Mahogany Kitchen Stool Project #14: Finish is on - all 9 coats! Plus 2 buffing, wax and polish

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by sras posted 07-12-2012 05:24 AM 6183 reads 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Mask & Prep for finish Part 14 of Mahogany Kitchen Stool Project series Part 15: Jigs for glue up »

After getting everything set up, the next step was put the finish on! I really like this step, each coat increases the gloss, depth and color.

I use a two finish process, both parts are from General Finishes. The first finish is their oil based coat.

I wipe the finish on with a piece of cheesecloth. The first coat basically soaks into the wood.

Areas where the grain is very tight, even the first coat shows a little gloss. I add more coats until the wood shows a uniform gloss. On average, it takes 5 coats to get there.

After that, I buff each face with 600 grit and 000 steel wool.

Next up is the top coat.

Since these stools will see heavy use, I wanted a heavy finish. When looking for a heavy finish, my rule is “add coats until you don’t want to add any more”. That took 4 coats. I’m pretty sure that I have a good durable finish on these parts.

After the top coats, I buffed each face with 000 steel wool and the applied a coat of paste wax and polished each face. I figure the wax will help with any clean up when I do the glue up.

I am really pleased with how the pieces look at this point. The appearance is great and the polished wax gives a really nice feel to each part.

Now I have to get ready for glue up. I have to confess that this step has caused me a great deal of pondering for the duration of this project. The main choice I have is do I glue up sub assemblies or do I glue up an entire stool at once? I am interested in your opinions on this one…

Gluing assemblies has the benefit of allowing the use of wood glues with shorter open time as well as less confusion and stress during glue up. The down side is if any assembly ends up a little out of square or twisted, it will be very difficult to correct it later on.

Gluing the entire stool is a much more complex process. I would expect to use epoxy to allow a sufficient open time. It would also require a really good fixture and clamping technique to ensure the stool is aligned.


Current time log:

Cutting rough stock: 2 hr

> Cutting to width and thickness: 4 hr 20 min
> Cut to final length: 3 hr 30 min
> Shaping: 5 hr 50 min
> Mortises: 10 hr 35 min
> Sand & radius edges: 19 hr 35 min
> Oxidize and Final sanding: 3 hr 10 min
> Prep for finish: 1 h 25 min
> Finish: 12 h 15 min

Seat Back and Back Rest
> Cutting thin stock for laminations: 3 hr 35 min
> Prepping laminations: 8 hr 40 min
> Glue up Laminations: 3 hr 50 min
> Trim Laminated Parts: 2 hr 25 min
> Tenon: 5 hr 40 min
> Mortises: 5 hr 30 min
> Sand & radius edges: 6 hr 10 min
> Oxidize and Final sanding: 1 hr 20 min
> Mask & Prep for finish: 20 min
> Finish: 2 h 45 min

Back Slats
> Cutting thin stock for laminations: 1 hr 55 min
> Prepping laminations: 3 hr
> Glue up Laminations: 6 hr 5 min
> Trim Laminated Parts: 30 min
> Tenon: 2 hr 50 min
> Sand: 7 hr 35 min
> Oxidize and Final sanding: 1 hr 30 min
> Mask & Prep for finish: 40 min
> Finish: 4 h 35 min

Lower rail parts
> Cut to width and thickness: 10 hr
> Cut to length: 1 hr 30 min
> Mortise: 4 hr 35 min
> Tenon: 28 hr 30 min
> Sand & radius edges: 15 hr 35 min
> Oxidize and Final sanding: 3 hr 40 min
> Mask & Prep for finish: 2 h 30 min
> Finish: 12 h 5 min

Corner Blocks
> Cut to size: 1 hr 50 min
> Shape: 1 hr 50 min
> Tenons: 35 min
> Holes: 1 hr

Total so far: 215 hr 15 min (~36 hrs per stool)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

16 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8465 posts in 3429 days

#1 posted 07-12-2012 06:04 AM

Oh, Steve… those ever look nice.
Awaiting the final reveal with anticipation.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3966 days

#2 posted 07-12-2012 09:00 AM

More than up to my high expectations Steve.The finish looks top notch. I can think that the glue-up will be a challenge. I would try to determine which parts, if any, can be glued up separately without the danger of misalignment, or at least where slight misalignments might not be a significant problem.

I would also rehearse a full all at once glue-up. I can see that the pre-finishing is a big advantage in terms of clean-up and good coverage, but it may make clamping a bit difficult due to the possibility of messing up the finish, so you need a really well thought out plan.

I did have one idea that might help. Have you ever thought about using cargo straps with ratchet fasteners to clamp with? These are easy to pad where they contact the wood and the ratchet can produce a huge amount of clamping pressure. I have used them myself with excellent results and they are safer than steel clamps with regards to the finish. You might have to use angled pads to prevent slippage on angled areas.

Having seen how you work, I have no doubt you will have success with the glue-up, and I don’t think you really need advice on this, as you will figure it out yourself. I am looking forward to seeing your stools finished. I’m sure they will be very beautiful.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4513 days

#3 posted 07-12-2012 12:15 PM

My Gosh.
What a project. The glue up would scare me too. Sorry I don’t have any hints.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3435 days

#4 posted 07-12-2012 12:21 PM

Wow! Those pieces & parts are lookin super. It’s gonna be a beaut!!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View sras's profile


5307 posts in 3761 days

#5 posted 07-12-2012 02:27 PM

Thanks guys!

Paul – I am really looking forward to just the dry fit where all these pieces come together.

Mike – Thanks! You are right – I will be trying several dry clamp setups before I bring out the glue. At this point, what is another 10 hours? I have been thinking strap clamps and very smooth clamping blocks – probably masonite. They will need to cover a large area and maybe need to be shaped in some cases.

Steve – At least I’m in good company ;)

Roger – Thanks! stay tuned …

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Ampeater's profile


441 posts in 4379 days

#6 posted 07-12-2012 02:45 PM

I also can’t wait to see the final stools.

On similar projects in the past, I have done the clamping with about 1” wide strips that I had cut from an innertube. I have various lengths ranging from five feet to fifteen feet. The rubber innertube won’t harm the finish and the clamping strength is great. Also, there is no problem with the “clamp” slipping.

Stretch the rubber tight and wrap aroung the legs of the stool three or four times.

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

View sras's profile


5307 posts in 3761 days

#7 posted 07-12-2012 03:00 PM

Thanks for the idea Ampeater! I have a few old bicycle inner tubes that would work great.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Mosquito's profile


10056 posts in 2924 days

#8 posted 07-12-2012 03:06 PM

Wow. The finish looks amazing!

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View sras's profile


5307 posts in 3761 days

#9 posted 07-12-2012 03:10 PM

Thanks Chris!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View JL7's profile


8763 posts in 3596 days

#10 posted 07-12-2012 09:09 PM

You’re on a roll Steve – keep going! Those parts are looking great! Only you can gauge the glue up process – and I’m sure you will go the right way….Enjoy.

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View sras's profile


5307 posts in 3761 days

#11 posted 07-12-2012 10:39 PM

Thanks Jeff! You’re right – I’ll figure it out after a couple of dry fits and test clamp set ups. Actually, I’m looking forward to solving the puzzle.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View lew's profile


12953 posts in 4387 days

#12 posted 07-12-2012 11:15 PM

The depth of that grain is awesome! It looks almost iridescent!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View sras's profile


5307 posts in 3761 days

#13 posted 07-13-2012 01:03 AM

Thanks Lew!

I have been pretty patient letting this project take its course as time allows, but I have to admit that all these pretty parts is getting me fired up to do some assembly!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3321 days

#14 posted 07-13-2012 02:08 AM

That is an absolutely beautiful finish and I have every confidence that you will accomplish the glue up with equal finesse. Can’t wait for the finished stools!

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

View kiefer's profile


5713 posts in 3298 days

#15 posted 07-13-2012 02:53 AM

You got me drooling, patiently awaiting the final to this show .
That is a absolutely beautiful finish ,DEEEEEEEEEP

-- Kiefer

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics