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Your favorite finish for East Indian Rosewood?

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Forum topic by live4ever posted 1536 days ago 3955 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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live4ever

983 posts in 1637 days


1536 days ago

I’m building a Father’s Day present out of tiger maple and East Indian rosewood. I’m curious what you all would recommend as the best finish. In particular, I haven’t worked with EI rosewood before and figg’s thread regarding Pau Ferro made me realize finishing rosewood might be trickier than I thought.

Lately for boxes I’ve been enjoying Danish Oil + wax. With this project, I’m thinking the Danish Oil would probably cause too much yellowing of the maple. I’ll probably go with shellac sealer and then go with WB spray lacquer (EM6000). How does that sound? Does EI rosewood play nice with WB finishes?

Also, I haven’t finish sanded the EI rosewood yet, but it does seem to have open pores. Should I consider filling (like I would for mahogany), or will the pores largely disappear with fine sanding?

Thanks!

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.


6 replies so far

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1701 days


#1 posted 1536 days ago

I’ve worked with EI rosewood before. I used a coat of dewaxed spray shellac as a sealer and then applied multiple coats of wipe on poly (minwax). I can’t say this is the best way to finish this wood but I can say that it worked well for me. I was quite satisfied with the result.

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

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 1637 days


#2 posted 1536 days ago

Thanks Rich. Sounds like I should be ok with shellac + lacquer then. Can anyone chime in regarding the pore issue?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1677 days


#3 posted 1536 days ago

Live,

I don’t think the pores will disapppear with sanding. Shellac will seal it, but the pores will prevail. Pore fillers tend to add coloration which may not be what you want. What I’ve done (not on rosewood, though) is use plaster of paris. Wet the surface-don’t soak it- to raise the grain, let it dry and sand lightly to remove the fuzz, then mix plaster of paris and apply with a squeggee across the grain. Wipe off the excess, again across the grain, let dry and fine sand. Hit it with shellac and the plaster-of-paris turns translucent. That’s how it worked for me on white oak and walnut, anyway. That technique comes from Jeff Jewitt. At any rate, if you try it, try it on scrap. As I’ve seen someone say somewhere, “Try your finish on scrap, or be prepared to scrap your finish.”

Steve

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

View thatwoodworkingguy's profile

thatwoodworkingguy

375 posts in 1556 days


#4 posted 1535 days ago

My fallback on all boxes I dont want to oil and wax is spraying lacquer.
It doesnt change the color all that much and it does the whiteness in Maple justice…and all woods for that matter. Plus you can get it to a nice smooth surface very easily.

-- thatwoodworkingguy.com ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

1691 posts in 1735 days


#5 posted 1535 days ago

Lacquer- can’t beat it! You can wet sand it and polish it to a mirror shine, just like your car (if it had a lacquer finish). Smooth, smooth, smoooth. Yum!

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live4ever

983 posts in 1637 days


#6 posted 1535 days ago

That’s a great tip from Jeff, Steve. After fine sanding I think the pores on the rosewood aren’t big enough to bother me so I’ll just seal with shellac this time.

Lacquer it is! I love me some EM6000. I really do need to get better at getting the rubbed out mirror gloss look. Can anyone who uses EM6000 share how they rub it out?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

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