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

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Forum topic by RKW posted 04-24-2010 at 07:42 AM 2151 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RKW

326 posts in 2084 days


04-24-2010 at 07:42 AM

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 1711 days


#1 posted 04-24-2010 at 07:57 AM

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.

View RKW's profile

RKW

326 posts in 2084 days


#2 posted 04-24-2010 at 08:09 AM

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 2179 days


#3 posted 04-24-2010 at 01:24 PM

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 2806 days


#4 posted 04-24-2010 at 01:26 PM

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.

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NBeener

4806 posts in 1811 days


#5 posted 04-24-2010 at 01:35 PM

Here’s a great article, if interested:

LINK

-- -- Neil

View RKW's profile

RKW

326 posts in 2084 days


#6 posted 04-24-2010 at 03:56 PM

thanks guys, im going to try the shellac.

-- RKWoods

View lcurrent's profile

lcurrent

106 posts in 2452 days


#7 posted 04-28-2010 at 07:40 PM

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 1688 days


#8 posted 04-30-2010 at 11:27 PM

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

2236 posts in 1653 days


#9 posted 05-01-2010 at 06:28 AM

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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