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Vintage Mission/Arts & Crafts style finishing technique on White Oak

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Blog entry by CampD posted 01-30-2016 03:11 PM 2332 reads 14 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There was quite the interest in the finishing process I used on my Stickley styled TV stand.
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/217866
I really only just gave the cliff notes version in its description. So with this blog, I’ll give the full detailed process I used to achieve that finish. It’s a time consuming process, more like it takes little time each day, but rather is spread out over numerous days. This process is not for those who feel the need to just get it assembled! Don’t fear, I worked on the cabinet assembly first, got it all finished and assembled than I worked on the doors and drawers. I didn’t picture document the finishing process on that piece, so this’ll just be a word blog.

• To begin, all pieces are finished unassembled so time must be spent test fitting and refitting and if needed adjusting so everything fits as it should as a final assembly before applying any finish.
• Sand all parts with 150.
• Wipe all parts down with a wet rag, with a big assembly that has a lot of pieces, you’ll probably need to rinse the rag frequently, keeping it clean and wet. Let all parts dry overnight.
• Sand to 220. Next I hand card scrape all pieces, I like to use a sharp stiff card. I just sharpen my cards flat, don’t need a burr. Liberally apply oil based dark walnut stain with a brush (I use cheap throw away brushes), allow to sit for 10 minutes before wiping off the excess stain(I use paper towels ), don’t wipe to hard, leaving it dark, don’t worry any remaining heavy spots will be blended in on the next step. Allow stain to dry overnight.
• Apply a heavy coat of BLO with a rag, rubbing it in as you apply, allow to sit for 10 minutes before wiping off excess, I coat around 10 pieces at time. Again do not wipe to hard or you’ll wipe the stain off with it. allow to dry overnight.
• I used min wax amber shellac with a high quality clean soft bristle brush. Coat two sides to all pieces. By the time I’ve finished applying shellac to all the pieces, the first coat is dry enough to coat the other sides. Allow everything to dry for an hour, than sand with 320, tack cloth everything and then apply the 2nd coat. Let sit for a couple days to fully cure. I cleaned up any residue on tendons and shoulders while the shellac was fully curing.
• Assembly glue-up. I like to use titebond 3 as it dries to a darker color that blends in nicely, also longer open time is a bonus. Glue Squeeze-out, I still try to get most wiped up with a wet rag during clamping, you don’t need to ass after the glue is dry it’s really easy to pick the glue off. Let assembly sit in clamps overnight. Any remaining glue squeeze-out is easily scraped off by carefully scraping with a sharp pick or toothbrush. I found that windex and paper towels works well to get any remaining residue cleaned off. If any touch up is needed it’s easily done with small touch-up brushes with either stain (also covers any glue lines) and finally touch up the shellac.

I have another piece that I’ve just started the cut up so maybe I’ll make a short video when I get to the finishing step.

EDIT:
Adding a couple pic’s of the process from the next stickley build,

All pieces with the 1st coat of Shellac applied.

Glue-up assembly.

-- Doug...



8 comments so far

View WoodNSawdust's profile

WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 1010 days


#1 posted 01-30-2016 03:53 PM

Thanks for the technique. I like style arts & crafts style and will keep your method in mind.

Would you clarify what you mean when you say “don’t wipe to hard”?

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View CampD's profile

CampD

1609 posts in 3319 days


#2 posted 01-30-2016 04:09 PM

“don’t wipe to hard”
Yeah, you don’t want to wipe all the stain off, you can if you wipe it to hard, instead I like to leave it on the piece heavy. Any extra “film” left works with the next step and blends in with the BLO darkening it.

-- Doug...

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2901 posts in 2090 days


#3 posted 01-31-2016 11:56 PM

Hey, Doug, thanks for posting this. I am just about ready to finish a project and will try your process on a piece of scrap to see how it does for me. Again, your TV stand is stunning.

-- Art

View CampD's profile

CampD

1609 posts in 3319 days


#4 posted 03-23-2016 03:37 PM

An added note: I Buffed-in a couple hand rubbed coats of paste wax into the top only.
1. To fill-in the pores.
2. To give the top a little more protection with-out adding to much to the depth of the finish, which in early pieces the finish is not built up.

-- Doug...

View harum's profile

harum

260 posts in 1476 days


#5 posted 03-31-2017 04:08 AM

Thank you for posting! On the top photo the finish looks reddish-brown, on the bottom—greenish-brown. Interestingly, the pores are not heavily stained, but the flecks stand out nicely. Do you have a close-up photo of the finish? My stains seem to over-emphasize the pores. Was wondering what brand of stain do you use?

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

View CampD's profile

CampD

1609 posts in 3319 days


#6 posted 03-31-2017 03:29 PM

Harum
Two different pieces but same finish
Top one is all set-up with lighting and flash for finished pics
Bottom one is in the shop with no flash, both change with the lighting.

I used for these pieces Min-wax Dark Walnut stain. The step applying the BLO is what wipes off some of the stain highlighting the fleck of the oak, its what really brings out its shine.

Here’s a shot of bottom piece with the same lighting

Here’s a closer pic of the piece in pic 1

-- Doug...

View harum's profile

harum

260 posts in 1476 days


#7 posted 03-31-2017 04:05 PM

Thank you Doug! Your work—design, joinery and finish—looks great from every angle! Will try rubbing in Tung Oil Finish over the dried stain. H.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

View CampD's profile

CampD

1609 posts in 3319 days


#8 posted 04-05-2017 01:25 PM

I’m adding an update to the finish process that I had left out, I left out a step and should be done.
After the last sanding and card scrape I tape all exposed tenons with blue painters tape to keep them clean for a good glue bond.

This pic shows after the BLO has been applied.

And finally a clarification to why I use a brush to apply the Shellac. For me it’s easier with a brush on small parts rather than spraying. For anyone who’s used shellac knows that it dries quickly and applying it on such small parts with a gun, the tip tends to clog-up in the time it takes to place the newly finished piece to picking up the next one. Besides I’ve got over 40 yrs experience handling a brush.

-- Doug...

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