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Finishing cocobolo.......HELP!!!

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Forum topic by RKW posted 1589 days ago 2138 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RKW

326 posts in 2082 days


1589 days ago

I recenly posted a gavel that i turned from mahogany and maple that i made for my wife. She liked the results and wanted me to make a few more to be raffled off as part of a fundraiser for a law school club that she is in. I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to experiment with some exotics.

The first one i made is from bloodwood with an ebony stripe. This turned out nice and took finish well. (2 coats tung oil, 2 coats gloss spray polly from aerosal can, paste wax applied with 0000 steel whool)

Next gavel is solid cocobolo and due to the natural oils, the above mentioned process will not adhere to the wood. (i know this because i tried) I have read that cleaning with acetone is a good idea before applying finish. Ive also read that even if you clean with acetone you should not use any type of poly finish.

I need some suggestions here. I have not used any products other than tung oil and poly so if you do have a suggestion please be specific in the process. Please include product brands. There are so many products on the market it gets confusing and the labels and not very helpful.

Thanks all Randy

-- RKWoods


9 replies so far

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1709 days


#1 posted 1589 days ago

I’ve had pretty good luck with wipe-on poly on cocobolo. On some cocobolo items I have gone straight to the buffer without any finish. That natural oiliness is all it needs.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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RKW

326 posts in 2082 days


#2 posted 1589 days ago

So you think a good coat of paste wax will be sufficient? For a gavel?....I really dont expect this gavel to end up being used in a court room. It will probably end up on a display shelf.

-- RKWoods

View childress's profile

childress

841 posts in 2176 days


#3 posted 1589 days ago

One thing you can do is seal it with two coats of dewaxed shellac and then use the poly. Just the wax will work but it will need to be reapplied over time.

-- Childress Woodworks

View brunob's profile

brunob

2275 posts in 2804 days


#4 posted 1589 days ago

I agree with shellac. It’s the jack of all trades. It’ll stick to anything and anything will stick to it.

-- Bruce from Central New York...now, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1808 days


#5 posted 1589 days ago

Here’s a great article, if interested:

LINK

-- -- Neil

View RKW's profile

RKW

326 posts in 2082 days


#6 posted 1589 days ago

thanks guys, im going to try the shellac.

-- RKWoods

View lcurrent's profile

lcurrent

106 posts in 2450 days


#7 posted 1584 days ago

I have used Cocobolo on knife handles .
There is a product called Fixit sold at hobby shops it is in a spray can spray it on let dry for about 10 min. and buff off with a loose buffing wheel nice finish ///

-- lcurrent ( It's not a mistake till you run out of wood )

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1685 days


#8 posted 1582 days ago

RKW,

Try ca glue applied as it turns on the lathe. Works fine.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View michelletwo's profile

michelletwo

2234 posts in 1650 days


#9 posted 1582 days ago

Cocobolo has natural oils. It has been used without any finish for centuries. I’d get it to a glass finish, and then wax if I felt I had to do something. Otherwise I’d leave it. The natural oils will keep it looking great, if the person keeps it clean.

-- We call the destruction of replaceable human made items vandalism, while the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources is called development.

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