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Finishing for fragrant camphor wood?

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Forum topic by horc00 posted 09-17-2017 04:45 AM 302 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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horc00

2 posts in 34 days


09-17-2017 04:45 AM

Hello everyone.

First off, I am not a woodworker nor do I have any experience making any wooden items.

The thing is, I recently purchased a beautiful camphor wood coffee table for my living room. It came unfinished (I’m not sure if that’s the right word but the seller basically said that they did not apply any form of finishing onto it) and I was instantly attracted to the “natural” look and camphor fragrance. It is now proudly displayed in the middle of my living room and guests have nothing but compliments for it.

However, I noticed that it seems to absorb any water spillage quite rapidly unlike most other wooden furniture I have. I am especially concerned of spilling any coffee or oily stuff onto the table, to the point that I’m afraid to even place glasses with chilled water onto the table (because condensation…).

I tried googling for information on the types of finishing I can use for camphor, and while I have found a few suggestions in here and on another forum, so far none have specifically mentioned that the finishing will still allow the wood to emit its fragrance.

Hence I would like to ask what finishing would be recommended if I would really like it to maintain its “natural” look and fragrance.

Thanks!


5 replies so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1595 posts in 430 days


#1 posted 09-17-2017 11:24 AM

Firstly, I am by no means a finishing guru, but I do not think any  finish will allow the wood to emit its fragrance. Perhaps you should consider a glass top for your coffee table.

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

View hannesvn's profile

hannesvn

2 posts in 66 days


#2 posted 09-18-2017 09:19 AM

Even unfinished camphor will lose it’s fragrance after some time. It can be activated again by working the wood (cutting, sanding etc.). So it really boils down to what you want to preserve, the looks or the fragrance? Like Ron says, consider a glass top.

View horc00's profile

horc00

2 posts in 34 days


#3 posted 09-18-2017 12:33 PM



Firstly, I am by no means a finishing guru, but I do not think any  finish will allow the wood to emit its fragrance. Perhaps you should consider a glass top for your coffee table.

- Ron Aylor


Even unfinished camphor will lose it s fragrance after some time. It can be activated again by working the wood (cutting, sanding etc.). So it really boils down to what you want to preserve, the looks or the fragrance? Like Ron says, consider a glass top.

- hannesvn

Thank you both for your replies.

Actually it already has a glass on it. It looks something like this except that it’s supported by legs as the wood does not go all the way to the floor.

I contacted the seller regarding a finishing and he recommended me Harrell's traditional wax polish. I would like to point out that the seller is a Chinese based in China, so I’m concerned that our communication might be lost in translation.

Considering that I have accepted my fate that any finish will cover up the fragrance, I would just like to preserve its natural “raw” look without any glossiness. Will Harrell’s wax do the trick? Does it offer any form of protection from water?

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1595 posts in 430 days


#4 posted 09-18-2017 11:24 PM

Again, any kind of finish will mask the fragrance. If you are looking for protection from water, I would suggest loose the fragrance and finish with shellac, lacquer, or poly. Just my humble opinion.

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

View barada83's profile

barada83

86 posts in 968 days


#5 posted 09-21-2017 04:01 AM

Might try an “in the wood” finish versus the film building finishes previously suggested. I would recommend doing the underside first to see if it has deleterious effects before trying the top. Think tung oil, or boiled linseed oil.

-- Mike

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