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Finishing is not my strong suit

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Forum topic by Raftermonkey posted 01-05-2014 11:30 PM 1064 views 3 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2375 days


01-05-2014 11:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource tip question trick finishing carving

I need help ladies and gentleman. As the title states “finishing is not my strong suit.” In fact, I’m terrible at it. I have been known to combine several different finishes to achieve one finish for one bowl not really even knowing the purpose of one particular finish. Some turn out ok and others, well, not so much. My bowls really just require 2 types of finishes….I think. One shiney and one more natural. My bowls are more form than function. My questions are, what finishes do you use or combine for a shiney finish and what do you use for a more natural finish? Please folks, share any and all finishing knowledge you can with me. I’m working on a couple bowls right now that need a more natural finish and honestly I don’t have a clue yet how I’m going to go about achieving this.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"


21 replies so far

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sgmdwk

283 posts in 1335 days


#1 posted 01-06-2014 12:01 AM

I took a look at your projects, and your bowls are beautiful. You must be doing something right.

I don’t own a lathe, so have never made a bowl. But, when I want a nice, natural look, I go with a couple applications of Danish oil, let it cure for a few days, then apply paste wax and buff well. When I have gone for a shiny look – not often – I have just used gloss polyurethane, topped with a good car wax. I like New Finish. There are a lot classier ways – rubbing out multiple coats of shellac(?) – I am sure, but I have not gone there, yet.

-- Dave K.

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3040 days


#2 posted 01-06-2014 12:01 AM

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2375 days


#3 posted 01-06-2014 12:51 AM

Thanks Dave. The finishes on most of those are just good enough to get by. I’d like to be more confident and proficient in what finishes to use for what wood to achieve the look I’m going for.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2375 days


#4 posted 01-06-2014 12:54 AM

Thanks Jim, I’ll definitely give it a look.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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Finisherman

227 posts in 1312 days


#5 posted 01-06-2014 12:59 AM

I realize that this doesn’t answer the question directly, but I’m going to second what Jim said. Charles Neil is always a good place to begin. He has a video on you tube wherein he addresses a turner’s guild. It is well worth looking at. I’m a (re)finisher, not a turner, so I’ll give you my best guess here. I like shellac and I understand that you can apply it on the lathe, using a cloth pad. Danish oil or wax would also work well, I should think. Beautiful work, by the way.

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2375 days


#6 posted 01-06-2014 01:11 AM

I’m not turning my bowls anymore. Everything I’m doing now is hand carved. The last tow maple bowls in “my projects” are hand carved.

Thanks

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2375 days


#7 posted 01-06-2014 01:12 AM

And thanks finisherman.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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Jim Finn

2409 posts in 2385 days


#8 posted 01-06-2014 01:00 PM

I make a lot of cedar boxes. I finish them with two coats of shellac, sanding (150 grit) after each coat and then spray on a clear finish from a rattle can made by Rust-olium. Coupula’ coats of that and good to go.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2375 days


#9 posted 01-06-2014 01:31 PM

Can anyone tell me Under what conditions is a sanding sealer needed?

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3333 days


#10 posted 01-06-2014 02:36 PM

For a quick and easy finish on turned objects .. try this :

Give it a good coat of shellac while turning on the lathe, ( might be a little splatter ) , while the shellac is wet immediately buff over it with some Renaissance wax..
I have not tried other waxes, I like the Renaissance because it seems to dry harder .. it’s pricy to be sure , but works really well for me . You are basically making a friction polish, it just seems to do better than the premade stuff which is shellac and wax. This came about when I was filming some turning clips for Woodcraft , and was doing some of the garden tool handles and pepper mils, and some pens . I needed a quick finish to close the videos, so I did as described above . We have used the garden tools and the pepper mill for several years now and they are doing fine .
I would suggest you do several coats of the shellac, and be sure to have the project well sanded, as this isn’t going to make a heavy film , and a light sanding between coats with some 600 or so is a good idea. I usually do the wax on the last coat . When done grab a handfull of the shavings and use it to buff the finish. I prefer a stain pad or similar to apply the finish and wax.. Its not fun if using a cloth and if it gets grabbed and jerked out of your hand , it can be dangerous …Don’t ask how I know . :) The objective here is to get the wax on while the shellac is wet, so for me its shellac in one hand and wax in the other, you want them to intermix , the wax also acts as a lubricant so as the shellac dries ( quickly) , it all smooths down. Caution here when applying the shellac, it dries fast and as it tacks up it also can get a liitle “grabby” , keep it wet . This will give you a nice semi gloss or slightly higer sheen.. if you want less sheen simply use some 1200 sand paper for a high satin or some 600 to 800 for a lesser sheen and give it a very light sanding after its dry.

Sanding sealer is simply some finish that a sterate has been added, its exactly what it implies . The sterate makes it easier to sand . With noted exception to the commercial Vinyl sealers it brings nothing to the party . Many advertise it makes for a stronger and harder finish.. Not True.. Its actually the opposite , its softer because of the sterates, which act as a lubricant . I rarely use it. I also see many who use a thinned version of it for a pre-stain. I tried it and the results were not good . I typically use whatever finish I plan to use as the sealer and go forward. Gloss finishes will be harder to sand between coats than semi gloss or satin , because in the lower sheens they use a flattner , which also acts as a lubricant, gloss doesn’t have it .

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RockyTopScott

1184 posts in 2941 days


#11 posted 01-06-2014 03:33 PM

Well Raftermonkey, you got the answer from the best source you could ever get it from.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2375 days


#12 posted 01-06-2014 10:18 PM

Thanks Mr. Neil. I haven’t been turning on the lathe much, I’ve been using several King Arthurs tools here lately. Doesn’t really change the finishing process I don’t reckon just the application. I am pleased with the finish on the last couple of bowls. 2-4 coats of wipe on poly and one application of Briwax and buffed. (Just watched your YouTube vid on waxes this morning and wish I’d have known about the drops of water while buffing earlier). Anyway the poly and briwax finish works well for me for projects I want a high sheen on. It’s the finishing of a piece with as little sheen as possible I’m struggling with right now. I’ve got a Pecan natural edge bowl and a walnut burl bowl that are begging to be left as natural as possible. I thought maybe Walnut oil on the Walnut burl, for some reason it just makes sense in my head. I don’t mind just trying different finishes because someone recommends it but I’d really like to know why I use so and so finish and why this finish is better for this particular wood. I guess I’m just that aggravating guy that always has to ask “why.” Don’t get me wrong, a man as reputable as you can simply say “because I said so” and that’s good enough for me, haha. I plan on buying your book on finishing so maybe it will get into the “how and why’s.”

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3333 days


#13 posted 01-06-2014 10:36 PM

Raftermonkey, my book doesn’t do alot of chemistry, I do a fair amount of why , I think. The book is mostly “how ”. I am more of a lets “cut to the chase” sort of guy . I do explain why and then show you “why” ..

On those live edge bowls, soak them good in some Formbys Low sheen tung oil, it seems to alter the color the least, and offers up a nice clear, matte sheen .Be sure to soak the bark as much as possible to solidify it. If its too much sheen then use some 400 grit paper and some General Finishes satin wax, I like to actually sand with the wax, then wipe it off , let it dry then buff it out.

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2375 days


#14 posted 01-06-2014 11:04 PM

Sounds great and thanks again. I actually stopped and picked up some form by stung oil on my way home before I posted my last comment.I know I don’t like BLO because it alters the natural color of the wood so I figured I’d test some ting oil on some pieces. Happy to hear you recommend it. I’ll buy you lunch tomorrow if you want to meet me at Cindy’s Place,ha.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2375 days


#15 posted 01-06-2014 11:06 PM

*tung. Not to be confused with ting or stung. Autocorrect thinks it’s smarter than me.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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