Believe me, old oak is very hard! The inside window ledge in the shop is a big chunk of it and it must have been there a very long time. The big rectangular holes you can see in it are where another piece was joined with a traditional mortice and tenon joint.
The other piece had, at some stage, formed a kind of work counter, presumably where the shop owner made his umbrella or knife handles, or finished off the objects. By the time I bought the shop the 'counter' was falling down, as one of the supports had either rotted or been knocked away.
I have been using a bolster chisel and lump hammer today to remove the top layer of oak which looks horrible and is very uneven. I uncovered lots of screws and nails embedded in the ledge, but have not been able to remove all of them. I had hoped to end up with a nice flat surface I could paint but, because of those nails and screws, I think I may have to get a new piece laid on the top to make it a usable sill.
I gave the stairs another coat of the gloss, but they will still need at least one more!
So much still to be done!
I bought some acrylic exterior paint this morning, as I hate using the gloss and it takes so long to dry. It was expensive, but worth it, I think. I gave the little window a coat and it was dry in a few hours. I also managed to give the front window one coat, and I'll do some more tomorrow.
I had hoped to do some painting of the outside - like the door - but the weather was against me. Although the day started out warm and sunny, by lunchtime it had degenerated into thunder and lightning, which seems to have followed me home! As I write this the rain is pouring down, punctuated with thunder and the odd bolt of lightening. Think I'll just settle down with a nice glass of wine...