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About to put a finish on my first project

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Forum topic by Mdunn posted 02-11-2017 03:24 PM 539 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mdunn

4 posts in 376 days


02-11-2017 03:24 PM

Hello guys I’ve been lurking for a while and learning a lot from you folks. Well I’ve finally decided to try to make something that doesn’t involve plywood and 2×4s and here it is. This is a box I’m making for my wife for valentines day and I’m quite happy with the way it’s turned out so far.

Its made out of purpleheart, maple, and walnut sandwiched together. The purpleheart looked great before I cut/sanded it and from what I’ve been reading I’ll need to put it out in the sun for a bit to return that purple color. I would really like to get some advice on the finish before I dive in. I have really only used spray poly before and I don’t really want to cheap out at this point.

Thanks for your input!


10 replies so far

View mrbob's profile

mrbob

182 posts in 402 days


#1 posted 02-11-2017 03:28 PM

Water based Min Wax Poly will give you a real clear finish with next to zero yellowing.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1755 posts in 481 days


#2 posted 02-11-2017 03:42 PM

I like your comment about putting it in the sun. I would saturate the box with boiled linseed oil before sitting it in the sun. After that … shellac, poly, lacquer … whatever. She’s gonna love it!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4756 posts in 2327 days


#3 posted 02-11-2017 05:01 PM

Depending on the look you want, a coat of BLO would pop the colors quite a bit. It would take a day (at least) to cure enough to be topcoated, and it would likely yellow over time. A waterborne would be (in many cases) water clear and light fast (doesn’t shift toward the amber hue), if you put it over BLO it’s best to wait quite a bit longer for the BLO to cure. Varnish (you might call this “poly”) would be a good choice, very durable it will yellow over time (most of them) though you could get an alkyd resin/soya oil formula (Pratt and Lambert 38) that has a lot less of the amber and is a really nice looking varnish. Truthfully, I’m not sure how important the durability part would be on a box like that, they don’t see the wear and tear of a table top or such, so shellac or lacquer would be nice. Both dry very quickly, and are forgiving of errors. Bear in mind, the color of the wood itself will shift over time…so if it looks different in a year, it may not be the finish.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1422 posts in 1823 days


#4 posted 02-12-2017 01:59 PM

What look do you want? Water clear, no yellowing at all? Fully filled (piano) finish? Need more info to help you out. Doesn’t sound like you have spray equipment – limits the possibilities on the piece. Wiping some mineral spirits on the wood will give you a pretty good idea what the color of the wood is after sanding, evaporate, and not effect the later finish.

I hope you kept your cut offs. Can’t stress enough the importance of testing whatever you think you may want to do.

Waterborne finishes don’t pop the grain – they look lifeless. I use shellac under them to liven them up. Shellac alone would look great, but will have color, how much depends on the type used.

Don’t worry how “cheap” a finish is, concern yourself with the result, meaning the look, feel, durability, etc. Very nice finishes can be achieved with “cheap” poly or rattle can lacquer, it’s all about proper application. It’s likely this could get used to hold jewelry or other objects with sharp edges/corners. Lacquer and shellac will get scratched up on the inside over time. You may want felt on the inside bottom to protect the piece and the contents.

View Mike_D_S's profile

Mike_D_S

311 posts in 2048 days


#5 posted 02-12-2017 07:02 PM

First off, good job with the box.

Wipe the box down with mineral spirits. If the grain goes from average to great, then an oil base coat (or two) is probably the way to go to get that same grain pop. Wipe on poly (Arm-R-Seal for example) as a top coat is easy and while you’ll do more coats, it’s pretty difficult to screw up. As you build the poly coats it’ll start to really get a nice deep finish.

OSU55 has a good point about felting the bottom. You can get stick on felt from most craft stores (Hobby Lobby, JoAnn’s fabric, etc).

Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View Mdunn's profile

Mdunn

4 posts in 376 days


#6 posted 02-13-2017 06:25 AM

Ok thanks for all the advice guys. I’ve applied one coat of BLO and hopefully tomorrow we’ll see the sun at some point. I bought some Arm R Seal and a mini flocker (I had planned on doing this before) from woodcraft and hopefully I will be able to get it done before V day. So far with the first coat of BLO it looks great so I have high hopes :-). I’ll post some pictures once it’s done.

View Mike_D_S's profile

Mike_D_S

311 posts in 2048 days


#7 posted 02-13-2017 12:48 PM

Flocking is easy to do, but you’ll need to decide if you want to flock the whole thing inside or just part of it. Make sure you tape off areas on the edge where you don’t want to flock before putting down the adhesive.

Remember that the extra flocking is reusable. When I flock, I use a cardboard box and cut part of the box away to make a little booth to flock in. Then I tape the inside corners and the seams. This way when I’m done, I can just tap the box to collect the loose flocking and dump it back in the bag.

Good luck,
Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View Mdunn's profile

Mdunn

4 posts in 376 days


#8 posted 02-18-2017 06:32 PM

Welp I’ve finally gotten it completed and took some pictures. I’m very happy with how it turned out and I have to thank you guys for your input. I ended up applying 1 coat of BLO and 5 coats of satin Arm R Seal followed by a coat of Paste Wax. I flocked the inside with black flocking and added a piece of the cutout to the inside of the lid to make it align easier and not fall off. I’m not sure how much I like the way the inside of the lid looks because I was in a bit of a rush to get it done so I could have a finish on it before the 14th.

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Mdunn

4 posts in 376 days


#9 posted 02-18-2017 06:35 PM

I’m not sure why the seam is so visible on the side. It was very difficult to get it lined up to clamp it during the glue up but I figured sanding would take care of it. It’s perfectly smooth despite being so apparent.

View Mike_D_S's profile

Mike_D_S

311 posts in 2048 days


#10 posted 02-18-2017 11:30 PM

I think you are talking about the seam where you glued the heart after cutting out the interior. This could be somewhat due to the tooth set on your bandsaw blade not leaving a very smooth cut. I had this problem with the first few bandsaw boxes I made.

I know you are done with this piece, but if you wanted to make another one at some point (or any other bandsaw box type item) then you could think a little more about the entry point where you cut into the piece. In the case of the heart you made, since you were not going to be reusing the interior to make a drawer (like you might for a bandsaw box), then you could have cut your entry at the V on the top of the heart. The natural shape of the outside would server to hide the seam and once through, you just curve to get to the pattern and cut out the interior like you did.

But I’ll say the same thing I’ve said on several other threads. We are our own worst enemy for finding fault. What you see as an obviously visible seam won’t be noticed by 99% of the people who pick it up. They’ll be looking at the different woods on the side, the flocking and the top and won’t even spend a second thinking about the seam.

Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

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