In a bit of a pickle... finishing question

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Forum topic by Pablo83 posted 08-22-2010 06:51 PM 959 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 2868 days

08-22-2010 06:51 PM

Hi everyone, thanks for reading.
I have a walnut jewelry box nearing completion. I routed out a 1/4” by 1/4’’ channel out of all edges and inlayed it with cocobolo. It looks beautiful and I can’t wait to start finishing! The problem is the walnut was steamed stock and as it is now, could use some help in the colour department. I probably should have pre-darkened the wood before doing the inlay, but you live and learn :). I don’t want to darken the cocobolo at all, and I’m wondering the best way to go about this. My main concern, if taping off the inlay, is bleed through under the tape especially if using a runny water based dye. Would I be better off using a gel type stain and carefully wipe it off away from the taped off areas? Has anyone had much success with this? After that I plan on using orange then possibly blonde shellac and wax.


4 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4218 days

#1 posted 08-22-2010 07:17 PM

Have you tried just applying some mineral spirits to see how the walnut would look with just an oil treatment? I’m thinking that something like Danish oil would make the walnut look much darker, but is not going to change the appearance of the cocobolo very much. That might be all you need.

For that matter, even if you do decide to apply a stain, I think when you wipe it off, most will come off the cocobolo anyway, having no real effect on its color. Test some scraps to be sure.

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

View Pablo83's profile


7 posts in 2868 days

#2 posted 08-23-2010 04:21 AM

Thanks Charlie,
I really hadn’t considered how cocobolo might not take the finish because of it’s oils. I’ll test this out on scrap for sure!

View mnorusis's profile


153 posts in 3143 days

#3 posted 08-23-2010 05:19 AM

I’d try some BLO on some scrap walnut and cocobolo to see what it would look like. I love using BLO on walnut, it makes it very rich.

Let us know what you end up going with.


View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3051 days

#4 posted 08-24-2010 03:41 AM


Woodworking Magazine (now merged with Popwood) had a recipie for using aniline dye in shelac but I can’t find it right now. It was about 2-3 years ago. It was beautiful. I’ll look it up if you like. At any rate, try some blo on scrap walnut and cocobolo to see how it looks. If you decide to go with the dyed shelac, you can seal the cocobolo with shelac first. It will stick to cocobolo, and if you use super blond it shouldn’t affect the color much at all. Just a thought and already my brain is tired.


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

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