Stickley Dining Table no. 622 #4: The Inspector! Plus World's Most Boring Woodworking Video

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by gizmodyne posted 07-20-2008 06:13 PM 5229 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Finish: Fuming, Waiting, and Shellac Part 4 of Stickley Dining Table no. 622 series no next part

Which Wax?
I bought a new kind of wax by Howards based on a recommendation from a friend. It is called Walnut. I compared it to the Briwax (Dark Brown) which I have have used previously. The Briwax is much darker. The Howards smells like citrus and claims to provide u.v. protection. It does seem a little more gritty, but applies smoothly.

Here is a shot with one base assembly (right) finished with the wax. The other is not (left)

After finishing the base and the underside of the top, I turned my attention to the top of the top.

I began with two coats of de-waxed shellac (Zinser Seal-Coat)

Here you can see the raw wood vs. sealed.

Watch a really boring video of me shellacing. Witness my careful maneuvers with the shellac pad. Warning: slow action.

There were two prominent sapwood streaks to deal with.

When you fume with ammonia the sapwood is not affected. I ordered a different dye from Tools for Woodworking

It is relatively close to Actual Fumed oak, though it could use a little brown. I bought a couple of other colors but have not mixed them yet. Any who. Here is the sapwood with a little dye. It is not possible to totally disguise it. I just wanted to reduce the contrast. If you add too dark a dye it will bleed into the surrounding areas. One way to deal with this is to tint all of the shellac so that the entire piece has the dye’s tone. I was not willing to alter the color of the entire table. I add the dye to a little shellac and then paint it on the sapwood. I carefully wipe the borders.

Top Coast
I used my stash of Minwax Wipe-On Poly for the top coat. It is a satin but still fairly Glossy. Also, you can’t get it anymore in Los Angeles County due to VOC regulations. It is easy to apply and looks nice with added protection.

After three coats of the poly I rubbed the top with steel wood and then a cloth. Finally the Walnut wax which tones down the poly and adds more brown to the top.

We have been debating the sheen of the piece. Here is the boss inspecting the table.

Next time
Project post once I get someone to help me haul it to the dining room.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

14 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4093 days

#1 posted 07-20-2008 06:40 PM


You do such great work.

I hope to be able to meet you and the inspector one day and to see your projects in person.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 3709 days

#2 posted 07-20-2008 08:22 PM

Nice job

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View FritzM's profile


106 posts in 3805 days

#3 posted 07-20-2008 08:26 PM

you’re like a shellacing robot! The precision paid off, nicely done.

-- Fritz Oakland, Ca (dedicated to my other hobby)

View daltons's profile


5 posts in 3611 days

#4 posted 07-21-2008 12:57 AM

Great work. The careful decision and application of finishes really pay off. In restoring original finishes we NEVER use Briwax. This is really powerful stuff and I believe can be used as a stand alone finish on raw wood. It has something in it that will actually strip original shellac off. We use “American Paste Wax” and I like their product that has a touch of color in it, light oak. This keeps the wax from blushing. Good stuff.


View David's profile


1969 posts in 4132 days

#5 posted 07-21-2008 01:59 AM

Giz -

I have been following this project with interest. Excellent work! I enjoyed the shellacing video . . . I guess woodworkers really are boring! Looks like you passed the finish inspection. What is next in your shop?

I believe the “really powerful stuff” in Briwax is toluene.

Briwax MSDS

The Folding Rule


View gizmodyne's profile


1779 posts in 4083 days

#6 posted 07-21-2008 05:04 AM

Todd: Anytime you come to California.

Daltons: Good info on Briwax. Scary!

David: Back to finish the kitchen cabinet doors and pullouts.

I will post project tomorrow after I get some better light.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3990 days

#7 posted 07-24-2008 02:24 AM

Nice finishing moves…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View steveosshop's profile


230 posts in 3619 days

#8 posted 07-27-2008 01:48 AM

Thats a great piece. Thanx for the videos. Glad to see the boss approved!

-- Steve-o

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4121 days

#9 posted 07-27-2008 02:43 PM

Hi gizmodyne:

BRIWAX is nasty stuff. The toluene fumes are overpowering.

I blend my own finishing waxes with:

90% Bees Wax, by weight
10% Carnauba Wax, by weight
Solvent Blend (Citrus Solvent and Low-Odor Mineral Spirits)

If I want color, I add a little Aniline Tincture of the desired color.

I melt and mix the ingredients outdoors on an electric hot plate.

-- 温故知新

View tbone's profile


276 posts in 3677 days

#10 posted 07-28-2008 06:18 PM

I love your table project, and I really enjoy the step-by-step reports. However I do have a suggestion
that may help you out on your next one. Lose the Radiohead and put on something more contemporary—maybe Old 97’s, or Reckless Kelly. I would suggest Merle, but you would have to work without a hat and with your right hand over your heart!

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View gizmodyne's profile


1779 posts in 4083 days

#11 posted 07-28-2008 06:21 PM

Thanks tbone. Suggestion duly noted.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Huckleberry's profile


218 posts in 3846 days

#12 posted 08-08-2008 03:24 PM

Nice table and enjoyed your videos.

-- I cut it twice and the damn thing is still too short!@#$%

View Tomas21's profile


4 posts in 2361 days

#13 posted 12-02-2011 12:36 AM


Were you able to find a retailer that sells the Minwax Wipe-On Poly in Oil based? I’m about to finish a mantel and am trying to locate Minwax Wipe-On Poly Stain in Oil based. All that I can find is the water based version.

View TheSpinster's profile


1 post in 1262 days

#14 posted 12-04-2014 07:49 PM

Hi—-I am moving house and have several…many…pieces of wood furniture that have not been refinished for decades. None in too bad shape but a couple seem a little “dry”. Do you think it matters if I use Briwax or Min wax (and should I do something extra for the dry-appearing ones?) I would prefer toluene free—is it just as good?

Would poly be better in the kitchen?

What would be good on the stair railing? It is shinier than wax, I think. Hard and shiny, but not overtly poly-looking. It is old, and I think the previous owner used generic spray-can polish. The finish is beautiful, though.

I appreciate any suggestions. I am reading up in order to do the “best possible” thing since I need very easy upkeep and it will likely be 20 years before I do anything major again….and as a result I am just paralized.

I am not a regular re-finisher—but when pressed to the wall have always made my end project look good. So I need advice for the lazy and inexpert, but competent when cornered.

Thank you.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics