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Forum topic by MrZ posted 07-21-2013 05:10 PM 1214 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 2051 days

07-21-2013 05:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humidor box bubinga question design challenge finishing

Hello everybody, I am building a humidor for my father and when I was at the lumberyard I came across this unique piece of Bubinga that I decided would look great wrapped around the sides of the box. The board has some great figure and a very linear grain pattern that really caught my eye.

My dilemma in designing this box is what I should do with the lid. I am afraid that using the same board for the top will take away from the linear flow of the piece. I was also considering doing a panel type top with another type of wood (I am leaning towards curly maple) but again I don’t want it to be too busy.

I am looking for any suggestions or solutions from those with a more experienced eye than myself; are my concerns warranted or do you think it will look fine using just this board alone? Any and all input would be greatly appreciated!

I have attached a couple pictures to help give you an idea of what im working with.


6 replies so far

View PittsburghTim's profile


230 posts in 2322 days

#1 posted 07-21-2013 05:20 PM

To my eye, a jet black top (and perhaps feet) would look very good with sides made from you bubinga. Along the lines of a fine piano finish. I believe your concern about another highly figured piece looking to busy.

Have fun,


-- She asked me, "Who are you going to please with that?" I said, "Me."

View mikema's profile


180 posts in 2586 days

#2 posted 07-21-2013 05:42 PM

+1 on a dark wood for the top. Wenge perhaps?

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog:

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2921 days

#3 posted 07-21-2013 05:47 PM

This is inlayed into a cedar box lid.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View MrZ's profile


19 posts in 2051 days

#4 posted 07-21-2013 06:03 PM

I really like the idea of a dark wood to compliment, I think it will really allow the bubinga to be showcased. The idea of a piano finish type top is very intriguing; I have access to a paint booth and could spray on an automotive type finish on just the lid. PittsburghTim, do you think a MDF would work best for that type of finish?

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2530 days

#5 posted 07-21-2013 07:55 PM

MDF would probably work OK, depending on how you work it. It can fuzz up when sanded. A fine-grain wood like poplar or maple works well, too.

What you don’t want to do is use automotive paint on wood. Automotive paints don’t have any elasticity to accommodate wood movement (not that MDF would move much), and will develop small cracks over time. So, best to stick to wood finishes.

I finished the legs of this table with a high-gloss black on top of poplar:

A closeup of a corner, you can see the reflection of the apron in the leg.

It was glossy enough to create some problems trying to take good photos – everything reflected and dust showed up like crazy, as you can see on the top of the table in the second pic.

Here’s how I did it:

- Prepped the poplar by sanding to 320
- Grain-raised and sanded back
- Painted black with India ink using a foam brush. 3 coats.
- Sprayed high-gloss polyurethane. 4 coats, sanding lightly with 320 to 400 grit between coats
- Let cure for a few days. Probably should’ve let cure a month, but no ill effects so far.
- Polished out using progressively finer automotive (3M) polishing compounds
- Final buffing at a soft wheel using medium and fine menzerna buffing compounds.
- Waxed with Turtle Wax, of all things, but any wax that does not leave a residue would work.

The entire table was finished this way, but I obviously skipped the india ink step on the aprons and the top.

While it seems like a fair amount of work, if you know how to spray and have access to a spray booth, it isn’t too bad. The india ink can be applied in a couple minutes, with about 15 minutes between recoats. Poly dries fast enough that you could do 3 coats, sanded in between in a day.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View MrZ's profile


19 posts in 2051 days

#6 posted 07-22-2013 01:36 AM


First off that table is beautiful. Thank you for the advice on finishing, I think I will try that approach on this project. I will make sure to post pictures when i am finished.

Thanks for the replies everybody I think you all helped me come up with a very good viable option, that should look great!

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