I recently have been refinishing a small chair for my wife. The chair legs are solid walnut with the side panels a veneered walnut. (Which I learned after the fact… unfortunately) Before I just tossed some finish onto it I bought a piece of walnut veneer which we marked out into a grid and tested various colors of stain.
After choosing a stain (no stain or dyes at all) I decided to try out the new foolproof finishing method they listed in FWW. It starts with shellac, then three coats of polyurethane (and two doesn’t cut it!) and a final coat of polished furniture wax. I split the veneer into two, one side got the shellac and three coats of poly. The other side got the full treatment with the polished wax as well. The end product ends up looking pretty much identical, the feel is just silkier with the waxed surface. (Any other benefits anyone can list?)
To make this more interesting, I got the two pieces mixed up when I put them onto my desk. To the naked eye they both look identical, they are too small to get a good smoothness test too. Let’s see if we can guess which is which!
One finished piece at 40X.
The same piece at 100X.
Now for the other piece at 40X. Talk about a huge difference!
And at 100X.
The second set of pictures almost look wet, so they get my vote for the ones without wax.
This is the unfinished side at 40X. Almost reminds me of beef jerky.
The unfinished side at 100X. The fibers stick out and appear as the unfocused squiggles you see.
There it is folks, one more batch under the scope!
-- Casey, Engineer, Escanaba, MI