True to my promise, I am writing this week about the use of wood bleach on my Singer sewing machine project.
The four pieces that constitute the top of that case have quite a bit of damage caused by water having been spilled on then. I have repaired the damage done to the veneer. That required regluing and clamping veneer edges that had lifted. I suspect from what I have seen that the original makers probably used hide glue to assemble the casework.
I can see indications on the insides of the cases that this was the glue of choice. It worked well. But, 100 years later, there were a few places that were obviously overwhelmed by the amount of water on the veneer. That caused veneer joints to curl up and separate from the substrate.
Why are we here, you ask? Why are we discussing the bleaching of wood?
Well, I have been involved with a number of projects with my more demanding clients who want to build with certain, builder-specified woods. These projects, when they come to me for color development, when stained, will not look close enough to the designer’s control sample to satisfy the designer.
When architects and designers are involved with the process, there are often demands placed on the project that are very difficult to accomplish.As those of you who know what I mean, until the architect, designer, and/or client are happy…nobody is happy.
For example, the designer will submit a control sample on a dissimilar species of wood and want that exact color reproduced on the wood of the builder’s choice for the project at hand. Little or no thought is given to the fact that there may be color issues resulting from this decision. Mine is not to reason why. Mine is just to accomplish what is necessary. Such is the life of those involved in commercial casework projects.
Life is not always easy! There have to be others of you out there who have experienced these situations. My job is to give you the tools that you need to accomplish difficult things as easily as possible.
In order to achieve the correct background color that a particular wood brings to the finishing schedule, it may be necessary to remove/alter the natural color of the wood by bleaching it. That having been said, a lighter background will also be the result of bleaching. In my little project, that will happen when I bleach these four pieces.
When I get the bleaching stage of this restoration done, it may be necessary to fog on some dye to return the wood’s natural color removed by the bleach. In the end, the top pieces will still need to match the rest of the case.