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Forum topic by piesafejim posted 1099 days ago 2525 views 12 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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piesafejim

33 posts in 1137 days


1099 days ago

Yesterday i attended the Virginia Highlands festival and got to see work from some very talented artisans. One gentleman in particular from North Carolina had some peices he had done from spalted maple and walnut, anyway his finish was beautiful. He said he starts with blonde shelac for a sealer i suppose he rubs this on, and then he said his finish coat was a mixture of tounge oil, blo and poly i a sure many of you use a formula similar to this and i was hoping you would share the formula with me. He said he rubbed it on so how thin do you make it and what do you do in between coats. I have always been a laquer user as i prefer deft but i fell in love with ths look yesterday. any ideas and help would be appreciated…........ and how durable is this for a table top finish. Thanks


20 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10444 posts in 1611 days


#1 posted 1099 days ago

i think that the formula is 1/3 of each ingredient. Id assume that you would put on about 4 coats and then start lightly sanding with 400 grit. Building it up from there to say 8-10 coats for a table top or until youre either sick of it or satisfied.

-- "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 Tim Kindrick's profile

Tim Kindrick

369 posts in 1159 days


#2 posted 1099 days ago

I’ve mixed my own “wipe-on” poly several times in the past. It looks great and it’s easy to apply. I’ve never used shellac first. The formulas are:
1 part semi-gloss poly (Minwax)
1 part blo
1 part mineral spirits
This formula will give the wood a nice amber patina over time.
If I don’t want the piece to have that amber look, I use tung oil instead of blo. I don’t see the need in combining tung oil with blo because basically they serve the same purpose.

I usually wipe it on, let it sit for 15-30 minutes and wipe off the excess. I start this process in the morning and repeat the process every hour until I get the desired look. That way I don’t have to sand between coats. If you wait more than 4-5 hours before applying another coat, I would lightly sand with 00 steel wool or the equivalent.

After it dries for a few days, I rub it out with a mixture of paste wax thinned with mineral spirits and applied with 0000 steel wool or equivalent pad and then apply a coat of regular paste wax.

-- I have metal in my neck but wood in my blood!!

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Bill White

3355 posts in 2565 days


#3 posted 1099 days ago

The varnish certainly does not have to be “poly”. I just don’t understand the current fasination with the stuff. A good wiping varnish over shellac will yield a beautiful classic finish without the plastic look that “crapithane” produces.
We seem to be fixated on reinventing the age-old art of finishing.
There….I feel better.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Tim Kindrick

369 posts in 1159 days


#4 posted 1098 days ago

Thanks cr1, I’ll have to try that out. I also have lots of dust nib problems as well as cat hairs.

-- I have metal in my neck but wood in my blood!!

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piesafejim

33 posts in 1137 days


#5 posted 1098 days ago

Thanks for the input everyone. Autumn when you apply ths finish do you rub it on and rub it off? This one is totally new to me.

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hjt

773 posts in 1743 days


#6 posted 1096 days ago

Tim – what kind of wax are you speaking of? Would car wax work, or am I again explaining to “da little woman” that I NEED to make yet another trip to the hardware store for some “super special wax.”??

-- Harold

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Tim Kindrick

369 posts in 1159 days


#7 posted 1096 days ago

I just use the basic Minwax: Paste Finishing Wax from Home Depot.

-- I have metal in my neck but wood in my blood!!

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hjt

773 posts in 1743 days


#8 posted 1096 days ago

Wow Tim – you replied fast… I still have 47 mins to edit my comment that you replied too!! :~)

Do you think car wax would work or not?

-- Harold

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Tim Kindrick

369 posts in 1159 days


#9 posted 1096 days ago

I’m not sure. It depends on the finish and the wax. I have used TurtleWax Polishing Compound to “rub-out” a finish on Lacquer but the Lacquer needs a couple of weeks to cure first. Then you have to add a finish layer a regular wax. I have heard of people using pure Carnuba Car Wax on wood working projects with great results. Caution: Lots of “car wax” products have a grit or pumice in them so they wouldn’t make a good final finish, in my opinion. Have you ever seen swirl marks on a car before?

I’ve heard a lot of good things about the beeswax mixture that Autumn mentioned and I’ll probably start using that soon.

Good luck!!!

-- I have metal in my neck but wood in my blood!!

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hjt

773 posts in 1743 days


#10 posted 1096 days ago

Lots of questions my fellow LJ’s Hope someone(s) gives me all the answers I need.

(Autumn) – I assume that what you have spoke of (wax turning white in the grain) would occur if the wood is unfinished. But are you suggesting that it occurs even after the wood is finished?

(Everybody) I’m rebuilding garden benches and have used cypress (except for one piece that is cedar – I’ll explain that when I post the project). At this very moment I have taken two scrap pieces of the cypress to determine what finish to use. I (being the simple – new to this craft kinda guy) had simply planned on using Minwax Indoor/Outdoor Helmsman Spar Urethane – clear satin. I guess this is considered poly – right? But then I read this forum and was introduced to wipe on. So one piece of wood has this poly product and the other has what Ken described above. I used 1/3 of this Spar Urethane, 1/3 Mineral Spirits, and 1/3 Tung Oil and applied as a wipe on application

At this point I have 5 coats of the wipe on to one board and 3 coats of the poly to the other. The poly looks less shiny and also gives the impression of a tougher finish. Both seem to result in the same appearance as far as color tones. I guess the tung oil added some shine to the mixture. Da little woman won’t like that! She’s a satin kinda gal.

I read in Ken’s comments that he wipes off excess within 15 mins. Maybe because my pieces are so small, but I seem to have no excess to wipe off. Also, the first 3 coats of wipe on and the first two coats of the brushed on poly where applied in full sun. I later brought them in to the garage/shop and applied additional coats. I don’t know that the sun effects it one way of the other.

Some place I read that settling dust is not a big issue with the wipe on process. Is this true – why??

And one final question (for now) any reason why one could not wipe on the poly?? Or is poly to thick, it is better applied with a brush? Maybe I could simply thin the poly with mineral spirits and not add the tung oil and apply with a cloth. That might give me the wipe on application without the shine.

Patiently awaiting to glean from your knowledge.

-- Harold

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1482 posts in 1298 days


#11 posted 1092 days ago

Definitely favoriting this thread. Why spend the big bucks on Danish Oil when you can make your own?

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1764 days


#12 posted 1092 days ago

Harold:

The wipe on poly product you buy at the store is just a thinned down version of regular poly. It has to be thinned to wipe on well. Yes, just thin your poly with mineral spirits before application if you wipe…or spray for that matter.

The wipe on method dries fast because there is less actual poly and more solvent.

Fast drying = fewer dust nibs

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15671 posts in 2823 days


#13 posted 1092 days ago

”The only downside of car wax is if you are using a dark colored wood that has open pores, like walnut, for instance. The car wax will fill the pores and the wax will dry white. It’s a nightmare to rectify, requiring long hours with a toothbrush and mineral spirits.”

Autumn: You forgot to add “Don’t ask me how I know this.” :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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CharlieM1958

15671 posts in 2823 days


#14 posted 1092 days ago

Harold: Don’t overthink it. You are doing garden benches, not a jewelry box. The appropriate finish, IMO, is to just brush on that Spar urethane you bought. End of story. If it is glossier than your wife likes for some reason, go over it with some #0000 steel wool.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View hjt's profile

hjt

773 posts in 1743 days


#15 posted 1071 days ago

Twenty days since the last posting to this topic. And while this topic was not started by me, I found it while trying to learn about finishes. Up until now, most of my projects have been just rough, unfinished things. Those that were finished got a coat of paint.

I wish to thank my LJ buddies for their help answering my questions concerning finishes in this forum and other forums here at Lumber Jocks. Plus a big thanks to those of you that took time to send me a private message concerning how to get a nice finish. Here are the steps I used. It ends up being a collaboration of what I understood from all the comments I received.

I created my own wipe on poly by mixing mineral spirits and poly at a 1:1 ratio. I used a brush to apply the finish and immediately wiped off the excess using those heavy blue paper towels. About 15 mins later, I laid down a second coat and again wiped of the excess.

The following day I rubbed down (by hand) each board with 0000 steel wool and cleaned the dust off using a rag soaked in mineral spirits. A few hours later I again gave the boards two more coats as stated above.

I let the boards sit for a few days, even brought them outside to bake in the sun. Unfortunately, I missed some areas when wiping off the excess, which left me with many drips on the sides and edges of the boards. I rubbed them out using steel wool and mineral spirits and this seems to remove or lessen the imperfection. I again let them rest another day and then rubbed them down with 0000 steel wool.

These photos show the boards completed to this point.

I’m very happy with the results and so is “da little woman.” The boards have a beautiful low luster and the wood is smooth as glass.

My next step is to apply one more coat of my poly mixture. After several days of dry time, I plan to apply a coat of paste wax as Tim described (2nd posting) above.

So my fellow LJ’s does it sound as I’ve applied this in a correct fashion? Are there any steps I missed or need not have done?

I will posted the fished project (Outdoor Garden Benches) when I’ve completed the task.

As always…thanks for your help and support.

-- Harold

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