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Finishing black oak question

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Forum topic by chrisstef posted 11-08-2010 04:56 PM 1034 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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chrisstef

15676 posts in 2473 days


11-08-2010 04:56 PM

From what i gather black oak is typically classified as red oak which would make it an open pored wood.

My idea to finish the black oak with mohagany butterflies coffee table is to use the following method:

Flood with danish oil, let sit for 30 minutes and wipe off.
Flood again with danish oil and wet sand with 320.
Wipe off against the grain to fill pores.
Let dry.
Apply one more coat of danish oil and let dry.

Now here is where my questions come in to play. Id like to make this a very smooth top finish, glass maybe.
I was thinking i could use dewaxed shellac as my next step. Let that cure, and use 4-5 coats of water based wipee on poly over the top.

Is this the right procedure? Thanks for the advice LJ’s.

Chris

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk


12 replies so far

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2541 days


#1 posted 11-08-2010 05:02 PM

That sounds like a good approach. I would probably test this strategy on a scrap of wood to confirm how well it would work.

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

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chrisstef

15676 posts in 2473 days


#2 posted 11-08-2010 05:07 PM

Wow, i think that the first time i had an idea and it wasn’t totally off, kudos to LJ’s. Thanks Rich.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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tbone

273 posts in 3151 days


#3 posted 11-08-2010 05:46 PM

You’ve already figured out that filling the pores is important to get that glass-smooth look. BUT, once you get the pores filled, I would repeat that step again—just to make sure. Because even the slightest open pore will show up on that finish.

Good luck

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

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chrisstef

15676 posts in 2473 days


#4 posted 11-08-2010 06:01 PM

Gotcha Tbone … wet sand and wipe off twice makes sense to me. Should i cut the shellac? Any recomendations on a brand of shellac? It will be my first time using it.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3288 days


#5 posted 11-08-2010 08:05 PM

Chris, the only suggestion I would add is to go carefully with the Danish oil. I am not sure what brand you are using but Watco contains raw linseed oil which takes quite a while to cure. Oak is a porous wood and, if you put on too much linseed oil, it can bleed out over an extended period and give you a real headache as far as topcoating goes.

As far as filling the pores goes Gene Howe just posted a blog on his method for making pore fillers.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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chrisstef

15676 posts in 2473 days


#6 posted 11-08-2010 08:58 PM

Scott,

I do use Watco and i typically give it about a week to cure before topcoating, and now i know why it takes so long. Thanks for the info and ill take a look at that blog, maybe ill choose another route.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8259 posts in 2895 days


#7 posted 11-08-2010 09:08 PM

Chris,
You don’t need that first flood of oil. And, I’d take the piece to 220 first then use 400 wet/dry paper with less oil and add as needed.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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chrisstef

15676 posts in 2473 days


#8 posted 11-08-2010 09:35 PM

Gene,

So far i have used card scrapers to smooth out the board, in your opinion, is that acceptable or should i go back and hit it with 220? Im assuming that because of the above mentioned linseed oil in the Watco you suggested to use as little oil as possible? I really just want to make the grain pronounced by using the danish oil.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

#9 posted 11-08-2010 09:56 PM

The following is meant to be done AFTER you fill the wood grain per the suggestions above:

You may need to rub out the finish if you’re looking for the piano-finish look. Build up your final topcoats of whatever finish you choose (probably gloss poly is best), wait for at least a week for it to cure [chrisstef’s statement above] and then wet sand with progressively finer grits, wiping off the slurry between grits. Even if you don’t want a full gloss finish, use gloss poly, because you can always control how high the sheen goes. If you only want a satin or semi gloss, you can stop rubbing the finish at that point. With a semi-gloss or satin poly, you can only rub it to a smooth surface, but not with much higher gloss than the normal sheen of the finish.

Start at about 600 grit to bust down the worst dust nibs and smooth any unevenness or runs. Then progress to 1000, 1200 or 1500, and finally 2000 grit. As a wet-sanding lubricant, use water with a tiny amount dishsoap mixed in it to make the sandpaper virtually clog-proof. I’d even follow up the sanding with using a 4000 grit Abralon foam pad on a hook & loop random orbit sander, using the same water/soap mixture. For me this is the most wonderful finish possible. It’s somewhere between semi-gloss and gloss sheen. The full majesty of the wood grain shows just as well as a high gloss finish does, but you don’t get the blinding reflection of any light that hits it.

If you absolutely need a near-mirror finish, follow this up by polishing with 3M rubbing compound (Perfect-It or Finesse-It) or use the 3-step Novus polish system. You’ll almost be able to fix your hair in this finish. That’s something that the best sprayed on gloss polyurethane can’t even do. The only other way to get this gloss (that I know of) is french polish. But IMO, rubbing out the poly to your desired sheen is the fastest way, as long as you don’t count the one to two weeks needed to let the poly fully cure before rubbing.

Let us know what you decide and how it turns out!!

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

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chrisstef

15676 posts in 2473 days


#10 posted 11-08-2010 10:05 PM

thanks for the heads up alan … im not sure the route im going to take on this one. The lumber being used is reclaimed black oak thats got to be 120 years old anyway. It has splits in it (which i have used mohagany butterflirs to remedy), nails, and just an over all old look to it so im not sure how far im going to take the finishing but i do want it to be a nice piece but without taking away its history. The history is what i love about reclaimed lumber. Im almost done fitting the butterfly keys, once i have the sanded flush to the top ill take some pics and get you guys a progress update.

Heres what the rough piece looks like (after hand planing, and a bit of card scraping)

Thanks again to everyone out there for being TRUE LUMBERJOCKS!

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8259 posts in 2895 days


#11 posted 11-08-2010 10:33 PM

Chris,
I suggested the 220 to make sure the board was smooth enough to use the oil and 400 wet/dry paper.
If the card scraper leaves a ridgeless, smooth finish, then go for it.

Alan has a great method for finish, doesn’t he. I’m saving that!
Thanks, Alan.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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chrisstef

15676 posts in 2473 days


#12 posted 11-08-2010 10:36 PM

Ive got it saved myself … looks pretty labor intensive but certainly sounds likee its worth saving and trying.

The scraper left a nice finish, but its my first time using them, i think im just being a little apprehensive.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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