Reply by Spaceballs

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Posted on Walnut and birdseye maple box finish questions.

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9 posts in 60 days

#1 posted 09-27-2020 07:43 PM

Hi Old Bull- I had written a good bit earlier and I never posted it because I got sidetracked doing some things at home, so I am going to post it but I want to add a little more to it before I do. One very important thing to mention though…. People spend countless hours in designing their project, getting the materials, preparing, cutting assembly, etc. and then they don’t do the necessary research or study before applying the Finish. An improper finish can nullify the prior detail work on a project so it pays to do the research before putting on the finish. That little tid-bit of info came from Mr. Flexner’s book I suggest you get later on in this message. Make samples first is always a good idea too. Something about 3” x 5” x 1/4” or near that size and sanded to the same grit as the project. And for your samples, try to use wood that is the same color and grain as your actual project, the woods match, that helps. Practice makes perfect. If you can, work with somebody who understands and does wood finishing, if they will take you under their wing for a summer. Maybe volunteer to help him finish, do some sanding, staining, get involved, you will learn a ton hands on. There is a Great book I recommend titled Understand Wood Finishing: How to Select & Apply the Right Finish by Bob Flexner. It has great info but also great pictures and hundreds of them (a picture is worth a thousand words) . It is a 30 buck book but you can find it on Ebay for under 10, well worth the cost, jump on it. Now, I see your comments about Shellac and Poly, please realize, that Shellac is a Alcohol base and the makers of shellac do not recommend you topcoat it with Poly, a mineral spirits based item. If you want to see a pretty color, put some orange shellac on Walnut and you get that amber glow old walnut is known for but shellac is not the hardest finish available, it can be pretty but but not very durable. Also, Shellac has a shelf life, as do all finishing materials, but shellac is more effected and shorter than others, by time. Tell you what I’m gonna do, since my other Post is so long- I’m going to send it separate too, I want to see your project, I know it looks grand. I’ll send you a picture of a church we did in town if you want. Also, I have a little bit of Brazilian Rosewood left from a job we did in the early 70s, before the tree was put on the endangered species list and prevented from being harvested in the Brazilian Rain Forest. I feel very fortunate. Also, the gentleman above is incorrect in stating none are finishes. The Watco Danish Oil is indeed a Finish. It contains special oils and varnish. Watco Danish Oil is a hand rubbed finish technique, unlike other topcoats that sit on top the surface the Watco product is absorbed down into the pores of the wood where it hardens and becomes part of the wood. I have seen instances when Watco was speced by architects on bank jobs for custom furniture such as bank counters, check desks and board of directors offices. I had already written a little about the Watco product in my other message that is coming next, although I wrote it first, so sorry if I repeat a little. You will also see new things too. Does that make any sense? I hope so….

-- Mark of Dixie Woodcraft

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