So… I bought a compass over the weekend so I can do my curves on my bench. Also… A friend of mine gave me a jigsaw. He had three… all the same kind… so he gave me one. Cool! So I’m close to cutting my end pieces.
But over the last week I’ve been checking out Charles Neil and some videos of his on finishing. Got me really thinking about my finish on this thing. I hate the finishing process. I get these projects built and get to a point where I’m pretty happy with them. Then… I finish it. And it never fails that I hate the finish. Rarely have I liked how the finish has turned out. I’m putting too much into this bench to ruin it with the finish. So I’ve been investigating.
So far all I’ve ever used was Minwax. I don’t like it. But have never used anything else. It was suggested that I try General Finishes. So I picked up some over the weekend at Woodcraft. I got the Vintage Cherry water based dye from General Finishes. And I picked up some Arm R Seal as well. One pint each of satin and gloss.
Tonight I took some scrap cherry… just some small pieces… and tried out the dye. Well… I keep hearing about pre conditioning. I want to try some of Charles Neil’s Blotch Control but I haven’t ordered it yet. So I tried some of the Minwax that I already had on hand. I was actually pretty surprised at the difference it makes.
While these may look like different sizes… that’s just because of the way I took the pics. This is actually a piece of scrap cherry. Same piece in both pics. On the left I used the pre conditioner and on the right I just put the dye on.
You can see that the right side is darker and blotchy. I think it shows in the pic… but in person it is MUCH more obvious.
So then I tried it on a scrap piece of pine. I used the pre-conditioner on the left side. Again.. all same piece of pine wood. This time I really looked at the grain closely before I put the dye on it so I can see what it affected.
As you can see on the right… there is some soft wood that absorbed the color more and it came out with dark lines. On the left… those same lines are there… but it didn’t absorb it more so it came out more evenly colored. And… it’s just a different color. The color difference is not from the camera.
I actually put the pre conditioner on three sides to see how it affects the different sides. The sides were a big difference.
But the end grain was a HUGE difference. I still don’t like the way the one on the left came out. But it’s still better than the one on the right. The one on the right is SOOOOO dark.
Tomorrow I’m going to try some different things I learned from Charles Neil with sanding and then I’m also going to see the difference when you float the color on.
Very interesting. Made very little sawdust today. Did play with the router today and tried out some different profiles on scrap. But I am glad I did a little experimenting with the finishes. Tomorrow I will apply the Arm R Seal and see how I like it. Anyone else use this brand? I was thinking about cutting it with some mineral spirits and wiping it on. Your comments on this are appreciated.
As always… thanks for reading and I hope you guys are having a great week! :)