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Walnut finishing question

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 10-18-2012 05:07 PM 1043 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1751 days


10-18-2012 05:07 PM

I’m going to make a bookcase which will be around 7’x3’x14”, out of black walnut. I took a piece and sanded it from a 40 grit to a 320 and cleaned it, then applied a natural Danish oil to it.

I let it set for a couple hours and wiped it dry, then sanded to 600 grit and re-oiled. I’d like to take it to 2000 grit, but I’m wondering if it will start to turn glassy or if it will just waste my time.

What grit do you stop at to get the maximum out of black walnut?
I’m not looking to have a glassy or reflective surface at all, just a nice quality walnut like something done a couple hundred years ago.
Do you have to re-oil it with every grit change, or is three coats enough?

BTW I’m using Mirka Abranet Mesh Abrasive 5” Dust Free Sanding Disk and loving them.

This is a piece of the walnut oiled twice and sanded to 600G.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.


7 replies so far

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CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3683 days


#1 posted 10-18-2012 05:18 PM

Russell, I’ve never tried to take walnut down to 2,000 grit, and I’m not sure there would be much point in doing so. Because it is an open-grained wood, it will never get glassy unless you fill the pores. Now if you sand with 320 while the Danish oil is still wet, you will create a slurry that will fill the grain and you will end up with a glassy surface (but that’s not what you want).

If the last steps you did were to sand to 600 and reapply oil, I should think you are done. Let the oil cure for several days, then apply a coat of paste wax to give it just the right smoothness and “touch appeal”.

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

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1751 days


#2 posted 10-18-2012 05:25 PM

Thanks Charlie. I was thinking it can’t get much better than it looks now, but I didn’t want to fall short of the best it can be. This walnut came from a record walnut tree in Kansas City and I’d like to do it proud.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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CharlieM1958

16242 posts in 3683 days


#3 posted 10-18-2012 05:29 PM

Be sure and post it as a project when you’re done. I’d love to see it.

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

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1751 days


#4 posted 10-18-2012 06:18 PM

As soon as I get done with my present project I’ll start on it. I’ve been needing an excuse to get to my drywall and finish the basement rooms on the outside before my wife leaves me over it, lol. Plus getting done with all the dry wall means more room to store wood.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Nicky's profile

Nicky

695 posts in 3556 days


#5 posted 10-18-2012 06:28 PM

+1 on what Charlie said.

Oil finish on walnut is one of my favorites, I sand with 220, fills the open pours a bit faster. I’ve experimented with 320/400, and I really could not see or feel the difference.

-- Nicky

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Bill White

4456 posts in 3425 days


#6 posted 10-18-2012 09:02 PM

+2, and a BIG plus on the waiting ‘til it’s cured. Wax then. Sit back and watch the smiles.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1751 days


#7 posted 10-18-2012 09:22 PM

Bill, I have four or five different color danish oils on order. I’d like to finish this walnut sample out in each one to see what it does. One is a natural, shown above, the others are yellow to red. A good side by side comparison is in order.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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