I have had several requests from LJ’s to know how I finish my Bowls. The walnut Bowl at the bottom is proof that what I do works.
It has taken a great amount of experimenting to get to this pint, but I finally have a complete finishing process! I have researched this topic endlessly and it seems that no one wants to part with the secret. So here is what I have come up with. It is bits & pieces taken from blogs, videos, magazines, & books all authored by some of the most famous turners out there.
I will readily admit that the process is over the top & there are redundant steps. Feel free to take what you like from the process and create a process that works for you.
I don’t want this to turn into a discussion on the food safeness of finishes. I feel confident in what I use & have spent enough time & effort to have made a very well educated decision on this. If you only want to use mineral oil, that is completely your prerogative. I really really really don’t care what you choose to use. I am serious I can’t emphasize how very little I care about your opinion on what is food safe. Feel free to Write you own blog on the subject! Some moron will still post a reply about how he has used mineral oil for 157 years without issue. But mineral oil is NOT a finish, it does not dry or harden.
Power Sand using wave gold paper from Performance Abrasives 80,100,120,150,180,220,320,400,600,800
I then power buff with Abrolon Discs 2,000 & 4,000
For the finish I use 1 of several finishes depending on the wood & the potential use.
BLO for figured maple as it helps the grain pop
Danish Oil for Walnut & cherry that is likely to only hold dry goods like nuts or fruit
Walnut Oil or Salad Bowl Finish for Salad Bowls or serving platters
I apply 4-5 coats of finish with the piece still on the lathe. Burnishing with a paper towel in between each coat. Except when using Salad Bowl finish, it dries to quickly to burnish.
I picked up the Beall System from Wood Tuner’s Catalog, I got the 3” Buffs & the Long Buffing Adapter . I have used the system on 7 bowls so far and really like the outcome. I use all 3 buffs, 1 Red Rouge, 1 white Diamond, & the last coat is Carnuba Wax.
Getting the Carnuba Wax on evenly has been difficult so far. It also really highlights even the smallest amount of tear out left on the bowl. But then again, I am the harshest critic of my work. Even the smallest imperfection drives me nuts. I have made funnels out of more bowls by repeatedly taking 1 Last light cut, or re-sanding to remove that 1 little spot of tear out, all just to get it perfect.
-- Chris, Washington The State! http://www.chris-crafts.com