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Lift Coffee Table #4: Looking for finish suggestion

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Blog entry by Greg Wurst posted 06-19-2008 01:29 AM 1464 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Holding pattern Part 4 of Lift Coffee Table series Part 5: Final Assembly »

My curly cherry arrive today. Again, I can’t recommend the good people at http://www.kencraftcompany.com enough. I asked for a little extra to try some finish work on and they threw some in at no charge. Anyway, the initial though was to go with a dark finish on the inserts to contrast the lighter oak. The cherry is so pretty I’m not sure I don’t go with a lighter finish to highlight the figure. Having not worked with any figured wood before, I’m looking for suggestions.

Here are a couple pics of the panels with the frames around them. Obviously the panels will need to be cut to fit. The frame is supposed to be stained the same as the rest of the table with a dyed de-waxed shellac.

Here I’ve put a piece on the finished to to show you what it will be going with.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks!

Greg

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.



5 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3564 days


#1 posted 06-19-2008 03:50 AM

All the cherry pieces that I have made turned quite dark on their own. That is a dark reddish-brown, very gorgeous. You might want to keep that in mind. The color will change quite a bit in 6 months and then a year. You might want to keep that in mind. I have just counted on the natural color change to do it’s own work to create the contrast that I want.

If you want to push the color change, set the boards out in front of the shop in the sun. You will be surprised how much it can change in an afternoon. A great experiment to perform is to place a board in the sun with part of it covered. Leave it out for an afternoon or the day and when you bring it in, uncover the other half and see the difference. You will be amazed.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

786 posts in 3297 days


#2 posted 06-19-2008 03:57 AM

I’ve been searching for finishing suggestions and everyone pretty-much says the same about it darkening on its own. A common suggestion is to use tung oil or danish oil on it to bring-out the figure. I’ll try sticking one of the scrap pieces in the sun tomorrow and get some danish oil to see how it looks on the scrap. I think you’re right about letting it darken naturally and I’ll probably be keeping the finish mostly clear.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3564 days


#3 posted 06-19-2008 04:12 AM

Yes, the oil will help the grain to “pop”, but so will the shellac. The clear lacquer finishes I use make the curly figure pop.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3564 days


#4 posted 06-19-2008 07:57 PM

I can’t argue with Pat that poly is great.

The products that I use are because of my professional needs and pre-catalyzed lacquers dry fast, 3 coats in an hour, and I get FANTASTIC results. You may be limited to a wipe-on or brush-on depending on your situation.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

786 posts in 3297 days


#5 posted 06-19-2008 08:51 PM

Right now I’m trying Formby’s “Tung Oil” which is actually a wiping varnish partially made from tung oil. It looks good so far, but I’ll know more after a couple coats. I put one of the scrap pieces in a window all morning and there is a noticeable darkening of the wood already.

The pre-catalyzed lacquers are definitely beyond me currently. I don’t have the spray equipment, and I need to apply a finish so seldom the pre-catalyzed stuff would go to waste. You can mix your own, but then you need to be very precise in proportions and still need the spray equipment. They do provide superior fast-drying finishes, so maybe in the future I can try some of the post-catalyzed stuff when I get a sprayer.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

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