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Danish Oil and Canarywood

9298 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  majeagle1
I am in the process of making a large jewelry chest using Canarywood and Birdseye Maple. My challenge is: My customer likes and wants Canarywood, but doesn't want it to be to yellow.
My question is: How can I "tone down" the yellow?
I don't want to use dye or stain, I was thinking of an amber Danish Oil, but can't find it. ( Danish Oil is my preferred finish for my boxes ).

Any thoughts out there?

All appreciated and thanks in advance
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Two immediate possibilities come to mind:
1. Blonde shellac
2. Water-based polyurethane
Try some satin wipe on poly Minwax. It has a lot of amber in it.
Gene,I agree somewhat with Randy but the blonde shellac will not add color to the wood and is almost transparent. If you want to mask the yellow of the canarywood I would suggest using a darker shellac such as garnet, which is a deep reddish brown or ruby shellac which is a reddish amber. It is possible that orange shellac in combination with the natural color of the canary wood will give you a color you can live with as well. Then apply the topcoat of your choice.

But, I would use something other than danish oil as a topcoat since it contains linseed oil and possibly vegetable oil which will not penetrate the shellac. If you want to use boiled linseed oil as an initial treatment before the shellac application that would work.
I don't have any experience with blond shellac, but I can tell you for sure that water-based poly is crystal clear, and has a tendency to cool down colors. I made the box below almost 4 years ago. The lighter wood is cherry, although it doesn't even look like cherry with the water-based poly on it. Also, it has not changed color one bit since it was finished.

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Without knowing the color of canarywood and to the intensity of the yellow color. Are you trying to make it darker into a brown color or what?
Karson, I am thinking I just want to tone down the "yellow" in the canarywood. No, I am not trying to "change" the color to anything else. Canarywood has some really nice reddish/brownish streaks running through it, I am trying to maybe pull those out and, again, not make the yellow so bright.
I hope I am making some sense out of this for you.

Charlie, John, Scott, Randy - thanks for your input and tips. I agree with you on your possible solutions, however, before I do that I have to "get myself out of a box".............. meaning, one of the things I really like about multiple coats of Danish is the "soft as a baby's butt" feel to it once it is done. I am afraid if I use a shellac or poly on it, it will then take that "feeling" away and give it a "harder" feeling…..... help me out here, I have not tried any shellac or poly on jewelry boxes. The only poly I have used kind of felt "plasticy" ( is that a word??? )

I know I should try something new and experiment…...god only knows, after looking at your projects and how nice they are, your experience sure does speak for it self !!!

Am I crazy or what????
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One third BLO, one third Pratt and Lambert No. 38 alkyd varnish, one third mineral spirits. It's homebrew Danish oil. The BLO is very amber, the P&L kind of a brownish purple and the MS adds nothing to the color. You can tone it any way you want with Jeff Jewitt's Trans-Tints, Wizard Tints or any other UTC or aniline dyes. And it's way cheaper to make your own rather than buying Watco. Of course a test piece with the whole finishing routine…

Shellac or lacquer (finishes that burn into previous coats so sanding/rubbing out will not make witness lines if you partially sand through a coat) can have a soft hand at the end if they are rubbed out after curing. I use Abralon finishing pads from Mirka to rub out with a ROS - quick and easy without the mess of pumice and rottenstone and paraffin oil. You can machine rub out to high gloss working through the grits from P500 through P4000 in a matter of minutes, just in case you might ever think about shaking up the line-up on your finishing schedule.
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Hey Doug, this sounds like a process I want to try, and I like the idea that it is cheaper to make my own.
I think I will also try the shellac process after I finish these boxes…....... I really do need to step out of the box and try something new….......... who knows, I might even like it !!!!!!....what a concept!

Thanks for the tips I will post my finished product.

Do I need to add any japan drier at all?
Now I need to find a source for the P&L locally…......................

Charlie: What is your final process to finish the poly you use? Is it soft to the touch or does it feel like a hard table top?............. I hope you know what I am trying to say….....................
Gene, although these are subjective terms, I think I know what you are trying to say.

An oil finish feels "soft" , in my opinion, because you are still feeling the wood itself (grain and pores) when you run your hand over it. A properly done poly finish will feel like a piece of glass… perfectly smooth, but "hard". So don't do poly if you don't like that feel.

My method of finishing with poly is to wipe on numerous coats, sand back a bit (not enough to go through the finish, just enough to level the surface) with 400 - 1,200 grit, then wipe on a couple more coats. Rub out with parrafin oil and rottenstone for an ultr-glassy surface if desired.
Any varnish would work, I just prefer alkyd to urethane or polyurethane as it seems less plast-icky to me. It's just the addition of resins that matter. I haven't noticed a need for japan drier to accelerate drying, but you could. You can also use VM&P (Varnish makers and Painters) Naptha for faster flash off, but I have only used this on making homebrew wiping varnish and have no direct experience with it in homemade Danish. It might make wet sanding different - assuming you sand your Danish in as you apply it. This works great with walnut.

If you decide to try shellac I highly recommend Zinsser SealCoat as it lasts longer without going bad (won't dry and harden), is dewaxed and ready out of the jug as a two pound cut. It is at the big box stores, just check the bottom for the expiration date.
I concur with Charlie M.
Poly can have a very nice feel. You don't just paint it on and leave it though.
I like to put on multiple layers with light sanding between coats to build a workable thickness, and then sand that through 2000 or even 4000 grit, then wax and steel wool. The wax won't penetrate the poly, but it lubricates the steel wool and may fill microscopic scratches. After sanding that fine, that's all there is, microscopic scratches.
Its a lot of work, but I'm quite satisfied with it. I did a desk like that two years ago and it still looks and feels like it did when new.

Thanks again everyone for all your tips and suggestions….......... This has given me the incentive to go out
and "try something different".....

I will post completed project and process used when done….......
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