any suggested finishes for cocobolo slab

I have a cocobolo slab that will be a top for a sofa table. By "slab", I mean that the edges of the board extend to both bark edges. There's no more bark, but the contrasting beige sap wood about 3/4" wide runs down both edges. I intend to keep the natural edge.
I'm looking for suggestions on finishing. Would a penetrating oil finish(e.g watco) work on such a dense wood? The wood is deep red with almost black streaks, and since oil tends to darken wood, would oil "un" enhance these colors?
Is there any special treatment for bark edges?
I'll do some experimenting, but the would is pricey so there's not many scraps.
Thanks,
Mitch
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I only used the stuff once for drawer pulls. It is a VERY oily wood and makes your shop smell like incense when you cut it.
For finish I used minwax wipe-on tung oil finish and I liked how it turned out.
--
www.garagewoodworks.com



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I put 6" x 36" strips of it in my floor in our last house to act as a visual separation between the kitchen and living room, it was a wide open plan after we remodeled. I too used tung oil and then about once a year I would lightly scuff it with 0000 steel wool and add another light coat to freshen it. It held up VERY well even with all of the traffic I got. It was such beautiful wood. I'm a little jealous.
I still have a few tiny scraps around and I hope to use them for a special project someday.
Kate
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Consider sanding to 600 and then proceed as you would polishing a car. You also might consider resawing to thin pieces and glue on to 3/4" ply for your tabletop and save the remainder for other projects.
ROY!
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Ditto on the 600 -- or even finer, up to 2,000 if you have a Pep Boy's nearby. Cocobolo comes with its own oil finish, and needs nothing beyond wet sanding with super fine grit and maybe a coat of wax.
As for Watco, it'd probably make cocobolo look dull.
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No way to do it. Way too much trouble. Toxic dust, too oily to be joined, harvesting destroys the rainforests. Just send it to me, It'll relieve you of your worries and guilt. Just to be a good sport, I'll pay for shipping. :-)
--
Vince Heuring To email, remove the Vince.

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How bout a turner confusing the issue??
I use a LOT of cocobolo, doing 3 huge goblets for a client right now..
Being an oily wood, I NEVER put a finish on it... Especially my normal Danish Oil, because the wood is already oily..
I sand to the limit of my patience and buff it on a Beall system... Should be able to do the same for a slab, right?
It buffs so damn well that you won't believe it, and the buffed carnauba wax should be good protection against minor scratches and such..
I've been very happy with the buffing on natural edge bowls... the bark gets a bit darker and picks up a low shine that's a nice contrast to the worm glow of the buffed wood.. YMWV
mac
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On a visit to woodcraft, they had Briwax, Myland and Staples. The labels on each can all said they leave a beautiful finish and are preferred by craftsman for fine furniture and antiques. One said it has beeswax, another says it does not have beeswax (inferring beeswax is bad). So any suggestions? According to wikipedia, carnauba is a very hard wax; which sounds like a good attribute. Of course who knows how much carnauba the final product contains.
Thanks
Mitch
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Beeswax is at the soft end of the scale, carnauba at the other. Beeswax is added to carnauba to make it easier to buff by hand, or if you let it dry too long. Go with as much carnauba as you can, and tell anyone who interrupts you to wait.
That said, I use Johnson's (carnauba) to polish the cocobolo knobs on my planes after stripping off the lacquer. No other finish. Two coats last forever and get nicer looking each time I use the tools. Briwax is, IIRC, pure carnauba, rock hard, and MUST be buffed within minutes of application, while Myland's is mostly beeswax.
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Mitch... my bad, I should have described the Beall system..
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p 092&cat=1,190,43040,43042
You buff with 3 wheels, 1st with tripoli to buff and remove scratches, then with a softer wheel and white diamond, to clean the tripoli off and polish a bit, then the final wheel, which is flannel and loaded with the wax.. How much wax you put on and what amount of buffing you do with/to the wax is up to you..
Again, this is not a finish.. but it works for me.. I like the natural look of the wood and the warm glow that buffing gives, opposed to the plastic shine from poly or tung oil, but that's why they make paint in more than one color..lol
mac
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On Mon, 05 Nov 2007 09:12:31 -0800, mac davis

Buffing a sofa table top with a Beall buff wheel would be one helluva challenge!
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Maybe, but what fun would/wood it be if it wasn't??
I buffed the display shelves and case that I built for my turnings... The buffing wheels have 3/8" bolts through the cloth and I used my 1/2" drill driver to get to the places that I couldn't bring over to my "buffing station" (Old washing machine motor)
mac
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