How do you clean antique raw wood crates? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-10-2012, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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How do you clean antique raw wood crates?

Okay I am newbie.. be kind! I have a few vintage and antique wooden crates that I received when my father passed (old soda crates, packing crates) they are really cool but need a good cleaning and perhaps a nice clear coat afterwards but how do you clean wooden crates with unfinished wood? some are really really dirty and I can't bring into the house like that. Please advise- I was going to scrub with Murphys soap and let dry but I am not sure if that is THE way to do it.

Thank you for your help. It is appreciated
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-10-2012, 01:06 PM
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Cleaning with soap and water is a good way to get the grime off them.
I would be careful with the amount of water used.

Sanding or scraping probably wouldn't be good since it could ruin the patina and the neat old labels.

I was also thinking about denatured alcohol or mineral spirits but again, if it's got cool labels, I would be careful.

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post #3 of 17 Old 02-10-2012, 03:34 PM
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Murphy's oil soap is not fit to be used as rat poison,. Throw any you have in the trash and don't get any more.

And for heavan';s sake don't use that crud on an antique. The stuff contaminates every surface it's applied to.


First you might ask if you ever hope to put these antique boxes in an auction or to have them as antiques. If the answer might be yes then don't clean them.
The patina of age is part and parcel of why an antique is valuable.
People pay for patina of age. It can't be faked.
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-11-2012, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip

I never knew Murphy's Oil Soap was so bad.. what does it do that is not good? Just so I know...
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-11-2012, 07:05 PM
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Murphy's oil soap

Anything with the name Murhpy's in it could have nasty results...Murphy's Law...

Soap is not oil, oil is not soap.

I good bristle paint brush that has seen it's last use, would brush any loose dirt off the surface without destroying the patina. Let the next person ruin it if that's what choose to do, but don't you be the one in an effort to "make it look nice" Just my .02$ bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-11-2012, 07:11 PM
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I used Murphy's Oil Soap on some doors like that

Six-panel pine doors, never used but apparently stored for decades. Very very dirty. So I scrubbed them well with a brush and Murphy's Oil Soap. 1/2 cup in a gallon or so of water. After scrubbing I cleaned all the water and dirt off with a shop vac - to suck the joints as dry as possible as soon as possible.

When they were dry I lacquered them clear.

PHM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grittypretty View Post
Okay I am newbie.. be kind! I have a few vintage and antique wooden crates that I received when my father passed (old soda crates, packing crates) they are really cool but need a good cleaning and perhaps a nice clear coat afterwards but how do you clean wooden crates with unfinished wood? some are really really dirty and I can't bring into the house like that. Please advise- I was going to scrub with Murphys soap and let dry but I am not sure if that is THE way to do it.

Thank you for your help. It is appreciated
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-11-2012, 07:14 PM
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Any fat can be made into soap

So why can't Murphy make soap from oil?

I shaved this morning with olive oil soap. <g>

What specific information do you have that Murphy's Oil Soap is harmful to surfaces or finishes? Or to anything at all for that matter.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Anything with the name Murhpy's in it could have nasty results...Murphy's Law...

Soap is not oil, oil is not soap.

I good bristle paint brush that has seen it's last use, would brush any loose dirt off the surface without destroying the patina. Let the next person ruin it if that's what choose to do, but don't you be the one in an effort to "make it look nice" Just my .02$ bill
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-11-2012, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoodleHeadMikey View Post
So why can't Murphy make soap from oil?

I shaved this morning with olive oil soap. <g>

What specific information do you have that Murphy's Oil Soap is harmful to surfaces or finishes? Or to anything at all for that matter.

PHM
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-12-2012, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grittypretty View Post
I never knew Murphy's Oil Soap was so bad.. what does it do that is not good? Just so I know...
It leaves a residue that just keeps building up with repetitive use.
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-12-2012, 10:37 PM
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I did a couple just in the tub with mild soap and gentle brush and quickly so the water didn't soak them. A quick rinse to remove any soap residue then left overnight to dry.
I did put a light coat to 1 lb cut shellac to prevent staining but was reluctant to use a more covering finish tha might change their looks.
D.r Pepper and Canada Dry from the days of wooden boxes. They make good magazine storage.
Bob
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post #11 of 17 Old 05-29-2016, 01:48 PM
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Castille soap is made from olive oil. "Castile soap is wonderful stuff. It is made from 100% plant oils typically olive oil or coconut oil and it includes no animal fat and no mysterious chemicals. It's a true soap, not a chemical detergent, making castile soap completely biodegradable and very earth-friendly." Your statement is untrue. Many soaps are oil based.
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post #12 of 17 Old 07-29-2019, 12:23 PM
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Painting wood crates - New Question

I have a wine crate from Italy that is fairly new. I want to lightly stain it and then paint a picture with oil paint. In my mind, it seems like it will be fine. Am I missing something? Staining should be fine but will oil paints adhere?? Thanks for the great forum.
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post #13 of 17 Old 07-29-2019, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PollyPainting View Post
I have a wine crate from Italy that is fairly new. I want to lightly stain it and then paint a picture with oil paint. In my mind, it seems like it will be fine. Am I missing something? Staining should be fine but will oil paints adhere?? Thanks for the great forum.
As long as you let the stain dry 24 hours I don't see a problem. That's assuming there isn't a foreign substance on the wood already.
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post #14 of 17 Old 07-29-2019, 02:40 PM
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Personally, I wouldn't do a thing to them. Altering the item would lessen the value. I made the mistake of refinishing an antique shotgun. Lesson learned.

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-29-2019, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineknot_86 View Post
Personally, I wouldn't do a thing to them. Altering the item would lessen the value. I made the mistake of refinishing an antique shotgun. Lesson learned.

It is a fairly new crate. The first part of this thread is old and forgotten.


George
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post #16 of 17 Old 07-30-2019, 07:54 AM
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I was keying in on "antique."

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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post #17 of 17 Old 07-30-2019, 04:05 PM
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truthfully some good dish soap and warm water with a soft cloth should be okay. Just wipe the surfaces gently but wring the cloth well so it doesn't completely soak the wood. I used soap and a cloth on my old wooden boxes and frames and it worked out okay.
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