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Dewaxed shellac over danish oil

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Forum topic by chrisstef posted 12-12-2010 03:57 PM 4626 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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chrisstef

11471 posts in 1757 days


12-12-2010 03:57 PM

I plan on using dewaxed shellac over danish oil for a coffee table i am building. Final finish will be 4-5 coats of wipe on poly over the shellac. How long hsould i let the danish oil dry. Its been 3 days and it all seems to be dry but i dont want to rush the finish on this one, its a christmas present for my old man, and the first thing ive ever build for someone else.

One other question … after i apply the dewaxed shellac the can says to wait 45 minutes or so, lightly sand, and reapply, let dry, and then put the finish coat on. MUST the poly go on right after the shellac or should i give a day or 2 to cure?

Thanks everyone … pics will be coming soon on this reclaimed coffee table!

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty


17 replies so far

View 747DRVR's profile

747DRVR

199 posts in 2107 days


#1 posted 12-12-2010 04:14 PM

I have never used Danish oil but when I use boiled linseed oil I let it dry overnight and then coat with the shellac.3 days should be fine.When I use shellac as a sealer I give it just one coat,let it dry for an hour and then apply my topcoat.If after an hour the shellac feels rough then you can sand it otherwise I wouldn’t

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chrisstef

11471 posts in 1757 days


#2 posted 12-12-2010 04:24 PM

thanks 747 … my first time with dewaxed shellac as well

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View hObOmOnk's profile

hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 2878 days


#3 posted 12-12-2010 05:13 PM

Skip the dewaxed shellac.
You don’t need it as an intermediate layer.
It doesn’t bring anything to the table [pun intended].
Go directly with the wiping varnish.

-- 温故知新

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51450 posts in 2231 days


#4 posted 12-12-2010 05:19 PM

Three days on the dry time for Watco should be sufficient. I tend to let the shellac dry overnight, although like has been said, and hour or two is probably plenty of dry time for shellac. I just feel I have spent hours working on something and I dont want to take any chances with the finish.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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chrisstef

11471 posts in 1757 days


#5 posted 12-12-2010 05:20 PM

hobo,

i was just a little nervous about the durbaility of the table with only poly on it especially being wipe on. Should i put my reservations aside? I figured that the shellac would give it an extra layer of protection against the possibilty of spills and rings from drinks and what not.

snowyriver,

my feelings exactly ive spent a ton of time on this table in efforts to make it special for the old man and dont wanna screw it up now lol. The danish oil still feels a bit wet, im thinkin ill bring it upstairs and out of the basement maybe a little warm air will help it cure.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2572 days


#6 posted 12-12-2010 07:30 PM

Chris, the shellac will not give the table protection from spills and drink rings. Shellac has problems handling any type of water or alcohol spill so, as hobomonk said, I would skip the shellac and go with the poly. Poly will provide the table far more protection against chemicals, such as water and alcohol, when compared with shellac.

As far as it feeling wet goes, you may need to give the danish oil more time to cure. If you used the Watco version it contains, raw linseed oil which takes quite a while to cure- much longer than a 2 to 3 day period for boiled linseed oil for example (the difference between the two types of linseed oil is that boiled contains chemical dryers to speed up its cure time). Bringing the table into a warmer temperature will help speed up the curing process.

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

View dfdye's profile

dfdye

372 posts in 1788 days


#7 posted 12-12-2010 08:21 PM

Chrisstef,

Danish oil is an oil/varnish blend, and will not need a sealing coat of anything before applying a wipe-on poly. Assuming you wiped all of the excess Danish oil off of the piece before leaving it to dry (and checked to make sure it didn’t “weep” more of the finish back out) then 24 hours will be fine for letting it dry. An oil-based wipe-on poly will be perfect for a durable top-coat over an oil based treatment of the bare wood. If the oil in the Danish oil blend is not 100% dry, it will simply make the poly take a bit longer to dry, but it will not cause any problems.

If you use a WATER BASED poly, all bets are off! There are ways to make it work, but it isn’t worth the risk in this case.

Just so that I am clear, there isn’t any benefit to using shellac in this case, and it will probably create a less durable bond between the Danish Oil and the oil-based poly. Just saying. . . .

With that being said, I am a little confused as to why you used Danish oil if you wanted to put a poly finish on top of it. Typically, the oil/varnish blends are used when no other finish will be applied on top of them. If you were going to use a poly top-coat, I would have recommended using a custom blended oil varnish mix using a more durable varnish than what is in Danish oil. I would recommend a 1:1:1 blend of BLO, mineral spirits and spar varnish, but others have also had good success with the Maloof recipe (a 1:1:1 mix of BLO, 100% Tung oil and oil-based poly). If you want a commercially available solution, you can get Maloof’s mix in a jug, and lots of folks swear by Armor Seal. All of these blends will leave a durable film finish, and can be wiped on just as easily as Danish oil.

From where you are at now, I wouldn’t hesitate to use several coats of wipe-on poly and be happy with the result. It will turn out very nicely. The suggestions are just for future projects.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

PS I would recommend the book “Flexner on Finishing” as a good general reference book that covers lots of these “what would you do in this case” type questions. I am in the middle of reading it now, and it seems to be a great reference book to buy for your shop bookshelf.

-- David from Indiana --

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chrisstef

11471 posts in 1757 days


#8 posted 12-12-2010 11:24 PM

wow thanks for all the info guys … i guess i was kind of going with a quasi – french polish method i head read about. I think i will skip the shellac and move right on to the wipe on poly. Why i started with danish oil … not sure i just did, its been my “go to” finish lately. Ive got a book reserved on finishing at the library right now im waiting on getting into. Always plenty to learn especially when it comes to finishing, there’s so much out there and so much you can do. I shyed away from mixing anything as suggested above, just seemed a little intimidating at this point and i really dont have a ton of time if i want to get the table done prior to christmas so i stuck with what i knew.

Water based poly is out for sure, oil and water dont mix so i didnt fall into that trap. I did use Watco, and i know it takes a while to dry i was just curious if i had applied the poly or shellac too early if i would caused damage. Thanks again for all the info fellas.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View dfdye's profile

dfdye

372 posts in 1788 days


#9 posted 12-13-2010 10:44 AM

Just for the record, I definitely love Danish Oil too! It seems to have an undeserved bad rep here on LJ, but it really does look quite nice and is nearly impossible to goof up if you wipe off the excess. You have GOT to love that! It is my go-to finish for small, decorative pieces. The one dig against it is that the finish it leaves never really hardens up like poly or spar, so it doesn’t protect like you would want for a coffee table. That’s where the Arm-R-Seal (sorry, goofed up the spelling before) seems to have a good rep—it seems to have a good durability. I’ll probably never know since I refuse to pay the insane price vs. what I can make my spar/BLO/thinner mix for that is essentially the same finish!

If you feel overwhelmed by the options, I would suggest sticking with the Danish Oil + Poly if you are comfortable with that combo and stick with that for a while (or buy some Arm-R-Seal and try that out). Once you really understand how that goes on the wood, and how the oil interacts with the fibers and grain, you should start trying other finishes (I would recommend blending your own oil/varnish mix since it is so simple and it will really let you know how easy finishing can be. From there just start experimenting with other techniques and finishes on scraps to get a feel for the techniques, and so that you don’t make a mess on your almost completed projects.

Whatever you do, good luck getting this project done for Christmas.

-- David from Indiana --

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chrisstef

11471 posts in 1757 days


#10 posted 12-13-2010 04:42 PM

David,

Thanks for all of your insight. Ill definately have it done for Christmas, i only have the poly left to apply and screw the table top to the legs. Now that this project is winding down and there isnt too much i have planned on the horizon i can dedicate some time to brushing up (pun intended) on finishing techniques. Ive told myself that i would like to learn one new skill per project and have held to that. This particular one was router inlays, butterfly keys to be specific.

Just for a little teaser, heres the pic of the table top after hand planing flat … its a piece of reclaimed black oak, probably about 120 years old, measuring 22” wide and just over 4’ long. With the finish on it you can really see the different portions of the tree. One more week and ill post the finished pics. IMO its the nicest most well build item i have made in my roughly 3 years of woodworking. I couldnt have done it without the help and inspiration from all my fellow LJ’s!

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View dfdye's profile

dfdye

372 posts in 1788 days


#11 posted 12-13-2010 07:31 PM

That is a great looking piece of wood! Have fun with it. I can’t wait to see pictures of the final product.

Oh yea, I am sure you are already on this, but, but I have to say it with such a great piece for the top—be sure to account for seasonal cross grain movement against the legs when you screw the base/legs to the top. The last thing you want is for those great cracks to spread and become structurally unsound. Like I said, I am sure you are already on this, but I would hate for problems to develop.

-- David from Indiana --

View Paul C.'s profile

Paul C.

154 posts in 1996 days


#12 posted 12-13-2010 07:35 PM

I am no expert, but I use danish oil, then shellac, scuff, then paste wax. looks great.

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chrisstef

11471 posts in 1757 days


#13 posted 12-13-2010 08:09 PM

Yead david i inlaid butterfly keys in to the splits in the wood about 1/2” deep … that should hold those cracks in place. I also shot some glue into the cracks wherever i could get it in.

Thanks Paul … my only concern is with beverages being put atop of the table and leaving rings or alcohol eating through the shellac.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2484 days


#14 posted 12-13-2010 08:18 PM

The test I have read about and used to determine if an oil finish is dry is the “sniff test”. Smell the piece and if you can still smell the oil finish (Danish, BLO, whatever), then it isn’t dry enough yet to apply finish coats. Works for me!

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

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chrisstef

11471 posts in 1757 days


#15 posted 12-13-2010 08:22 PM

Ill put the sniffer on it tonight Jim !! Lord knows my wife can smell whiskey on my breath a mile away so oil shouldnt be a problem lol !

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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