You look aged...

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by gleber, Feb 24, 2019.

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  1. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    If necessity is the mother of invention, experimentation must be its aunt...

    I'm working on a cuckoo clock crown that was carved by someone else (I wish I had carved it, it's beautiful). I'm trying to get it to match the original surround. I was concerned about getting the new piece to look like it lived through 100+ years of the clock's life. Here is the story of what I did.

    I started with the carved piece, which had no finish. I applied Minwax Special Walnut wood finish, which was darker than the original by a pretty noticeable amount. I wish I had taken a photo at this stage, but I didn't. I am using the same stain on another piece I'm working on and I added that piece to the photos can see how much darker it was.

    Last time I tried this, I went up in my attic and scraped up some dust and tried to rub it in, but is wasn't as effective as I had hoped. I decided to be more aggressive this time.

    I got some diatomaceous earth (DE) and applied it liberally to the piece. The stain was almost dry, but slightly tacky. My first thought was Oh No, what have I done? You can get DE for your pool filter or garden at home and garden stores.

    de.jpg

    I then used compressed air and a toothbrush to brush it off.

    I applied Formby's Low Gloss Tung Oil using an almost dry brush and only covering the high areas. It was looking good, but not quite as light as I thought it should be. So, after it dried a little, but again while it was still tacky, I applied another coat of DE, dusted it off and then another final coat of Tung Oil.

    I'm pretty satisfied with the results. You can see how dark it was when originally applied by looking at the face piece from a Mission clock in the upper left of the first photo. I also overlaid the two pieces for a better comparison. I'd say it worked great. It's really hard to tell, especially from across the room.

    crown_frame.jpg final.jpg

    I'd love to hear from other people on how they age finish to match original pieces which have developed a nice rich patina.

    Thanks for reading,
    Tom
     
  2. Rockin Ronnie

    Rockin Ronnie Registered User
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    Nov 18, 2012
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    Have you considered tea to age the wood? haven't done it myself but from what I see online it seems to work.
    Ron
     
  3. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    I have heard about tea. Something about tannins. I have been looking into ebonizing formulas, but haven't tried anything yet. I thought these mostly turned the wood black?


    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  4. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Jan 12, 2017
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    I think you did a fantastic job matching it up!


    Rob
     
  5. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    Thanks Rob. I was really pleased when I overlaid the two pieces. I've tried to match other pieces before with some success, but it is really hard to get that perfect match. I think this one is close and one of my best so far.

    Tom
     
    Kevin W. likes this.
  6. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Feb 19, 2005
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    There are about as many techniques as there are restorers. You can use any combination of items/products: dust, powders, glazes, paints, dyes, dry-brushing, stains, aerosol sprays, waxes, oils, sand, heat, acids, the list in nearly endless. I have techniques that I was using years ago that I've completely switched for others. It's often a case-by-case basis.
     
  7. wcampbell

    wcampbell Registered User

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    Very clean. Outstanding job blending the color and finish. would be great if you posted a pic the finished project to see how it all comes together.
     
  8. gleber

    gleber Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
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    Thanks. I had to set this project aside for a while, but I am working on carving a pendulum. When complete, I'll post photos of it complete and set up.

    Tom
     

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