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Help a noob finish a jewelry box

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Forum topic by pwgphoto posted 556 days ago 2197 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pwgphoto

67 posts in 715 days


556 days ago

Wonder if you fine folks in the finishing forum would help a noob in finishing my latest project, a jewelry box for the wife? It has taken me five months to build this baby. I don’t get a lot of shop time and being new to woodworking, this is my third project, every step is a new learning experience and takes much longer than it should.

The box is made from curly maple and padauk. I need a finish that is somewhat easy to apply and will hopefully make the curly maple pop. I am very new to this. My last two projects, a box and a drill press cart, got a coat of red oak stain and a coat of poly, both of which I had from when I refinished my floors. While this was OK for shop stuff, the poly got tiny bubbles in it, I want this finish job to be nice for my wife’s present.

Here is what the plans suggest. “Liberally apply a coat of boiled linseed oil to the wood, and after 10 minutes wipe off the excess with a clean cloth. Because the various portions of figure absorb the oil at different rates, it enhances the contrast. Let the oil dry for at least a week. Then apply four light coats of a clear finish, such as Deft aerosol lacquer Semigloss Clear Wood Finish, sanding to 320 grit between the first three coats and 400 grit before the final coat.”

So ideas? And remember, I need it spelled out for me. I am, I will say it again, new.

Thank you.


16 replies so far

View Kookaburra's profile

Kookaburra

744 posts in 723 days


#1 posted 556 days ago

Is this already glued up? If so, both sanding and spray finish are going to be very difficult.

I will let the experts discuss the finish but this is really nice and you should be quite pleased.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

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teejk

1185 posts in 1183 days


#2 posted 556 days ago

is the white your finish color? if not, then deal with that first.

for finish coat on a piece that is not going to get abused, I’d opt for paste wax. several coats! no bubbles/sanding medium to worry about and I find that it removes excess stain.

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knotheadswoodshed

142 posts in 671 days


#3 posted 556 days ago

I recommend Danish oil first (I use Watco natural)...2 coats… this will “pop” the curl in your maple.
then depending on the end finish you want, what I would do, if you dont have spray equipment (and I am guessing by your opening statements that you dont) is to use a spray lacquer (in this case I would use Cabots super clear gloss).
I guarantee you will end up with it looking like this (the curl, I mean)

if you need more detailed specifics on the complete process, just message me

-- Randy - "I dont make mistakes, I make design change opportunities" www.knotheadswoodshed.com

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pwgphoto

67 posts in 715 days


#4 posted 556 days ago

Thanks for the ideas. It is all glued up. I have sanded it all to 220 grit. The white is not a finished color. I am hoping to pop the grain with something and then do a spray lacquer with something in a spray can since I don’t have a sprayer.

Knothead, I looked at the Watco Danish Oil (Natural) today at Homedepot and almost bought it, but went with BLO, just because it is what the plans suggested. If you think the Danish Oil would be better I will get some. Would I apply it to the whole project, maple and padauk, or just the maple? If just maple, what if I get some on the other wood, will it mess it up? Do I apply it and then wipe off like BLO? If you don’t mind giving me the complete rundown that would be awesome.

BTW, you box looks great.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1318 posts in 860 days


#5 posted 556 days ago

Forget all the oils that do bupkis but muddy things and complicate the process. Go straight to rattlecan lacquer with successive light but wet coats until you get the build you want, then rub it out with 0000 steel wool and Johnson’s or Butcher’s wax. Finish up by buffing with an old tee shirt.

Nice work, BTW.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

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knotheadswoodshed

142 posts in 671 days


#6 posted 556 days ago

wipe the entire box with Danish oil…if you go to just the lacquer, you will not get near as much “pop” from your curly maple.
If you have any doubts, just do this simple test…take a small piece of the curly maple (if you had any left over cut offs) and spray one side with lacquer…try the oil on the other side, then spray with lacquer after it dries..give it at least a day before spraying the lacquer though.

you will immediately see the difference when you put that wet oil on that figured wood, that look will come back after the oil dries and you spray it with the lacquer.

I use figured woods and burls almost exclusively in my box making, and I have found this to give the best “bang” as far as making the most out of these woods.

-- Randy - "I dont make mistakes, I make design change opportunities" www.knotheadswoodshed.com

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pwgphoto

67 posts in 715 days


#7 posted 556 days ago

Thanks Knothead. Do I use the Danish Oil like the BLO and wipe on, let sit 10 minutes and then wipe off excess?

View pwgphoto's profile

pwgphoto

67 posts in 715 days


#8 posted 555 days ago

OK, I bought some Watco Danish Oil, natural color, and some Deft Semi Gloss Spray Lacquer. So now I have the BLO and Danish Oil and I will try it on some scrap wood. I went with the semi gloss because that is what was suggested in the plans. Not sure if a full on glossy would have been better, we will see on the test piece.

View Frankenboom's profile

Frankenboom

6 posts in 509 days


#9 posted 509 days ago

Amazing box! I’m thinking of building a few as Christmas presents. Did you end up finishing this?

View pwgphoto's profile

pwgphoto

67 posts in 715 days


#10 posted 508 days ago

I hate to say it Frankenboom, but I have not put a finish on it yet. Mostly due to my lack of knowledge in finishing. I am afraid of wrecking it. Took me five months to build, on and off, also due to the learning factor. I wound up putting it aside and building a flip top tool cart. My wife is getting on my case to finish it though and I am off for nine days at the beginning of December. I will do some tests on scraps and then finish it before Xmas for her.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109219 posts in 2076 days


#11 posted 508 days ago

Ok sorry but I don’t use ,blo or danish oil,Sure it’s easy but some times it takes forever to dry. I suggest you get a set of Charles Neils finishing A-Z and make up your own mind what you like. You have built a fine box and It would be very sad if you put a finish on it and were unhappy with it. even if you don’t want to invest in his videos ,he will be glad to give you his opinion if you e mail him. He’s a expert on finishing with 30+ years experience. charles@charlesneilwoodworking.com

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View palaswood's profile

palaswood

379 posts in 250 days


#12 posted 225 days ago

Did you finish the box? Its really pretty, can you post a pic of the finished box and what you actually, finally used to finish it? (Here’s hoping for a Danish oil /wax finish)

-- Joseph, Lake Forest, CA, http://instagram.com/palas_woodcraft#

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Finisherman

166 posts in 348 days


#13 posted 224 days ago

I’d like to offer a slightly different suggestion as far as finishing your jewelry box is concerned.. Have you considered using a water based dye to pop the curl in your maple? These water based dyes are easy to mix and are available in powdered form from stores like Lee Valley and Rockler. Charles Neil has a video or two online which describe the process of using dyes to accentuate the grain in maple. Dyes give you exceptional clarity and they are compatible with the Deft aerosol lacquer. Finally, a couple of words of caution if you this route. Avoid brushing a waterborne finish over a water soluble dye. You’ll pull up the colour and make a mess. You’d do best to seal the dye with a spray coat of shellac, prior to applying your finish. Finally, test your dye on a scrap piece of the maple that you used to build the box. Maple will sometimes blotch and it’s better to find this out on a piece of scrap, rather than on your project.

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pwgphoto

67 posts in 715 days


#14 posted 209 days ago

Here is a shot of the finished box with my beautiful wife, Jennifer. I should shoot some better pics of the finished project and submit them here for the projects page. If I remember correctly I used Watco Natural and then spray lacquer. The finish if far from perfect. I got some orange peel, but not too bad.

Here is the complete build thread on another WW’ing site. http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/gem-jewelry-box-build-thread-38579/

View knotheadswoodshed's profile (online now)

knotheadswoodshed

142 posts in 671 days


#15 posted 208 days ago

looks like it turned out pretty darn good to me :)

-- Randy - "I dont make mistakes, I make design change opportunities" www.knotheadswoodshed.com

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