Answers to the Short Cuts questions from issue 157
A. False. Water rings develop in the finish, says finishing expert Bob Flexner. Older shellac or lacquer finishes are most prone because of their porous nature.
To remove the ring in old shellac, Bob advises lightly dampening a rag in denatured alcohol and wiping the affected area. This causes the finish to redissolve, lose its porosity, and become "compacted." The result: a restored clear finish .
For old lacquer finishes, Bob recommends Touch-Up Solutions Blush Control (available in an 11-ounce aerosol can for $3.99) or Liberon Ring Remover (a wipe-on product in a 125-ml bottle for $11.95). Get both at woodfinishingsupplies.com.
A. According to antique tool expert Martin J. Donnelly, this No.1 "Odd Jobs" Combination Tool was made in 1887 as part of the Stanley Rule & Level line. It includes a try square, level, mortising gauge, marking gauge, compass, and T-square.
A. Mold fungi forms in humid conditions. It appears as black or greenish-black discoloration on the surface of wood. While it doesn't damage wood, it may indicate the presence of decay fungi, something that can weaken wood structurally.
To get rid of mold, you have two choices: you can wash the wood with a 1:4 bleach/water solution or you can don a dust mask and plane the wood outdoors with a thickness planer. Be aware that mold spores can set off an allergic reaction. For this reason, sanding is not an option. As a further measure, elevate your lumber stack a foot off the ground to protect it from further moisture exposure.