with a lot of ogee clocks still today. They are often dismissed just as being common. And they remain quite reasonably priced. I have maybe 25 today, and most of them are special/unusual.

jerome1 (3).jpg IMG_4424.JPG 0623shfore.jpg
 
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