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Howdy LJ'ers.

Working on making my daughter a standing jewelry box. The canvas I'm working with is oak. Got lucky at the local big box, found several sticks of curly oak that I snatched up and am using alongside some barn oak I've polished up.

I'm working the doors - curly oak in the rails and stiles, barn oak in the raised panels. In the course of planing the barn oak I came up with quite a surprise on the panels - some beautiful quilting, some quartersawn rays, a lot of that brilliant character that only a finish plane can catch and sandpaper just makes fuzzy. Combined with the curly on the door frame, it all adds up to one eye-catching piece (at least to me).

My issue is how to finish it and preserve those characteristics. I want to keep the reflective/visual interest of the grain in the panels and frame as a prominent part of the piece and not mute it with a bad choice in finish. My go-to has always been BLO when working in oak, and back that up with beeswax. I'm thinking of using clear dewaxed shellac here, and back that up with beeswax. If this seems idiotic, please be forewarned that finishing is not my strong suit. I follow what roads seem logical to me.

All this said, does any one have any experience finishing white/red oak and preserving the… reflective grain? QS rays? The quilting? If so, would you mind sharing your experience and any recommendations?

I'll try to get some pictures up of what I'm talking about here in the next few days. Thanks for your time and any input you've got to offer.

- Abe
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