New Project 7 [ wear ]

The people that buy the type of things I build, generally live in houses filled with antiques. Many times they are looking for a piece for a particular space or to fill a particular need and are unable to find an original piece. They want a piece that blends in with their antiques. The process of finishing to meet the above needs involves three phases, simulated wear, coloring and a top coat.

Simulated wear

For some reason I didn’t take a picture of the piece totally finished but before aging and finishing. This one is close the only thing missing is the top edge profile.

ready for aging

The first thing I did was add wear with a riffler rasp to the appropriate areas. you need to add the wear to the areas that would have wear under normal use, like corners and places were hands would have touched often.  After the rasp it is cleaned up with sand paper and a card scraper.

riffler rasp

A rasped edge.

rasped edge

The final step in the simulating wear is to burnish the entire piece with a block of wood. I used a block of ash then a block of basswood. Burnishing creates a worn smooth surface that is hard to produce any other way. The two wood blocks are similar to having two grits when sanding.


Here is a burnished edge. This picture doesn’t really capture the quality of the surface, it’s smoother and has more shine.

burnished edge

Wear on a corner.

burnished corner

Wear on the stretchers.

worn stretcher

The table with simulated wear ready for coloring.


About millcrek

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3 Responses to New Project 7 [ wear ]

  1. Ron says:

    I found this post in the series particularly informative; although, I must say that each has a been a true pleasure to read and has provided me with many tips and things I would like to try out in the workshop on future pieces. The wear on the stretcher looks spot on. For the wood burnishing, does one basically want to go from a hardwood to a softwood regardless of the wood or do you always suggest ash and basswood? I am looking forward to seeing the coloring and topcoat steps.

  2. bob says:

    Really enjoy your process and what you do. Thanks very much. Truly interesting work.

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