Author Topic: Restoring the Exterior of a Cedar Cabin Using Three Festool Sanders  (Read 26165 times)

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Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
I am part way through a four summer project to sand and then re-stain the exterior of my cedar 'log' cabin at Pellow's Island in Lake Pivabiska near Hearst in Northern Ontario.  When I started the project in 2005, I described the project in threads on other forums but, never here.  Thinking about it some more, this seems to be the most appropriate forum.  So decided to start a new thread here, describe the project, and report what was done in 2005, 2006, and 2007 and what needs to be done to finish the job in 2008.

Background:

Pellow's Camp (also known as Pellow's Island) has been in our family since the 1920s.  The main building at Pellow's Camp is a Pan Abode western red cedar 'log cabin' that I built in 1976. It is partly constructed on the rock foundation of the original real log cabin that my dad and his friends built in the early 1930s. That cabin burned down in 1961.

I used Solignum Woodland Natural stain on the walls and that looked quite good for about 5 years on the walls exposed to lots of sun and about 10 on the walls with little exposure to sun. So, periodically I have sanded down, then re-stained different sides of the cabin.

In the past I used a combination of a Makita belt sander and a Makita palm sander. They were much harder to use than my Festool sanders, the sanding job took about twice as long, and the results were not nearly as good.

This time around, I used Solignum semi-gloss Woodland Natural stain.  Previously I used their gloss version but this time I used their semi-gloss version. The first reason for doing this is that I think that the cabin looks more natural with the reduced gloss. The second is that I hope the semi gloss stain will last longer. No one has told me that it will last longer, but I have a feeling that it will.

I will split this post into sections for each of the years that I have worked on the project.



2005

This year it was the north wall's turn. I last stained this wall 16 years ago so the turn was long overdue as you can see from these photos:

34261-0

34263-1
 
I used all three of my Festool sanders to do the job:

First, the Rotex RO 150 E random orbital sander in aggressive mode to remove the majority of old stain and decayed wood (with Saphire P50 paper). I also used this sander with Saphire P24 paper on the log ends.  This was followed by a fast pass in fine mode with Rubin P80 paper.

34265-2
 
Next the Deltex DX 93 E extended triangular pad sander (with Saphire P60 paper) to remove gunk from corners and groves. Note that, when the extended pad is used, it is not possible to connect the sander to the vacuum but I was willing to the sacrifice the benefits of the vacuum for the extra reach provided by the extended pad.  Again, I followed this up with a quick pass with Rubin P80 paper.

34267-3  

Finally the Duplex LS 130 EQ linear sander (with Rubin P80 paper) to smooth wood before re-staining.  Although the vacuum is not connected in the picture below, I did use it most of the time with the linear sander.

34269-4

Although my Festool sanders make the whole job faster, easier, and better, it still takes quite a bit of time (19 hours to be precise).

Here are photos of the two segments of the north wall after the sanding was completed:
    
34271-5  

34273-6

And here are photos of the finished north wall:

34275-7
    
34277-8
    
The finish on the very top logs had not deteriorated, so I left it. Those logs (see the top at the far right of the first photo) are glossier and do not look as good as the others.



2006:

This year, I sanded the west wall (last sanded and stained in 1998).  Again, it took 19 hours to do the sanding.   Here, the sanding task is underway:
 
34287-9

Here, the sanding job is finished:
 
34289-10

Here, staining is underway:

34291-11
 
Here, the staining job is finished:

34293-12
 
Here is another view of the finished west wall, this time taken from the lake:

34295-13



 
2007:

It was the turn of the east wall this year.  It was last sanded and stained in 1997.  
This time I did not have my Festool vacuum with me.  :(  That makes the sanders less efficient, results in the use of more sandpaper, and makes a big mess with dust all over the place.

Just starting to sand:

34297-14
 
All sanded, starting to satin:

34299-15
 
Finished:

34301-16
 
This wall has the smallest amount of material but some of it is difficult to get at, so sanding took almost as long as the other walls -17 hours instead of the 19 that I spent sanding the other two.  And the reduction in sanding time was more than made up for by the time it took me to clean up all the dust on the porch and on the walls.

The walls that I stained in 2005 and 2006 still look great and I am optimistic that I will never have to sand the place down to bare wood again.



2008:

I'm looking forward to getting up there again soon and completing the job and I will add to this thread when I do so.  It?s the south wall's turn this year.  It was last done in 2001 which is less of a gap than any of the other walls ?but this wall is the most exposed and, of course, it gets the most sun.  

« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 04:38 PM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

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Offline SRSemenza

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Hi,

  Great sanding and staining job Frank.   Why no vac on the one section?     Love seeing pics of your island :)


Seth

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Thanks Seth,  The reason that there was no sander is that I went up to the cabin in my brother`s car and there was limited room for tools,
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline woodshopdemos

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WOW!! Frank. That is great example of labor  of love. It has to be so rewarding as you see the satin go on. Mythinking is that gloss is tuffer than satin, but it may not give you the look that you want. I also thnk that multiple coats will keep you from going back so often. Those are just guesses on my part.
In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)

Offline Aspiring FT Owner

  • Posts: 22
Frank,

Thanks for the great detail on this project, it has been really helpful.

I have a very similar project coming up, removing several years of old paint off a log cabin of similar size.  I purchased a the Rotex 150 & CT 22 for this and other work.  Plan is to take it back to bare wood and repaint, as the UV is really bad at 9000 Ft and degrades stains very quickly.

How many pads did you go thru per side?  I'm trying to budget my materials use, so I have a sample pack to try out in a few weeks.  I purchased about 10 Saphire 50 disks to try out.  With 2-3 of several other grits going up to 240.  Seeing that it took you on the order of 20 hours per side helps me plan how many weekends this will take up. 

Also if you had a helper would this have gone faster?  I know that there's only 1 tool and vac, but did fatigue play a part, and if you swapped off every 2 hours or so how would that have effected your workflow?  I might be able to shanghai the Brother-in-law to help with this job.

Thanks for the info, looks like I might need a better detail sander than the $30 black and decker I got as a freebee.  :D

Offline Festool USA

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What a compelling transformation!  Thanks for sharing, Frank.

Interesting use of shims as you stand on the second rung from the top on the step ladder.  ;D  Looks somewhat precarious.

Offline tvgordon

  • Posts: 501
  • Springfield, Ohio
Wow,

Nice job, nice cabin and nice view!

Tom.

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Wow,

Nice job, nice cabin and nice view!

Tom.

Thanks Tom.  If you like that view, I thought that you might appreciate a couple looking north north-east up the lake.

21103-0

21105-1
 

 


« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 07:55 PM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
What a compelling transformation!  Thanks for sharing, Frank.

Interesting use of shims as you stand on the second rung from the top on the step ladder.  ;D  Looks somewhat precarious.
Thanks Shane.  I agree that the perch was precarious  :-[     But, I was lucky and did not fall.  ;D
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Frank,

Thanks for the great detail on this project, it has been really helpful.

I have a very similar project coming up, removing several years of old paint off a log cabin of similar size.  I purchased a the Rotex 150 & CT 22 for this and other work.  Plan is to take it back to bare wood and repaint, as the UV is really bad at 9000 Ft and degrades stains very quickly.

How many pads did you go thru per side?  I'm trying to budget my materials use, so I have a sample pack to try out in a few weeks.  I purchased about 10 Saphire 50 disks to try out.  With 2-3 of several other grits going up to 240.  Seeing that it took you on the order of 20 hours per side helps me plan how many weekends this will take up. 

Also if you had a helper would this have gone faster?  I know that there's only 1 tool and vac, but did fatigue play a part, and if you swapped off every 2 hours or so how would that have effected your workflow?  I might be able to shanghai the Brother-in-law to help with this job.

Thanks for the info, looks like I might need a better detail sander than the $30 black and decker I got as a freebee.  :D
I'm glad to be of help.

The average number of sheets worn out per side of the cabin would be:
-Rotex: 4 or 5 Saphire P50 and 1 or 2 Rubin P80
-Deltex: 3 or 4 Saphire P60 and 1 Rubin P80
-Duplex: 2 or 3 Rubin P80

A helper would have reduced the elapsed time but not the actual time spent on the job.  And there are not a lot of helpers I would trust to do as good a job as I have done. 

I got bored doing the job, but not fatigued.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Don T

  • Posts: 2081
  • Phoenix, Az
Hi Frank, you have some gorgeous views.  I don't think I would ever want to leave.
RO150, C12, DF 500 Q, CT33, TS75, MFT3, Kapex 120, MFT3/Kapex, MFK 700, RO 90, ETS150/3, CT22, Centrotec Installers Kit, Parallel Guides & Ext, Carvex, OF1400, LR32 Set, MFS400 w/700 rails, KA UG Set, First Aid Kit, RTS 400 EQ, Vecturo OS400 Set, CT Wings, CT Drill Guide, Pro 5, CXS, C18, HL850, Vac Sys set

Offline tvgordon

  • Posts: 501
  • Springfield, Ohio
Thanks for posting the photos of your great views.  Incredible!

Tom.

Offline John Langevin

  • Posts: 245
  • Springfield, MA
Frank,

Great job, great info, great pics as always! :)

Aspiring FT Owner - the presence of a helper watching Frank work his two hour stint would greatly increase the Guinness Cost Factor (I think I got that right Frank?)

Frank, how about amending the "Tool Contest" to offer a visit with you at your cabin for the best "large scale" refinishing project? The winner, of course, would supply all 'consumables'. What sayeth you Festool Nation?
Practicing Mediocrity Never Begets Perfection

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Thanks John.

It would increase the GCF (Guinness Cost Factor) -but not on the job.

No contest is necessary.  If any member cares to make the long trip to Lake Pivabiska, they would be very welcome.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 10:54 AM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Here is another picture looking north north-eat up Lake Pivabiska from Pellow's Island.  This one is more appropriate for this forum because it includes many Festool tools.

21107-0
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 08:01 PM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Peter Teubel

  • Posts: 148
Hi Frank, you have some gorgeous views.  I don't think I would ever want to leave.

(sigh...) I'd give up all my Festools and switch to B&D tools for a view like that out my window.

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
There is an article about this project in Festool USA's 28 May issue of SysNotes.   To see it select: http://www.festoolusa.com/whats_new_details.aspx?docid=914 then choose the '04 Toolie Tips: The Pellow Island Cabin Restoration by Frank Pellow' option.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Bill Wyko

  • Posts: 821
Frank, that turned out absolutly beautiful. Most people would have thought replace the siding. You guys did a fantastic job.
The bitterness of poor quality, lingers long after the cheap price is forgotten.

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Thanks Bill. 

But, replacing the siding was not an option because the building is made of solid logs.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5869
Frank,

Thanks for the great detail on this project, it has been really helpful.

I have a very similar project coming up, removing several years of old paint off a log cabin of similar size.  I purchased a the Rotex 150 & CT 22 for this and other work.  Plan is to take it back to bare wood and repaint, as the UV is really bad at 9000 Ft and degrades stains very quickly.

How many pads did you go thru per side?  I'm trying to budget my materials use, so I have a sample pack to try out in a few weeks.  I purchased about 10 Saphire 50 disks to try out.  With 2-3 of several other grits going up to 240.  Seeing that it took you on the order of 20 hours per side helps me plan how many weekends this will take up. 

Also if you had a helper would this have gone faster?  I know that there's only 1 tool and vac, but did fatigue play a part, and if you swapped off every 2 hours or so how would that have effected your workflow?  I might be able to shanghai the Brother-in-law to help with this job.

Thanks for the info, looks like I might need a better detail sander than the $30 black and decker I got as a freebee.  :D
I'm glad to be of help.

The average number of sheets worn out per side of the cabin would be:
-Rotex: 4 or 5 Saphire P50 and 1 or 2 Rubin P80
-Deltex: 3 or 4 Saphire P60 and 1 Rubin P80
-Duplex: 2 or 3 Rubin P80

A helper would have reduced the elapsed time but not the actual time spent on the job.  And there are not a lot of helpers I would trust to do as good a job as I have done. 

I got bored doing the job, but not fatigued.

Reduce boredom with this.

By the way Frank, where does your electricity come from?

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Michael, I am thinking of getting exactly those ear protectors with built-in radio.

I have a genertor (Honda) for electricity.  It is only used with tools.  In the future (next year?) , I plan to experiment with solar and wind power.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Restoring the Exterior of a Cedar Cabin Using Three Festool Sanders
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2008, 07:20 AM »
2008:

I am happy ;D to be able to report that I have now completed the fourth and final side of the cabin.  I spent the bulk of the summer at Pellow's Camp but so many other things were going on that I only completed the task three days ago.

It was the turn of the south side to be finished this year.  This is the side that gets the most weather wear and so the one that was in the worst shape.  Here are two before photos:

21109-0      21111-1    

Early this year, I found a much better scraper made by Bacho in Sweden, so I am doing very much more scraping before sanding than I did on the other three sides:

  21113-2  

Notice that I also acquired something much better to stand upon than me precarious footing   :-[ of prior years.

There were dome spot that were two small for any of my Festool sanders and I had to resort to a Dremel:

  21115-3  

Here is a photo of the the completed job:

  21117-4  

The combined scraping and sanding took a little longer than the other three sides.  Each of them took 19 hours. I sraped the south wall for 7.5 hours and sanded it for 14 hours -thus totalling 21.5 hours this time.

I ran out of time to finish the two cabinets (and they stand out like sore thumbs  :().   Next year I will paint them both brown.

Also, next year I plan to lightly sand the north side and give it a "refresher" coat.  But that job should only take about half a day.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 08:08 PM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Justin F.

  • Posts: 311
  • Louisiana, USA
Re: Restoring the Exterior of a Cedar Cabin Using Three Festool Sanders
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2008, 02:43 PM »
Great work Frank.    I hope you do some fishing around there (I would  ;))  --- but I wouldn't know where to start without muddy water, lily pads and bayous  :D ---- beautiful place you have there.

Justin
" The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding. "

Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
Re: Restoring the Exterior of a Cedar Cabin Using Three Festool Sanders
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2008, 03:28 PM »
Thanks Justin.  Yes we do some fishing.  For instance, here is my brother-in-law Jeff Barker with a pike that he caught (then let go) a couple of weeks ago.

 21119-0

The pike was exactly one metre long.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 08:10 PM by Frank Pellow »
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Justin F.

  • Posts: 311
  • Louisiana, USA
Re: Restoring the Exterior of a Cedar Cabin Using Three Festool Sanders
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2008, 03:50 PM »
Man oh man! ----- Frank , I'll be using your place for my next mid-day fishing daydream if you don't mind.  (Leave the Festools out, I'll give them a whirl also  ;)).   Thanks for the pics.


Justin
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 04:12 PM by Justin F. »
" The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding. "

Offline Restorative Carpentry

  • Posts: 15
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Re: Restoring the Exterior of a Cedar Cabin Using Three Festool Sanders
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2008, 05:16 PM »
I sit here in shocked awe :o
Your endurance levels are amazing - just thinking about the hours of work involved just leaves me stunned
I've got a job of sanding down a piddley little 8x4 shed (!) which I steadfastly put off month after month in the hope that my wife will eventually relinquish, and let me rip it down.
I will never show these photos to my wife - I couldn't bear the comments that would be heaped upon me :)
Because of you I now live in fear ;D ;D ;D

Box Sash Window Repairs and Restoration
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Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario
I sit here in shocked awe :o
Your endurance levels are amazing - just thinking about the hours of work involved just leaves me stunned
I've got a job of sanding down a piddley little 8x4 shed (!) which I steadfastly put off month after month in the hope that my wife will eventually relinquish, and let me rip it down.
I will never show these photos to my wife - I couldn't bear the comments that would be heaped upon me :)
Because of you I now live in fear ;D ;D ;D


I also restore sheds.  [smile]  Here is a shed that I fixed up at my daughter Kathleen's place 5 years ago:

Before:

21121-0

During:

21123-1

After:

21125-2

Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Hoover

  • Posts: 130
I sit here in shocked awe :o
Your endurance levels are amazing - just thinking about the hours of work involved just leaves me stunned
I've got a job of sanding down a piddley little 8x4 shed (!) which I steadfastly put off month after month in the hope that my wife will eventually relinquish, and let me rip it down.
I will never show these photos to my wife - I couldn't bear the comments that would be heaped upon me :)
Because of you I now live in fear ;D ;D ;D


I also restore sheds.  [smile]  Here is a shed that I fixed up at my daughter Kathleen's place 5 years ago:

Before:

(Attachment Link)

During:

(Attachment Link)

After:

(Attachment Link)



For the rough sanding and finish removal, what do you use?  I assume a rotex but what abrasive and grits to you like the best?  I have only had a rotex for a few months and I'm still getting used to it.


Offline Frank Pellow

  • Posts: 2743
  • Toronto, Ontario and Lake Pivabiska, Ontario

For the rough sanding and finish removal, what do you use?  I assume a rotex but what abrasive and grits to you like the best?  I have only had a rotex for a few months and I'm still getting used to it.

I describe the sanders and sandpapers that I used in detail in the first post in this thread.
Cheers,   
               Frank (Festool connoisseur)

Offline Hoover

  • Posts: 130

For the rough sanding and finish removal, what do you use?  I assume a rotex but what abrasive and grits to you like the best?  I have only had a rotex for a few months and I'm still getting used to it.

I describe the sanders and sandpapers that I used in detail in the first post in this thread.

Thanks.  Where the thread is older, I just skimmed the various posts and did not notice the abrasive choices, etc.

How do you find the Saphire paper vs. Cristal.  I have not used the Saphire but used some agressive grit Cristal and although it performed well, it didn't last as long as I expected.  I think I might pick up some Saphire for the rough material removal.