Finishing Rosewood

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Forum topic by skeemer posted 05-07-2012 03:27 PM 1508 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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95 posts in 2329 days

05-07-2012 03:27 PM

I’m finishing up a business card holder for my desk made out of honduran rosewood, but I’m lost as to how best to finish it. I’d really like to get the finish to look similar to the second one here (with the pen):

To be honest the whole finishing aspect of woodworking is a bit overwhelming. Every project I read seems to have some different combination of coats + finishes, sometimes with several different types of finishes used. I’m getting the hang of my tools, but pretty much lost when it comes to how to achieve different finishes.

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View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4183 days

#1 posted 05-07-2012 04:47 PM

Experiment, experiment, experiment, read this book, and experiment some more.

If I was looking for the simplest way to achieve the finish you linked to, my choices would be either a) boiled linseed oil followed by paste wax, b) several coats of wipe-on satin poly, or c) Watco Danish oil followed by paste wax. (I list these in no particular order of preference.)

There are many paths to the mountaintop. Which one you choose will really come down to personal preference. Some guys hate poly, some hate BLO, some swear by lacquer or shellac. All can give a great looking finish if applied properly. Of course you should always consider the protection level needed for the project. For a decorative item that will sit on a display shelf, you can select a finish based on appearance alone. But if it is something that will be handled a lot, or exposed tomoisture, you would want something protective, like polyurethane.

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

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