Finishing Blue Mahoe Boxes

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Forum topic by Streetsnake posted 07-14-2019 03:42 AM 242 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 99 days

07-14-2019 03:42 AM

Hi everyone. Hoping you can help. I’m fairly new to woodworking. Mainly have turned various items like pens and bowls. I’m currently making two small wooden boxes to house antique pocket watches to eventually pass along to my children. The design is a simple clamshell. The bottom and top consist of two pieces each. The very bottom and very top are solid while the two middle pieces have a hole cut out to hold the pocket watch. I’m planning on putting a piece of leather between the bottom two and top two pieces to cushion the watch. The leather will extend to all edges…similar to a stacked wood/leather knife handle. Hopefully this is a good idea and doable?? As the project sits now, I have four pieces of wood for each box. I’m planning on sanding to 400 grit and then begin assembly. This is where I need help. After sanding i plan on cleaning the wood with mineral spirits and then putting a couple coats of sanding sealer on. Is this ok? If so, do I need to lightly sand again after the sanding sealer is dry? After that I’m at a loss for the best way to finish the wood prior to glueing up the leather to the two top/bottom pieces. I have a few different types of friction polishes I have used as well as BLO. Im also not adverse to using a spray but I’m not the best applicator. :) Please let me know your thoughts and the appropriate step-wise progression I need to take. I would like to get the blue mahoe to pop while also preventing it from discoloring and turning brown. Hopefully my rambling has made sense. Thanks

2 replies so far

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3977 posts in 1899 days

#1 posted 07-17-2019 03:04 AM

You may have to experiment using some scraps. I’m not familiar with blue mahoe and since it’s not widely used, you may not find too many people who can give advice based upon experience with it. That may be why you haven’t gotten any responses yet. I think I would try a lacquer finish. While I like the feel of BLO on something like this that may be handled often, I doubt it will help prevent it from turning brown and based upon what I have read, oil based finishes might even speed up the change. The sanding sealer would mostly be needed if the wood is so porous that the first few coats just soak in but again it might have an impact on the color so try it on scraps first.

Post some pictures. It sounds like an interesting project!

And welcome to lumberjocks.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View therealSteveN's profile


3902 posts in 1086 days

#2 posted 07-17-2019 04:54 AM

I always use some same wood scrap to test any finish, even if I have used it before. I prep them as completely as I would the project. Once you put something on the real deal, you’re toast if it doesn’t work out. At least in most cases.

-- Think safe, be safe

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