Photo Box , South African Kiaat ,Tips for finishing!!

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by Tyron243 posted 05-20-2012 11:24 PM 2853 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Tyron243's profile


2 posts in 2230 days

05-20-2012 11:24 PM

Hello All ,

I am fairly new to the whole internet based woodworking community but I figured it could only benefit me in improving my skills and knowledge in carpentry.

I am 22 years old and live in South Africa. Wood work has been a passion of mine for about 10 years now. Unfortunately I do not have any family or friends that share my passion so I have taught myself everything i know just from books , internet and a lot of trial and error.

I have recently tried my hand at attempting to make a small box from Kiaat as a wedding present for a cousin. The dovetails turned out alright for a first attempt i suppose but I’m sure there is lots of room for improvement. I have almost finished the box just need to find some nice looking hinges and a clasp for the front but I am fairly uncertain as to what type of finish would be best. The box will be handled so i think it would be best to seal it with a fairly durable finish but I would also like to get the grain to really “pop” I’m still deciding whether I should go for a high gloss or semi gloss finish.

I have been looking in at lacquer finishes but am not sure how difficult the application is.

Any suggestions as to what I could do would be much appreciated along with some constructive criticism and tips for the box construction for my next attempt.

PS : there seems to be an issue with uploading some pics of the box but I will upload them as soon as I can.

many thanks.

4 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2686 days

#1 posted 05-21-2012 02:12 AM

That is some beautiful wood. If you finish it with boiled linseed oil, the grain will be beautiful but you won’t have a glossy look if that’s what you are going for. You can use Tung oil finish for more gloss and a reasonably durable finish. The nice thing about these is you can apply more in the future if needed without having to strip/sand the old finish. Experiment on some scrap until you get what you like.

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

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2498 days

#2 posted 05-21-2012 01:49 PM

I have a Kiaat clock that I made in while still at school in SA. It is finished with sanding sealer (applied and sanded back) and Cobra polish! It’s still perfect and I am still a fan of Cobra polish – I just love how silky the wood ends up feeling.

BLO will probably darken the sapwood of your box, polish will not. Polish should also enhance the red in the heartwood. From memory and my experience of Kiaat, it will probably also take a polyurethane / laquer quite well if you prefer. It’s been a while, but in SA varnishes were always brushed on with light sanding with a high grit water paper between coats.

Best advice though is to take a few offcuts and do a some experiments.

Oh, I do like te box. The dovetails are neat and you have wrapped the grain around nicely. I’m quite envious because I’d love to get my hands on some Kiaat again. It’s a fantastic wood to work with.

And welcome to LJs too.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2357 days

#3 posted 05-21-2012 11:35 PM

If lacquer in a spray can is available in your area, that’s all that’s needed for a fine finish. BLO will make it look muddy!

-- 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 Tyron243's profile


2 posts in 2230 days

#4 posted 05-23-2012 05:00 PM

Thanks for the replies and advice , I am busy experimenting with a few different options but I must say the sanding sealer and cobra polish looks great and very easy to get a great finish. Am still busy with the other options so once it’s all done and I have decided I’ll post some pictures of the finished box.

Thanks again guys , appreciate it.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics