Preserving the wood character when finishing

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Forum topic by Abe posted 10-15-2013 12:16 PM 1040 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Abe's profile


22 posts in 3910 days

10-15-2013 12:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing quartersawn ray fleck oak shellac blo beeswax curly

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

-- - Abe

2 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


18140 posts in 4340 days

#1 posted 10-15-2013 12:21 PM

I think that a super blonde shellac would work out very nicely for ya.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 3695 days

#2 posted 10-16-2013 12:00 AM

Anything except BLO.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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