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1st project-finish a cypress harvest table-PLEASE HELP!

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Forum topic by mattleah727 posted 01-20-2012 04:07 AM 6546 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mattleah727

4 posts in 976 days


01-20-2012 04:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing dining table cypress tung oil

hi, my name is leah-my step-dad recently built a harvest dining table and benches for my family. He has poor vision (crazy that he still builds) so he doesn’t finish his work. SO-it’s up to me! What is the best option for properly finishing a cypress table used by a family with 3 small kids? I was initially told to use linseed oil first, then mix tung oil with stain, top with tung oil, then poly But then told no-poly or tung, not both…i’m at a total loss!! Please help!!!


19 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10889 posts in 1347 days


#1 posted 01-20-2012 05:01 AM

I would apply 1 to 3 coats of Boiled Linseed OIL and the many coats of wipe on poly or forego the BLO and wipe on Spar Urethane diluted with mineral spirits. I use 3 parts Spar to 1 part MS and wipe on THIN coats with old t shirt material. If a sprayer is an option that would speed the process considerably. You need the protection of poly with kids and tables. You will have less trouble with runs and sags using the homemade wipe on vs brushing but it will be a somewhat slower process.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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chrisstef

10850 posts in 1663 days


#2 posted 01-20-2012 05:11 PM

I used general finished dye stain on a cypress bench i built not too long ago. It was super easy to use and came out pretty good as far as im concerned. You can check it out in my projects if you would like.

-- "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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CharlesNeil

1128 posts in 2528 days


#3 posted 01-20-2012 07:31 PM

let finish it, first, I dont like BLO , its soft and takes forever to dry, with products like Arm R Seal and Waterlox , its day has come and gone, applying several coats of the mentioned oils, you will have an easy to apply , maintain and as tough as it gets finish. Select a color stain you want, if you want a stain, the listed products will work over any stain I know of, prep the wood by sanding up to 180, with either a random orbit sander or by hand with the grain, then apply the stain, let it dry, then using one of the listed oils, apply a liberal coat, let it soak in and wipe off the excess, be careful to dispose of any applicators by laying them out side to dry, they can cause spontaneous combustion, so dont bundle and toss. Let it dry approx 12 hours or until it feels dry, if you have stained it, apply another coat, and do the same, I prefer to get at least 3 coats on if stained, to avoid sand thru on color, it will probably feel rough, but not to worry, once the 3rd coat is dry, using some 600 grit sandpaper, give it a “scuff’ sand, this is a light sanding to remove the raised grain fibers, and it should feel smooth, then clean it off , and apply a 4th coat, again wiping off the excees, when dry a light scuff with some 1200, now it shoul dfeel like glass, then apply the 5th, coat and when dry, your ready to go, if it does not feel super smooth , using a piece of brown paper bag, lightly buff it, is should feel smooth, let it dry a couple of days, and put to use.

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chrisstef

10850 posts in 1663 days


#4 posted 01-20-2012 09:23 PM

Leah, you have the best advice around from the best finisher i know of Mr. Neil …. no where else can you get info like that! Thats like asking a quartberacking quesion and getting an answer from Peyton Manning.

-- "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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Clint Searl

1457 posts in 1018 days


#5 posted 01-21-2012 11:32 PM

Stained or unstained, the only finish you need is a waterborne poly. I like Varathane floor finish that contains aluminum oxide for wear resistance. Three full coats is plenty. After the first coat, knock down any fuzz and raised grain with 220 paper, then proceed with a couple more coats. If you stain first, let it dry completely before the poly.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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a1Jim

112104 posts in 2234 days


#6 posted 01-21-2012 11:54 PM

Hi Matt
Welcome to LJs
I would suggest you take Charles Neil’s(Above) advice he is a finishing expert who has taught many classes on finishing and done a great deal of videos covering the subject of finishing.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Bill White

3455 posts in 2617 days


#7 posted 01-22-2012 12:44 AM

Listen to Charles. Spar is for exterior stuff. In my shop, it has no place unless I’m workin’ on on items that will be exposed to sunlight. Finishing is an art, and there is no “quick and easy” method that will make your work look/feel like quality. That’s what finishing is all about…..highlight your project.
Point of info:
Charles’s written word does not live up to his quality advice. (Chuckle inserted here.)
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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CharlesNeil

1128 posts in 2528 days


#8 posted 01-22-2012 04:49 PM

Clint, I dont disagree on the poly at all, however, for some one new to finishing, the oil process is slower but much easier, and success is assured, not to mention its as tough as any poly I know of,

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Clint Searl

1457 posts in 1018 days


#9 posted 01-22-2012 11:33 PM

Charles, that’s my argument , also. It’s my experience that going the waterborne way is faster, fewer steps, less likely to streak, water cleanup, no odor/VOC, and it’s tough enough to walk on. Plus, at $30+ per quart Waterlox will turn to jello in short order once the can is opened. See my blog on the subject.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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CharlesNeil

1128 posts in 2528 days


#10 posted 01-23-2012 02:41 PM

Clint, i doubt there is more of a proponent of Water base than I, I teach alot of finfishing classes and water base is the emphisis, as well as spraying, but again, for some one unexperienced, and dealing with only one project, oil is hard to beat , its almost fool proof, spraying or brushing a nice finish requires practice and skill, some thing a nonwoodworking individual will not have, oil is the short term answer, but again, water base is the future and the answer, not only for performance, but for the safety of it, I am a huge fan of it, and have actually filmed 3 or 4 DVD’s on its use and application, no argument from me

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mattleah727

4 posts in 976 days


#11 posted 01-27-2012 05:07 AM

Ok-I sorta forgot about this thread and went ahead and put 2 costs of linseed oil…so mr Neil, given that, what next? This table is so pretty I don’t want to mess it up! AND there r spots under the table where the linseed oil is not drying and is gummy…I tried wiping down with turpentine and it helped some but not totally Any ideas???

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mattleah727

4 posts in 976 days


#12 posted 01-27-2012 05:56 AM

Also-I would prefer that the table have more of a matte/rustic finish that is durable not necessarily glossy….this is an example of what I’d like the finished product to look like. thanks SO much for all your input :)
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Source: google.ca via Leah on Pinterest

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Frank

19 posts in 969 days


#13 posted 01-27-2012 02:11 PM

Hi Leah. I just wanted to chime in here. I wanted to reassure you that your not alone. ALL wood workers had the beginning “jitters” when starting to finish their first few projects. Heck, even some established cabinet makers who are in the business for many years still are intimidated by it. lol, I remember when I started out, I just took regular Varnish and thinned it to, gee, it must have been thinned down to almost 60 or seventy percent thinner hahaha. Then I just found a lint free cloth with no coloring(white), which was actually the hardest part. Then I simply used it like wipe on Polyurethane you buy in the can. I worked clean in between coats and lightly sanded with 320 and vacuumed and tacked it also in between. Although probably not the choice of champions, in the beginning of my journey, it saved me. Took about 5 super thin coats but that piece still looks nice today 27 yrs. later.(Farm table made from reclaimed Cypress from a barn.) Although today I use many different techniques and finishes, I’ll never regret that decision I made in the beginning. Hope this helps friend.
Frank
PS
There are so many reasons that could be causing your gummy wet spots . Wood moisture content, sap and resin not allowing it to soak in as fast, humidity, patience LOL, contamination, oil wasn’t boiled properly(rare)...confused? It can be confusing, Wait for Master Neil to respond to your quandry, he’ll clear it up for you. Best of luck.

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CharlesNeil

1128 posts in 2528 days


#14 posted 01-27-2012 04:07 PM

I would clean it good with some naptha , and let it dry a couple of days, if it continues to weepo, clean it again, then apply a coat of satin Arm R seal, it has good driers, and will help to solidify the linseed oil, let it dry a day or so, then follow up with another coat, let dry overnight, do a third, coat, at this point you should be looking pretty good, but perhaps a little more sheen than you wish, but not to worry, , asuming the surface now looks uniform , meaning, there are no significant really dull areas, ( if so apply another coat to the area), give it a light rubb out, with some 600 , then a burnish with some 000 steel wool, and you should have it, the 600 will yield a dull matte finish, the issue will be down in the grain, it could still have some shiny areas, here is where the steel wool will help to dull it down, or a synthetic pad, you should now have a nice old country dull looking finish, that will preserve and protect the wood, your basically doing what Frank above did, but 27 years ago, products had those good old heavy metal driers and so forth and were a different animal than what we have to day, the names may be the same, but the formulations have changed, but you should do fine, let us know how it goes

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KPW

223 posts in 1026 days


#15 posted 01-27-2012 04:41 PM

Charles, I’ve been using Minwax Antique Oil Finish and rubbing it dry. 3 or 4 coats gives that nice soft lustre. Lately I’ve been not rubbing to hard before letting it dry over night. It seems to work a little better. Is this product more or less the same thing as the Waterlox and what do you think of my technique?

-- Ken --------- never try and put 5 lbs. of tenon in a 3 lb. mortise.

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