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Sight replacement vs finishing
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martin35
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Sight replacement vs finishing - 02-07-2019, 01:57 PM

Guys

Iím in the process of sanding my Anniversary solid wood rails. The old sights are cracked and needs replacement. On my previous table refinish I changed them after all the finishing was done. I had to redrill the holes a little deeper since I did removed some wood by sanding the rails. The fit was good around the sights but Iíve had hard time installing them perfectly flush with the top surface (using gel superglue). Now Iím wondering if it may works ok to install them prior to finishing and sanding them flush as required. I guess that I can clean them easily during staining but I wonder if putting polyurethane varnish on top will stick properly and/or looks good ?

Thanks for any input

Martin
  
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JoeyInCali
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02-07-2019, 02:02 PM

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trentfromtoledo
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02-07-2019, 04:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by martin35 View Post
Guys

Iím in the process of sanding my Anniversary solid wood rails. The old sights are cracked and needs replacement. On my previous table refinish I changed them after all the finishing was done. I had to redrill the holes a little deeper since I did removed some wood by sanding the rails. The fit was good around the sights but Iíve had hard time installing them perfectly flush with the top surface (using gel superglue). Now Iím wondering if it may works ok to install them prior to finishing and sanding them flush as required. I guess that I can clean them easily during staining but I wonder if putting polyurethane varnish on top will stick properly and/or looks good ?

Thanks for any input

Martin
I sand them flush and then poly over everything. Comes out awesome. Are you using a clear poly?

Trent from Toledo
  
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02-07-2019, 04:49 PM

Sand all the way up to 320-400
  
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martin35
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02-07-2019, 05:05 PM

Thank you Trent

Exactly the advice I was looking for. I will stain (Walnut) and put clear semigloss poly over. From your experience is the stain cleans ok from the plastic sights?

Thanks
  
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02-07-2019, 05:31 PM

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Originally Posted by martin35 View Post
Thank you Trent

Exactly the advice I was looking for. I will stain (Walnut) and put clear semigloss poly over. From your experience is the stain cleans ok from the plastic sights?

Thanks

They are supposed to be mother of pearl. I use qtips and mineral spirits to clean the sights, very careful! you can mess up your stain if you get the spirits on the wood! Seems like you can handle it!

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martin35
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02-08-2019, 05:54 AM

Trent

I actually have a bagfull of plastic sight and they looks pretty good but on the other hand I don’t know how they react to sanding and varnish, I’ll need to make a test on a scrap piece first. Do you think there’s a big difference with the mother of pearl ? I never worked with that stuff before.

Thanks

Last edited by martin35; 02-08-2019 at 07:54 AM.
  
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02-08-2019, 07:12 AM

I would set the mother of pearl in slightly below flush before sanding. Then sand the walnut rails down to the mother of pearl (MOP). The reason being is that the MOP is much harder than the walnut and if you don't do that you end up with high spots where the sights are.
  
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02-08-2019, 07:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by martin35 View Post
Trent

I actually have a bagfull of plastic sight and they looks pretty good but on the other hand I donít know how they react to sanding and varnish, Iíll need to make a test on a scrap piece first. Do you think thereís a big difference with the mother of pearl ? I never work with that stuff before.

Thanks
You are restoring one of the most iconic pool tables out there. Yeah, I think you might wanna use mother of pearl.

Trent from Toledo
  
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02-08-2019, 07:18 AM

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Originally Posted by Lawnboy77 View Post
I would set the mother of pearl in slightly below flush before sanding. Then sand the walnut rails down to the mother of pearl (MOP). The reason being is that the MOP is much harder than the walnut and if you don't do that you end up with high spots where the sights are.
Getting each individual sight to sit flush or below flush is HARD to do. Resetting the drill press to be exact when nothing about the rails themselves are exact is a pain, setting them high or low. I do see your point though! I have no issues getting everything smooth, just have to pay close attention and use the right tools & paper

Trent from Toledo
  
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martin35
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02-08-2019, 07:55 AM

Thanks guys for your input. I will definitely make test with both material before to go ahead.

Martin
  
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02-08-2019, 11:09 AM

Guys

What is your preferred source for mother of pearl ?

Martin
  
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02-08-2019, 11:30 AM

Quote:
I would set the mother of pearl in slightly below flush before sanding. Then sand the walnut rails down to the mother of pearl
With all due respect that might work for you, it sounds like a big risk and a ton of extra work to me. People tend to forget hand tools and long-board backer boards for SP, and going through the grits. I can just picture someone setting them low, then going at the rails with an ROS, and when the gloss is on and you look down the table, see all the low spots.

I'd set them high (never did it myself, but the table builder i made tools for did, for MOP & Abalone diamonds) and if necessary, file close; then use a long backer board and sand lengthwise with the rails. With the length of abrasive, the abrasion happens fast enough.

It's always worth trying something like that on scrap to get a feel & decide things like grit sequence; and how to blow the white dust out of the grain.

smt
  
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02-08-2019, 02:48 PM

I think I was misunderstood. When I say below flush I should of specified that it be very little (.002 max), and it would be variable depending on the ball dings and scratches/ gouges that are present. I would advise steam, or damp sponge to raise the dents to minimize sanding to. I have included a pic of my refinished Anniversary (it was refinished by the seller) to show how those sights really don’t sand at all like walnut. Notice how the soft walnut got removed around the sight and now the sight sets up a few thousandths. luckily it is a satin finish so not a big deal to me, but if a person wanted high gloss it would be very noticeable.

The other pic is of a rail that I made years ago that I recessed the mother of pearl sights ever so slightly and has not been refinished yet, both are walnut caps. Notice how flat the surface is. It’s pretty evident to me what happens when you over sand on one of those areas with mother of pearl inlay if sandpaper is contacting the sight. The point I was trying to make was...the goal should be flush and flat after sanding and finishing, not flush before, and for sure to minimize sanding once flush. Heck even if the sight was slightly recessed you are still golden, you can fill that small area with a little extra poly and bring it up to flush with poly and sanding in between coats. That poly that is over the sight needs some depth to it anyway to be durable.
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martin35
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02-08-2019, 04:06 PM

Thank you guys to share your first hand experience. I'll experiemnt and let you know the outcome for sure. BTW the sights that I actually have are called "pearlite" but I think it's only a fancy word for plastic.

Thanks

Martin
  
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