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A good finish for a mahagony project

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Forum topic by William64 posted 08-11-2017 12:18 AM 670 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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William64

4 posts in 493 days


08-11-2017 12:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: mahogany finishing

Hi. I have just finished a mahogany project, (a gift box approx 5” x 11” x 3” high) and I am unsure what the best finish should be. The color in the wood (it is African mahogany) is pretty even so I don’t plan on using any stain. I have tried clear semi-gloss polyurethane and tung oil on pieces of scrap and after three coats on each piece they both look the same. Can anyone share their finishing techniques and what works best for you? I have thought about using a pore filler but I don’t have any experience with that & don’t want to experiment here. Maybe on some other scrap pieces though. Are pore fillers available through home stores such as Lowes & Home Depot, or would I need to go to a woodworking store online? Thanks.


13 replies so far

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3294 posts in 1636 days


#1 posted 08-11-2017 12:59 AM

I like the way Mahogany looks with Red Mahogany Danish oil on it. I’ve also used timbermate to fill the pores.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

711 posts in 2689 days


#2 posted 08-11-2017 01:56 AM

I have been using Liberon Furniture Oil on Mahogany for a few years now with outstanding results. 3-4 coats rubbed in with 0000 steelwool. Sometimes I darken with Potasium Dichromate before I use Liberon. It produces a soft luster, nice hand and is easily repairable should some unnoticed blemish appear during the finisheing process, and it makes the figure pop as well. I highly recommend it.

-- Ken

View Rich's profile

Rich

1984 posts in 428 days


#3 posted 08-11-2017 04:35 AM

I’m trying to get an idea of what you want to achieve. I agree with you that African mahogany doesn’t need stain. What would be your ideal result?

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View Andre's profile

Andre

1496 posts in 1645 days


#4 posted 08-11-2017 05:47 AM

Wipe down with BLO then couple of coats of a good paste wax.
Might want to wipe it down with D.N.A. if it was sanded!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1789 posts in 486 days


#5 posted 08-11-2017 11:16 AM

I agree with Andre … boiled linseed oil and wax. I might, however, put a light coat of shellac before the wax … and that’s bee’s wax of course … so, I guess I almost agree with Andre … LOL!
 
As an aside … you might want to let it sit in the sun for a bit after the boiled linseed oil, to deepen the color!

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

View William64's profile

William64

4 posts in 493 days


#6 posted 08-11-2017 09:34 PM

Thank you for everyone’s suggestions. CharlesA, I assume you fill the pores before applying the Danish oil?

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3294 posts in 1636 days


#7 posted 08-11-2017 09:40 PM

I don’t know what the experts wouldn’t say. I followed the advice of the guy at woodcraft and leet the first coat drub hard, then filled grain then applied rest of the coats. I adjust for darkness by using natural coats in addition to the tinted.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View mitch_56's profile

mitch_56

18 posts in 312 days


#8 posted 08-11-2017 09:47 PM

Lots of options.

Wax as pore filler and finish per Don Williams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtUN8obqB-A with a polissoir

Or you can use pumice and do a full french polish..mahogany+french polish == furniture of royalty. I did that once, and the results are epic, but the amount of work for a full french polish on a sizeable piece is a committment!

Pure tung oil, let it cure for a week or two, then shellac then furniture wax is easy and produced great results for me.

View sawdustdad's profile

sawdustdad

335 posts in 724 days


#9 posted 08-12-2017 01:38 AM

Depends on your objective. Do you want a mirror smooth glossy finish? You need to fill the pores. If you want a more natural real wood feel, then a couple coats of tung oil or wipe-on poly, sanding between coats, will give a durable but still natural look. Personally, I like the feel of wood, so I’d not fill the pores.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3661 posts in 2148 days


#10 posted 08-12-2017 02:10 AM

This may not help much but that never stopped me.

Today I watched Rough Cutt with Tommy Mac and some other guy. Anyway they were building a piece out of Mahogany. They didn’t say what kind of Mahogany it was. When it came to the finish they mixed some dye in shellac an rubbed it on with what looked like an ordinary rag. It really pop the grain and gave it nice rich look. Sorry they didn’t say what color the dye was or how strong is was mixed. Next they sanded the price down and sprayed it with satin lacquer. it looked really nice to me.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View dalepage's profile

dalepage

317 posts in 679 days


#11 posted 08-12-2017 07:18 AM

Tommy’s show is more about showcasing himself than teaching how to do it.

-- Dale

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3661 posts in 2148 days


#12 posted 08-12-2017 08:47 AM


Tommy s show is more about showcasing himself than teaching how to do it.

- dalepage

You may not like Tommy or is his style, but pray tell me what does that have to do with the shellac and dye finish his guest was applying to a table ? Because you don’t like Tommy that makes the the finish his guest used no good or not worth mentioning? How stupid is that? What does you comment have to do with this particular thread anyway. The OP didn’t ask anyone what they thought of Tommy. If you want to bash Tommy start you own thread, I don’t really care. Your not contributing anything useful to the OP with your uncalled for remarks. Did I say the finished looked really nice?

BTW dale after 43 years of woodworking I can’t remember picking up a magazine or watching a video that I didn’t lean something no matter who wrote the magazine or who was in the video.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View William64's profile

William64

4 posts in 493 days


#13 posted 08-19-2017 03:33 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. I’m moving along with finishing the project. I used the Timbermate filler and the Red Mahogany Danish Oil and I’m pleased with the results. Do you recommend a coat of wax after the oil dries? Also, how long should the oil dry before you put on the wax? If I can figure out how I will post a picture when it is finished. Thanks again.

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