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Old 23rd August 2008, 09:42 PM   #1
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Default Refinishing a burned cabinet

I picked up a cabinet (cheap) that has been in a fire. It's structurally solid, but cosmetically a mess.

The main problem is that some of the wood has burned away. It looks like your standard 13-ply birch (it's a Matamp 2x12), and in some places, two or even three layers have burned away.

Any suggestions on what to do with this?

Rip off the burned layers completely?

Use bondo or something to square off the burned areas?

Sand the burned areas smooth and just leave an uneven surface?

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 24th August 2008, 12:17 AM   #2
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Default ideas

a few ideas. A pic would be good to give an idea of damage
  • Fiberglass over the damage, leave visible for cred
  • use a router set to 1/4" depth to remove geometric patters, fit these with 1/4 plywood
  • bondo, as you said
  • scavenge hardware, replace lumber
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Old 24th August 2008, 09:40 AM   #3
cernael is offline cernael  Sweden
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Refinish it in a way that brings out, and compliments, the battle scars.

...or maybe I'm just being silly.
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Old 24th August 2008, 04:43 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies - I'll get a couple pictures up later today.

Quote:
Originally posted by cernael
Refinish it in a way that brings out, and compliments, the battle scars.

...or maybe I'm just being silly.
Not silly... this is actually what I was thinking. Structurally, it's fine - I could probably throw the cabinet down the stairs without it coming apart. I could scrub the hell out of the tolex, clean up the hardware, and use it as is. But I don't think the wife would let me bring it in from the garage.

So I'd like to recover it without totally disguising its history - I just don't know exactly how I'd do that.

Quote:
Originally posted by thespeakerguy
  • Fiberglass over the damage, leave visible for cred
I was about to ask "How would I do that?" but I guess you'd need to see the photos first. Neat idea.
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Old 24th August 2008, 07:39 PM   #5
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Default a single layer of fiberglass is transparent

like on a surfboard.

There's retail stores with the supplies in most major metropolitan areas. In San Jose, it's called Tap Plastics. Buy local is good, the resins are expensive to ship.

on the idea of using a router. use a template guide bushing to cut perfect 3" diameter circles 1/4" deep. These are then filled with 3" diameter pieces of hardwood or plywood. Could be done in phases, could use contrasting woods, etc. This would end up looking like those weird eliptical patches used over knot holes in plywood, although you use circles as they are much easier to get dimensional accuracy
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Old 25th August 2008, 01:56 AM   #6
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I like that idea.. I'll have to look into local sources.

Here are the photos of the badly burned areas:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

The front and opposite side are unburned; the interior and all structural elements are sound. It's mostly the one corner (top right, looking from behind), and the back panel, which would be easy enough to replace.
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Old 25th August 2008, 11:34 AM   #7
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It's just a wooden (plywood) box, why not just build a new one? - it's hardly complicated, and it's likely to be easier to do than bodge the ruined one.
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Old 25th August 2008, 04:36 PM   #8
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I guess I want to do it for the sake of doing it.

I like my gear... well, "seasoned" with character - none of mine is showroom quality. This cab functions perfectly well as a box right now. I don't want to recover it fully, just enough to make it pass the wife test.

I know it's unusual. I guess I'll just forge ahead and see what happens. I find that projects like this one tend to tell you what to do, once you're knee deep into them.
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Old 25th August 2008, 04:58 PM   #9
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"I see a red door and I want it painted black"

Maybe just spray painting it black gets it through the wife test? And the battle scars will still be visible.
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Old 25th August 2008, 05:01 PM   #10
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LOL I was expecting some kind of furniture not a tea chest. The mind boggles.
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