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what finish for black walnut inlaid with abalone

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Forum topic by Thudbruiser posted 08-25-2010 07:04 PM 1270 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Thudbruiser

17 posts in 2292 days


08-25-2010 07:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing

Hi all, I’m new to this forum and would like some advice. I am currently making a small box out of American black walnut and I am going to inlay some Paua abalone in the top. My question is what finish can I put on the Paua and walnut?

-- Dave Nottingham England


7 replies so far

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supervato

153 posts in 2389 days


#1 posted 08-25-2010 07:12 PM

Im a big fan of old school shellac. In this case i would try blonde shellac. This will bring out the grain on the walnut and not darken it much for the inlay wood.

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2534 days


#2 posted 08-25-2010 07:21 PM

The question of “what finish” can really only be answered if you state more about your objectives. Some finishes are very durable, heat resistant and/or water resistant. Other finishes are more attractive and/or do a better job of bringing out the grain. Some offer a satin look and others offer more of a glossy look.

I personally use about 6 different finishes depending on my objective for the piece I am working on. What are your objectives?

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

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Chris

1879 posts in 3451 days


#3 posted 08-25-2010 07:24 PM

Dave,

In this case I would have to agree with the comment above. The shellac is also very easy to repair later should you have the need. I guess another option would be clear lacquer. This might not darken the abalone as much as the the shellac. However, the shellac is just so much easier to apply in my opinion.

Regards,

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

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Thudbruiser

17 posts in 2292 days


#4 posted 08-25-2010 07:34 PM

Hi Rich, I would like a satin finish as I dont like the high gloss finishes.

-- Dave Nottingham England

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fussy

980 posts in 2510 days


#5 posted 08-27-2010 02:20 AM

Dave,

Stick with shellac, and if the gloss is too much, knock it down with 0000 steel wool and wax. I would add one big caution, however. TO the best of my knowledge abalone and mother-of-pearl (same things) are VERY toxic. Use a GOOD mask and try to keep the dust under control when cutting it.

Having said that, I loved Nottingham. One of the best parts was on driving into town from the west, I saw a sign that said “Sherwood Forrest USED to be here” (emphasis mine). Evidently the natives chopped and burned it for firewood several hundred years ago.

Steve

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

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rusticandy

109 posts in 2990 days


#6 posted 08-29-2010 04:38 PM

Stick with shelllac, and then you can overcoat w/ water based poly if you’d like. I work w/ abalone and walnut all the time.

-- rustic andy

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Thudbruiser

17 posts in 2292 days


#7 posted 08-29-2010 04:49 PM

Andy thanks for the advice shellac it is
Regards

-- Dave Nottingham England

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