My Finishing Nightmare

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Project by gfadvm posted 01-20-2012 01:45 AM 2617 views 2 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I sliced up the last of my end grain block to make this box and wanted it to be perfect. The box joints came out perfect, the Shipwright hinges were perfect, and the lid was perfect. Then I went to finish it. Lacquer got worse the more I applied so I gave up and sanded back to bare wood (600 grit), and tried shellac. The first couple of coats were OK then subsequent coats began to wad up/smear previous coats. It looked really nice with just BLO before I applied anything else. I should have quit there! Pictured finish is shellac but I’m not too proud of it. I consider each step of a project an opportunity to create woodstove fodder and this one almost got burned. It needs to find a home as my blood pressure goes up every time I look at it!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

27 comments so far

View cwdance1's profile


1160 posts in 3764 days

#1 posted 01-20-2012 01:51 AM

You can send it to me and I will keep it safe until you want it back.

Love the hinge, what a great job.

View ElmoSr's profile


241 posts in 3531 days

#2 posted 01-20-2012 01:59 AM

you are to critical. but then again i am my own worst critic. i am with cwdance, i will send u my address

-- ElmoSr,Ga. Life is Hard by the Yard,,,But a Cinch by the Inch

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3130 days

#3 posted 01-20-2012 02:04 AM

I have had more than my share of finishing miss haps. I think you recovered nicely and it looks great.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View chrisstef's profile


17960 posts in 3511 days

#4 posted 01-20-2012 02:12 AM

Personally i think it looks cool and the finish looks darn good to me. I really like box joints, definately underused as far as im concerned. Im curious if your finishing issues was from the end grain seeping BLO back out as you applied the top coat or did you have problem on the sides too?

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View cplant's profile


226 posts in 3069 days

#5 posted 01-20-2012 02:18 AM

its beautiful

-- "...if america is any indication, i was born into one great big vacation...." RMB

View Gina's profile


16 posts in 2856 days

#6 posted 01-20-2012 02:32 AM

Being new to woodworking, I can see how hard this was to make! So nice

-- Gina - Pottstown, PA

View vonhagen's profile


547 posts in 2869 days

#7 posted 01-20-2012 03:11 AM

the key is lite coats, very lite coats. and sanding sealer, slow down let it fully dry sand the nubs then lite coats. if you try to get that super wet look you are spraying to heavy, dont use a tack rag either just blow it off with compressed air. only go to 150 grit 220 at the most. laquer and shelac dont mix so when you think you striped it down you havent so clean it with laquer thinner. take a break while it dries. lite coats and did i say lite coats? yes lite coats. you will win, do not let the laquer defeat you. the box looks awesum!!!!!!

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View MontanaBob's profile


869 posts in 3189 days

#8 posted 01-20-2012 03:14 AM

Vry nice box—really like those hinges….sometimes the finish can drive one crazy….I think we get caught up looking for something that just isn’t there….

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3583 days

#9 posted 01-20-2012 03:16 AM

You know that you are your worst critic, Doc. From where I stand, it looks great! Quit beating yourself so hard, Andy. I’d be happy to take it (and any other) to the big Rendezvous in MN in Sept or others we’ll be going to before that.

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3808 days

#10 posted 01-20-2012 03:27 AM

its a great looking project, i guess you just need to practice on your finishes.when you master those, then you will be able to smile and not worry about stroking…....but i like this..grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6820 posts in 3858 days

#11 posted 01-20-2012 04:24 AM

I really like this box. I can’t stop looking at it. Darn I think it hypnotized me!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 3273 days

#12 posted 01-20-2012 04:58 AM

That is a great looking box!

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4570 days

#13 posted 01-20-2012 04:59 AM

Great looking box. We are often our own worst critics – I don’t see a problem with it at all.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View NormG's profile


6441 posts in 3508 days

#14 posted 01-20-2012 05:00 AM

Wonderful box

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3195 days

#15 posted 01-20-2012 05:35 AM

Thanks for all the nice comments guys. I feel a LITTLE better about it. I just had a 1 hour phone call from one of my LJ buddies who is a professional. He patiently explained all the mistakes I made and how to avoid them the next time I decide to try lacquer. There are a bunch of REALLY nice guys on this site who are always willing to help the ‘village idiots’ when we screw up. Thanks to all of you.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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