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Making wood harder???

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Forum topic by pariswoodworking posted 12-14-2011 10:48 PM 1958 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pariswoodworking

380 posts in 1228 days


12-14-2011 10:48 PM

Hi everyone. I am finishing up a box made of white cedar (it’s really soft like pine, maybe softer) and I’m wanting to harden it a little. I was wondering if wipe on poly or sanding sealer would work. It doesn’t have to be as hard as steel when I’m done, I just want it to be a little harder.

Thanks

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein


8 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3549 posts in 1557 days


#1 posted 12-14-2011 10:59 PM

I once went to a motorcycle shop to ask if anything would make my Virago 500 faster.
He stared at me with a blank face and said….. Yeah, sell it and buy a Ninja.

In that vein, I would recommend a much harder wood like white oak.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Don Carrier's profile

Don Carrier

114 posts in 1120 days


#2 posted 12-14-2011 11:07 PM

You really cannot harden wood but in my opinion you want to use a good film finish like polyurethane. I think much ado is made about soft wood thats not warranted. I have an entire pine dining room set that survived raising 2 kids and 3 dogs and looks wonderful. I don’t know what the purpose of you box is, but unless it’s a tool box a good finish will be all you need.

-- Don

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pariswoodworking

380 posts in 1228 days


#3 posted 12-14-2011 11:10 PM

Good advice. I cannot say I hated this project, but I didn’t really enjoy it. (I blame the wood for this, it’s extremely hard to work with because it is so soft, plus, it warps horribly) The customer picked out the wood, and it’s pretty, just not the best wood to work with. It probably will never see any heavy use, so it should be fine. I hope.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

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pariswoodworking

380 posts in 1228 days


#4 posted 12-14-2011 11:12 PM

Thanks for the advice, I guess I’ll go with a coat of SS followed by the poly.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View childress's profile

childress

841 posts in 2285 days


#5 posted 12-15-2011 12:06 AM

You could impregnate it with a thinned out coat of epoxy. It would absorb into the wood ending up making the wood harder. Pretty much turning it into plastic if it penetrates good enough. Just depends on how much you’re willing to spend because the right epoxy for this is not that cheap (you have to buy more than what you would need, but then you’d have some good epoxy around, which might not be a bad thing).

-- Childress Woodworks

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3167 posts in 1231 days


#6 posted 12-15-2011 12:27 AM

Childress,
How would I go about thinning out epoxy? Would I use meneral spirits or acetone?
I’ve thought about doing that on a few projects, but usually ended up using Bartop coating, sometimes up to 1/2 or 3/4” thick.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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pariswoodworking

380 posts in 1228 days


#7 posted 12-15-2011 03:10 AM

Thanks for the advice childress. I can’t do it on this project because I have already applied the sanding sealer but I’ll be sure to remember that next time I work with soft wood. I think the sanding sealer will work. I applied two thick coats and the wood soaked up most of that. :)

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View childress's profile

childress

841 posts in 2285 days


#8 posted 12-15-2011 03:25 AM

Dallas,

You can use lacquer thinner or Acetone. I use acetone. Just be very careful because when you do this, as it can be very volatile, so you need to make sure you are in a well ventilated area. Preferable outside….

-- Childress Woodworks

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