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Forum topic by WoodworkingGeek posted 05-06-2012 05:50 PM 1233 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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181 posts in 2934 days

05-06-2012 05:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hey guys
I’m going to make an box for a customer and am wanting your opinion for a finish. The box is made out of mahogany and its 4’‘x6’’. My favorite finish is a boiled linseed oil thinned with a mineral spirit. but i was wanted a little more build-up in the finish. I don’t really like polyurethane, It looks too plastic. I do have a HVLP maybe i could use that? Any suggestions would be great!
Thanks for the help!

7 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3889 days

#1 posted 05-06-2012 06:01 PM

Shellac. I wouldn’t spray it… too much cleanup and solvent
waste to make it worth it for a small project. Topcoat with
wax. Looks really nice and very forgiving.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3310 days

#2 posted 05-06-2012 06:02 PM

What you like needs to be secondary to what the customer likes. I always have my customers tell me what they’re looking for – or show me a picture of something that they like. Depending on the project size, I’ll also make a couple of sample pieces for them to buy off on. The last thing I want is to do a finish and have the customer tell me that they don’t like it.

Poly doesn’t have to look like plastic. Try a satin sheen.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5149 posts in 4202 days

#3 posted 05-06-2012 06:15 PM

A box? What size? What wood? Gotta give us a bit more to help.
Small box. I’d use some dewaxed shellac and wiping varnish. Then, buff with 0000 wool and wax. I find that old terry towels do a good job with the final buffing stage.
Hop this helps.


View MyChipCarving's profile


636 posts in 3366 days

#4 posted 05-06-2012 06:20 PM

I’m with Loren on shellac with wax. Quick and easy and nice results.

-- Marty,, 866-444-6996

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2602 days

#5 posted 05-06-2012 06:34 PM

Rattlecan poly or lacquer or weterborne 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

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 3002 days

#6 posted 05-07-2012 03:03 PM

Shelac was the first thing that came to my mind. I don’t know about using HVLP to apply it though.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5244 posts in 2735 days

#7 posted 05-07-2012 04:25 PM

Someone else said it, but it may not be too important what you like if this is for a customer. Regardless, have you ever tried non-ploy varnishes? To my eye they don’t have the plastic look of poly, and make a very nice durable finish (like P&L 38, the Cabot 8000 series, etc.) But another one might be a danish oil…1/3 each of MS, BLO, and varnish (not a poly, please). This has a nice in-the-wood look and may be a little more durable than just BLO. It will provide the “little more build” you’re after.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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