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Some things that I've learned about finishing. Some of them I also use. #3: Wood filling and finishing

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Blog entry by Karson posted 07-03-2007 04:28 AM 4367 reads 3 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Home made wood fillers, Pumice and Rottenstone. Part 3 of Some things that I've learned about finishing. Some of them I also use. series no next part

The continuation of the Pumice and rottenstone as wood fillers.

I let the BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil) harden for 1 week on the boards.
This is my spraying table that I use. The bottom is on a lazy susan swivel so that it can turn 360 Degrees. I made a block that I can set on top of it that has a bunch of screws through the plywood so that I can put items on top of the screw points and not have the wood sitting on the flat surface and get finish creep under the boards.

The spray gun that used for this demo is shown. It’s a gravity flow sprayers and it is not HVLP. I probably had the pressure at 100 lbs. Because I forgot to set it lower.

The walnut boards that had BLO and rottenstone (Left), Pumice (Center) and just BLO on the right were sprayed with Zinsser sanding sealer shellac. 2 lb cut – thinned about 25% so it was probably a 1.5lb cut.

The pores on the rottenstone were very good. Almost all of the pores were filled with the rottenstone. I used a walnut board with a lot of white wood to show the effects of the rottenstone on the color of the pores.
You can see that the pumice board is quite smooth and all of the pores seemed to be filled. The board on the right was just the BLO and the pores are quite visible. In the picture. The darker walnut looks a little better to me with the rottenstone than the pumice, but, if sapwood is visible I’d go with pumice.

This is a set of Oak boards with Rottenstone and BLO (Left) Pumice (Center) and just BLO (Right). These boards were also sprayed with the Zinsser sanding sealer.
No sanding was done on these boards after the application of the Rottenstone and Pumice. I did use a scraper to lightly remove all excess surface materials. I did that after about 24 hours before the BLO setup hard.

The pore filler of the rottenstone is quite visible and quite dramatic. With stain it might be a great combination. The pumice board is a little darker than the straight BLO board. The pores are not depressed on the filled boards like it is on the straight BLO board. It could almost be possible to do a second coat of the filler, but, it’s not really necessary. If you sprayed it and then sanded it flat, it would be possible to have a totally smooth oak board. The pumice didn’t darken the oak board enough to make it appear strange.

I made another test that I didn’t report in an earlier blog in this series. I stated that I might try Danish oil instead of BLO because it would dry faster. So I made my own Danish Oil. !/3 BLO, 1/3 Varnish – I used some flooring Poly that I had left over from a flooring refinish job I did a couple of years ago. And 1/3 Mineral Spirits. I mixed about 1 oz of each into a plastic squeeze bottle.

Again the rottenstone and Danish Oil (Left) Pumice (Center) and just Danish Oil (right). Some of the slurry that was visible on the ends of the boards was a little harder on the Danish Oil versions of the boards than the BLO versions. The Danish Oil Versions of the boards were sprayed with Deft thinned about 50%.
The rottenstone board looks like the BLO version, the pumice board is a little darker almost as if the board got contaminated in some way. I mentioned in an earlier blog that I didn’t use a rubber spreader on the BLO version of the boards. I might have used it on the Danish Oil versions, so what you might have here is some rubber that was ground off while spreading the pumice/oil slurry and forcing it into the pores. I made a point of using a putty knife to spread on the BLO versions, but I might have failed to do it on the Danish Oil Version. Or the board was a little darker. The difference between the Danish Oil/Pumice boards is a lot darker than the just Danish Oil board. So I would attribute it to Operator and not the finish.

This is a little closer close-up of the Pumice/BLO and BLO only on Walnut. The pores are quite visible on the board without the filler.

A close up of the BLO/Rottenstone Oak board.

The BLO/Pumice Oak board.

The Danish Oil/Rottenstone Oak Board.

The Danish Oil/Pumice Oak Board.

This is a board that I finished in a French polish class that I took.

I used the BLO and Rottenstone Slurry on this board, but because of time constraints in the classroom it was only on the board for about 1 hr, so the full effect of the BLO hardening did not happen. The pores were finally filled with French Polish. Put down a coat and then use 600 grit with mineral oil and sand it. It finally filled all of the pores with shellac. It was over 30 days before I got all of the pores filled. Now what I’d do is fill it with Danish Oil and Rottenstone, let it dry for a day. Scrape off the surface and if additional filling was required I’d do it again. Then lightly sand to get the surface clear of rottenstone slurry. Spray about 4 coats of shellac. Use a scraper to smooth the surface and then sand with 400 grit and then 600 grit with Mineral oil and then start the French polishing. Fill all of the left over pores with shellac and then level the surface with sanding and get on with the finishing.

Post any questions you might have.
Someone asked how I spray shellac. It’s just like any other finish that I might spray.

Let me give this note, in case you might not have read my blogs on French Polishing.

NOTE: If you are going to sand shellac or possibly any finish with mineral oil and sandpaper. It is a requirement to put an oil finish on first. BLO – Danish Oil – Tung Oil something. The reason being that you will have voids in the finish when you do some of the early coats of smoothing and what happens is the sanding oil seeps through those voids and you end up with splotches in the wood, because some of it will have an oil and others will not. It’s best to make it all have oil prior to putting on the top coat.

Again I say if you sand with oil , have oil on the wood before the first finish coat. If you don’t sand with oil, this doesn’t apply to you.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †



17 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12295 posts in 2788 days


#1 posted 07-03-2007 04:35 AM

Thanks Karson. Lots to absorb here. I will also have to go back and read your french polish blog.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3091 days


#2 posted 07-03-2007 04:52 AM

Dang I may have opened my mouths (fingers typing) too soon. I gave a demo on french polishing for my Woodworking club and Martin asking me to Video it. (Right)

But I though that I had put together a bunch of picture on the process. If I can’t find it I’ll make one up.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12295 posts in 2788 days


#3 posted 07-03-2007 04:54 AM

LOL. The worst part is I thought my memory was failing me. I did not remember you making a french polishing blog and was going to go looking for it. I would thought I would have remembered. Learning to french polish is on my to do list. I want to use the technique to finish plane handles on the planes I am restoring.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3091 days


#4 posted 07-03-2007 05:03 AM

OK. I’ll put it on my list.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12295 posts in 2788 days


#5 posted 07-03-2007 05:04 AM

Thanks Sir.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2830 days


#6 posted 07-03-2007 06:14 AM

Karson -

Thanks for the great finishing info – lots of detail to absorb – just the kind of blog entry I like!

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View Don's profile

Don

2600 posts in 2868 days


#7 posted 07-03-2007 09:20 AM

Thanks, Karson. Lots to digest, but most informative.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2851 days


#8 posted 07-03-2007 12:06 PM

wow.. great resource!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 3002 days


#9 posted 07-03-2007 01:19 PM

That board you did in French polishing class is awesome. Thanks for the great information. Did you flatten the screw points to prevent accidental scratches? How many coats did it take to get that glass shine on the French polished board?

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3091 days


#10 posted 07-03-2007 01:58 PM

Thanks for the comments.

Mark: That’s one of the problems with French Polishing you can’t count the coats. It might be 1000 coats to do that finish. But that number is not what counts it’s the number of sessions.

A session is when you sit down to do some work on the piece. You go over and over and over and over the piece putting down a miniscule coat. So you really count the sessions instead of the coats.

Let me teach a French Polish class via blog so that you can understand the process.

In this blog I thought that I’d already done that and I was wrong. I was going to get Martin to move the French Polish Blog into this series and i couldn’t find it. I also don’t have any pictures on my machine so it was not done.

I will continue on this series.

Mark: No I didn’t flattten the screw points.. I wanted a very small contact point on the finish when i turned the piece over to spray the other side. But having a lot of screws give you not a lot of weight on any one point.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2777 days


#11 posted 07-03-2007 04:31 PM

Lots to absorb…..

Finishing to me is the scary part of woodworking. You pour your heart and soul into a piece, and then hope the finish looks good. I really need to study. Thanks for the blog Karson. I look forward to the continuation.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View woodspar's profile

woodspar

710 posts in 2790 days


#12 posted 07-04-2007 01:23 AM

I agree with Bob, finishing can be nerve wracking. So far I have only used simple finishes. Thanks Karson for the information.

-- John

View depictureboy's profile

depictureboy

420 posts in 2333 days


#13 posted 02-03-2011 01:31 AM

karson, when you scrape off the excess with your cardscraper do you go with the grain or against it still? i have some boards that I have done, and i did it mostly like you said, but I used an itunes giftcard as my squeegee, but then i went back over and evened it back out cause it left drag marks across the board so I still have a light coating that I have let sit all night and day…i can feel the pumice with my fingers and can see the roughness when i hold it across the light…so i want to lightly scrape it with a card scraper.

-- If you can't build it, code it. If you can't code it, build it. But always ALWAYS take a picture.

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3091 days


#14 posted 02-03-2011 05:01 AM

I go probably in a 45 degree swipe across and down the boards. I want to kind-of cut it off and not pull it out of the pores. So going sideways some tends to allow it to be cut in the short grain and not in the long grain of the pores.

Doing it lightly with a card scraper that doesn’t have a burr would keep you from cutting away any wood and just remove the surface pumice and dried oil.

Good luck.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3091 days


#15 posted 07-22-2011 12:28 AM

Here is a cabinet that I made for an LJ contest that required that no nails, screws or glue be used in the construction. In this blog I’m using my Danish Oil blend to finish the walnut cabinet. I used a random oribital sander and using the sanding dust and danish oil to make a slurry to fill the pores. The top finish was also my danish oil blend. In final use it didn’t work out too well because the surface was not totally sealed and in a bathroom with steam the finish had a lot of raised grain. So I had to sand again and I used a conversion varnish that I bought for the kitchen cabinets that I was making as the final finish on the Shaker Cabinet.

This cabinet won first place in the contest.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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