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Sherlock Pipe Cabinet

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    Hey I got one of those Sherlock Holmes pipe cabinets as a xmas gift and I'm wondering about the wood on the inside shelves. It's raw and unfinished, kinda splintery (I know nothing about carpentry), has no stain. Is this a special kind of wood that's used for pipes? Or is it just regular wood? Should I sand it down so it's smooth or should I try and put a wood finish over it? It's in very good shape, clean but it has a musty wood smell. what do you think? Any input appreciated. Thanks

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. coffinmaker

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    A photo please.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. tuold

    tuold

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    I have a cabinet just like that and it's 30 years old. It was made in Taiwan and appears to be made of walnut. There are a few other differences but it's basically the same.

    The pipe is an instrument of civilization.
    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Yea they are common so I figured some people would have some info. That's not my cabinet, but those two look the same to me.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. tuold

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    I think you could stain the cabinet. Here's mine:

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Cool does the inside wood have a smell? The texture doesn't bother you? I've always been really bothered by raw wood cause it's splintery, I could never be a carpenter it's like nails on a chalkboard to me

    Nice Yellar Bo by the way

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. mikestanley

    mikestanley

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    I suspect the work to the interior would have been best done during manufacture. It also would have raised the price of the cabinet. I don't see any reason why you couldn't sand and finish the inside yourself.

    Mike S.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. mcitinner1

    mcitinner1

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    I would consider trying a coat of tung oil before staining it. Just try it out on the back first. It will richen (sp?) the color of the wood without stain.

    Edit...Since the piece is so portable, you could just take it to a business that sells hardwood, tools and finishing supplies, and ask for advice.

    Stan
    Godfrey Daniels!!
    The Plenipotent Key to Cope's Correct Card of the Peerless Pilgrimage to Saint Nicotine of the Holy Herb:
    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Will i get splinters in my tongue after applying the tongue oil? Just kidding, I don't have any of that on hand, but I'll try sanding it down. Will this help the smell at all?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. coffinmaker

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    Putting tongue oil on a rough surface is difficult to do. It needs to be rubbed/polished after being applied. That is when you get the splinters!! "tulod" cabinet looks good. Sand it and stain it, then apply a couple THIN coats of polyurethane. Light sanding between poly coats.
    You need to get on it with sand paper first.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. ssjones

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    The wood won't harm you or your pipes. It's simply very a very thin laminate.
    When I had this cabinet, I found the holes would not handle my bent pipes. I cut each o-shape in to a u-shape. I used small push pins to stretch an elastic cord across the openings, which kept all the pipes in place. Cutting the o's into u's was very tedious, I used a small, very fine tooth hobby saw.
    I later outgrew the cabinet, but it served me well for a period of time (Russ Oulette now owns it).

    Al

    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. mcitinner1

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    Putting tongue oil on a rough surface is difficult to do. It needs to be rubbed/polished after being applied.

    This is very true...but tung is the correct spelling.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. onestrangeone

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    Hard to tell from the pic, but biased on the color/grain on the back panel/shelves it looks like it could be Spanish Cedar, if so it was meant to be left raw, (insect control and humidity stability)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. coffinmaker

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    I can't believe I misspelled "tung" oil. Get ready for Church and not having coffee does things to my head! Mcitinner1, thank you for the correction.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to remove the smell? I put baking soda and some soap in for a week and I scrubbed the wood pretty good. that seemed to get rid of some of the smell but it still has a musty kind of odor. Any ideas?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. mcitinner1

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    Maybe set it outside in the sun with the door open for a few hours?

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Thanks thats not a bad idea, I'm trying sitting it open in front of the window but the smell seems to be in the wood

    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. coffinmaker

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    After you leave this set open as suggested, then put some cheap tobacco in the cabinet, close the door and sit it in the sun.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. jpmcwjr

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    Or fresh coffee grounds!

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. draco

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    I have found over the years that one of the best finishes for sealing in that musty smell is shellac. Its a natural finish and is sometimes used on pipes that are to be polished bright. Its hard to work around all those nooks and crannies inside there and shellac is good for that as well. I would knock down as much of the rough edges as suits you and dust it out very well with a brush and vacuum. Then get some denatured alcohol and a can of either white or orange shellac, a pint should do. White shellac basically dries clear and orange has an orange/amber color which can look pretty nice on that type of wood. If you want to stain it I recommend and alcohol stain as well. Wipe it down inside with some alcohol just to get the last of the dust. Thin the shellac about 50/50 with the alcohol for the first couple of coats as it will allow it to penetrate and seal the musty smell in. Then thin it less to do any final coats, you can do as many as you like as one coat kind of bonds to the prior coat as shellac is always soluble in alcohol. The thinner shellac also makes it easier to get a finish without drips in all those crannies.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Hey draco, I am personally super grossed out by shellac as it comes from an insect. There is nothing in the world i hate more than bugs lol. Scrubbing with chlorox wipes and letting baking soda sit for a week really helped the smell, it only smells when you get real up close to the wood with your nose now. Probably won't be too much of an issue I just don't want the pipes to absorb this smell from sitting in there. The smells seems to be like inside the wood shelves more than on the surface so i'm not sure if coffee grounds would help

    Posted 3 years ago #
  23. draco

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    Scarface I respect your being grossed out. I hope you didn't read the part about shellac being used on some pipes...true by the way. No just know it works. Just think of it as drowning bugs in alcohol if that helps. If it's in the wood your only real answer is to seal it. If you don't the mildew (mold) could actually transfer to the pipes and start growing there...lots of nice organics to feed on. I had some OSB board cut and ready to make an under bed storage system and it picked up a musty smell from being stored at a friends, no amount of cleaning of airing stopped it, shellac did. Trying varnish I guess is your next best bet. Hope it works out as its a nice cabinet.

    Posted 3 years ago #

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