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Help with Arm-R-Seal on Rosewood

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Forum topic by figg posted 06-06-2010 10:05 PM 2909 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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figg

14 posts in 2371 days


06-06-2010 10:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hello .. First post here. I built a small wood project from Bolivian Rosewood that has a total of 4 separate pieces. I finished all four pieces EXACTLY the same, but am having different results from them. After final sanding, I first wiped down each piece, one at a time with Acetone to remove any surface oils that may cause issues, then put on 5 coats of Watco Natural Danish Oil, and let them dry for two weeks. They all felt very dry. I then did a quick wipe again with the Acetone before quickly brushing on a coat of Arm-R-Seal semi gloss poly. The largest of the four pieces dried overnight, and took another 3 coats of the poly, and is just perfect. But the remaining three just will not completely dry, and have been tacky now for 6 weeks !!!! In places, they are dry, but in spots they are still tacky. I just do not understand what happened … I used Acetone as suggested many places on the web, and ALL of the wood is the same, and was finished the same way. I need to know how to repair my mess.
Thanks


13 replies so far

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CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3678 days


#1 posted 06-06-2010 10:13 PM

My best guess: I think five coats of Danish oil is excessive. You were lucky enough to have one piece soak it up and dry properly. Try taking the pieces that are still tacky and rubbing them with steel wool until the tackiness is completely gone, then put another coat of poly on. I make no guarantees, but I’ve had some luck following this procedure.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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figg

14 posts in 2371 days


#2 posted 06-06-2010 10:33 PM

Thanks for replying … Are you recommending straight steel wool ? Or steel wool in mineral spirits ?

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Hallmark

432 posts in 2566 days


#3 posted 06-06-2010 11:18 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks.

Check out Finish Issues at http://tulipwoodglossary.blogspot.com/2006/01/bolivian-rosewood.html

Why not just Arm-R-Seal semi gloss poly?

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

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figg

14 posts in 2371 days


#4 posted 06-06-2010 11:26 PM

Hello Hallmark. I am very new to finishing, and was looking for the beautiful look of hand rubbed oil finish … You know, a finish that best brings out the figure in the wood. I was told that any poly just won’t do a good job of looking natural, and bringing out the figure. I was told I NEEDED some kind of oil finish applied first to accomplish this, with a top coat. And this is why I went this route. I also needed simplicity, as a TRUE hand rubbed oil finish, I just have never been able to get the results I see the Pros get. Any suggestions are welcome, and thanks for replying.

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figg

14 posts in 2371 days


#5 posted 06-06-2010 11:46 PM

Double post

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Dark_Lightning

2631 posts in 2569 days


#6 posted 06-06-2010 11:53 PM

I’ve NEVER done anything to rosewood but sand it and finish either with satin poly (like Minwax) or lacquer (like Deft). Never had this problem, but then I never used oil on it. Lacquer really makes the grain pop. I’m trying to figure out my cheapo digital camera to get clearer pics to prove it.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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Hallmark

432 posts in 2566 days


#7 posted 06-06-2010 11:58 PM

Some woods just don’t like oil finishes. You can get a really nice finish with spray on lacquer and then try the oil/poly finish on another project using a different wood.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

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fussy

980 posts in 2510 days


#8 posted 06-07-2010 12:04 AM

Figg,

The problem is that Rosewoods (Dalbergias) are a naturally oily wood. The oil can be distributed throughout a piece unevenly, but in most cases are enough to prohibit using oil finishes of ANY kind. The natural oils in the wood keep percolating to the surface and prevent oil finishes from drying. Were I you, I would strip the finish (I know, it sucks), and sand up through the grades until you get the shine you want. I have been known to go through 2000 and beyond. Get wet-or-dry paper in higher grits at auto body supply stores (eg. Carquest).
Rosewood takes a high NATURAL polish due to the oil in it and doesn’t need a finish. If you insist, strip it, seal it with de=waxed shellac (Bull’s Eye Sealcoat), then hit it with laquer. Acetone is useful in getting a good glue bond, but so is a quick, light sanding just before application. You might consider wax for a finish, but polished rosewood really needs nothing imho.

Steve

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

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3678 days


#9 posted 06-07-2010 12:43 AM

Steve’s advice is good, but if you want to avoid all that trouble, try the plain steel wool first and see what happens.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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figg

14 posts in 2371 days


#10 posted 06-07-2010 12:46 AM

Thanks to all of you. I have a lot to go on now, and will report back after the rescue attempt.

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figg

14 posts in 2371 days


#11 posted 06-08-2010 04:37 AM

Hello again … I believe it was Charlie who suggested this :

My best guess: I think five coats of Danish oil is excessive. You were lucky enough to have one piece soak it up and dry properly. Try taking the pieces that are still tacky and rubbing them with steel wool until the tackiness is completely gone, then put another coat of poly on. I make no guarantees, but I’ve had some luck following this procedure.

So I did this today, and have a question ; Although it did get rid of the tackiness, it left sections that are hazy in appearance … Before I follow instructions and place another coat of poly on, i need to ask if the hazy areas will stay hazy, or if the new poly on top will make them clear after applied ?
thanks

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1440 posts in 2924 days


#12 posted 06-08-2010 10:49 PM

sorry – another thought/question. have you tried putting on a single coat of poly over the tacky surfaces? i’ve had the ambient atmosphere do funny things, and putting a new coat over an existing but tacky coat has cured (pun intended!) the problem.

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teenagewoodworker

2727 posts in 3228 days


#13 posted 06-08-2010 10:55 PM

you don’t need a pure oil to pop the grain. Honestly I would recommend staying away from the pure oils entirely since they don’t like to dry. Arm R Seal and Seal A Cell do great. Also are you wiping these back or just brushing them on and leaving it. That’s probably part of the problem. You need to wipe oil based finished back with a rag. You can’t just brush it because it will go on way to heavy.

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