|Forum topic by cathyb||posted 717 days ago||2417 views||0 times favorited||20 replies|
717 days ago
I’ve heard so many woeful tales about the toxicity of silky oak that I was initially reluctant to ever buy a single board. Yet, over the years I’ve bought at least 200 board feet and never had a problem. Last month when I was finishing up the renovation of the master bath, I framed the doorway and windows with that wood and finished it with polyurethane. Every time I look at the window frames, I smile at that beautiful grain. Even the electrician and plumber remarked at how stunning it looked. So it would naturally follow then that I should consider using my leftovers for my upcoming fair. I had enough for a pair of lamps. The lamps were made of multiple layers of wood and then turned on the lathe. Of course the silky oak was layer one, followed by Cuban mahogany and then Honduran mahogany with a mahogany base and cap. They looked great, but just about the time I decided to give myself a pat on the back, my luck suddenly changed.
I always apply Myland’s sanding sealer and friction polish to my lamps. I’ve made well over 100 lamps and never had a problem. It dries with minutes, but it didn’t dry on the silky oak. Not in a few minutes or 24 hours or 48 hours, yikes! (You know how it goes, these hurdles only happen when you have a deadline-right?) I wasn’t willing to abandon those lamps.
Here is the series of miscues that followed, until I figured out the problem. I wiped my tacky lamps with naphtha and decided, that maybe a more oil based finish would help. WRONG??? The mix was linseed oil, turpentine and polyurethane. After 48 hours, I removed most of that sticky mess with naphtha again. Then I put them back on the lathe and sanded them down to bare wood as much as possible. Next I tried Olympic sanding sealer, which actually dried. At this point, I thought I was in the clear. Just three weeks earlier, I had trimmed out the bathroom with this wood and the polyurethane worked great. So of course, I tried polyurethane over the sanding sealer. It didn’t dry agin. Today I decided to treat the silky oak like milo ( a wood so oily that the best finish is just wax). Back to the naphtha and the lathe and once the wood was bare again, I applied a coat of Liberon Black Bison paste wax and it worked! The lamps look fabulous and will go the fair after all that.
There is no moral to this story. I have no explanation to account for what happened. In fact, it will be some time until I tackle silky oak again. Has anyone had a similar finishing nightmare?
-- cathyb, Hawaii, www.cathyswoodworking.com