I wanted to recreate this Jeff Jewitt finish from Fine Woodworking #157, however the article didn’t list which formula was used. I consulted with Jeff, and it was Transtint Brown Mohogany dye, followed by McCloskeys Walnut stain. McClosky no longer makes stain, but sold to Valspar / Cabot. ---So I set out to make a sample board to achieve the rich, dark color I was after. ---The top colors are stain only, the middle colors are dye first then stain, and the bottom color is dye only. ...
OK, first attempt at a blog, so please bear with me. This blog series is my journey of trying to replicate the japanning process used on many tools, especially hand planes, for over a century. It will include some abject failures, as well as what was found to work for me. This blog is not a commentary on how someone else might choose to finish their planes when doing a restoration and I am not necessarily advocating japanning over any other finish. There are many people on this site t...
I thought “What if I coated the whole ring in cyanoacrylate finish?” ...and I tried it. The rings have since been through regular everyday wear including dishwashings, handwashings and showers. END RESULT: This finish is holding up better than both Waterlox and Arm-R-Seal. And, in my opinion, it actually looks better. CAVEATS: Obviously, this would be difficult to do on anything but very small woodworking projects. It’s just right for these wooden rings, but ...
Having tested, erred, retested, erred again and so on, I was finally happy with how the homemade japanning came out, so did several restores. We’ll try and do a summary of everything learned here in one blog post. Supplies needed:Asphaltum—available in powder form or liquid, which is what I used. Art supply stores seem to be the best source, as it is used in acid etching.Solvent—Xylol or turpentine should either work fine. Both are capable of suspending the heavy...
One of the most mysterious things about Danish modern furniture to me when I started making it was this strange soap finish that is talked about so often. I wondered, “What is this all about”? Well, the easy answer is that it is a soap that is simple washed onto the wood surface. You may wonder how that protects the surface, though. Basically, soaps traditionally where made of oils of some sort or another. Your grandma or great grandma would have used “ivory” soap f...
Hard to believe, I know. It’s been over a year since I announced the workbench complete, although there was always that missing part, that loose end that had to be tied off in order to officially declare it a complete project. Not only was it a loose end (literally, the vise screw was hanging loose in it’s slot), but it was a missing integral part of the bench that I kept on wishing I had setup and functional. The Wagon Vise to hold down boards for planing flat and similar work...
When making my Shop stool #2 I wanted to experiment with using soap flakes as a finish like in a lot of mid-century classics made from light colored wood, mainly beach, white oak, ash, birch and pine/fir. The finish has some nice qualities:- It is natural and can easily be removed - It is the closest you can got to untreated wood and has a nice matte feel and shine- It is easy to repair in case of damage and it can be done at home- It does not darken/color the wood much loke oils and warni...
Today I’ll be staining some maple. The customer want a cherry finish. Not a new cherry wood look, but the old antique look with years patina. More like the stuff you’d find on the a showroom floor call “cherry finish”. As most of you know, maple doesn’t absorb stain very good, so to achieve a dark, rich finish is impossible with stain only. Several years ago, I standardize this finish for my customers and make to sample piece with the steps that need to be...
Lots of questions come up concerning various “oil” and poly finishing mixtures and methods. Below are links to two articles by Bob Flexner that provide a great deal of information on the subject. The first is from 2008, the second from 2011. http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/finishing/the_basics_of_wiping_varnish2http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/finishing/oil-finishes-their-history-and-use The short and sweet version is plain old varnish, poly/alkyd/phenolic (poly...
I finally had a day to work on our stuff. With a little urging from my girlfriend to finish the fumed table sitting in our dining room, I bit the bullet and gave it a good shellacing. This was my first time using shellac. It’s pretty difficult to work with, as it dries fast and leave a build-up. I cut the Zinser Amber in half with denatured alcohol, and grabbed a beer for myself (I thought it only fair), and went to town on it. It gave it a nice, rich look. When that dried, I ...
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