Best finish for scroll saw/fret work

Given the vast amount of knowledge and experience in this new group I hope someone may be able to help. Just finished a collapsible basket made of walnut as a wedding gift. I need to apply a finish to it normally (for flat pieces/projects), the decision of what to apply would be not be an issue but this project has a great number of small recesses and cuts throughout the upper portion so I need a finish that can get in there.
I was thinking about using BLO or Tung oil, laying the piece flat, pouring oil into the openings, then elevating so the oil drains and then wiping the excess. Probably doing the fill process once but applying several coats on front, back and sides.
Any suggestions and/or comments would be most welcomed. I don't want to mess up the finish having spent so many hours cutting and sanding.
Jack
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I used one of those aluminum pans you buy at the grocery store and put mineral oil in it and soaked my basket in it and then let it drain and wiped off the excess. You might want to try a piece of scrap wood first to see if you are happy with the results. (To send e-mail, remove NOSPAM from address)
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Instead of pouring, I put BLO in a large plastic container and dropped in a dozen scrolled pieces. Let them sit a bit, then put them on a screened frame above the container to drain, removing some of the excess by padding with paper towels. Finally, lifted each piece and blew it out with an air gun, with newpaper backing to catch the oil, padded with a towell, and hung to dry.
A slight modification changes the BLO by adding 2# cut of shellac. Doesn't form a surface film, but seals the pieces, preventing any oil bleeding so they were ready to go the next day.
For a shinier finish, I'd then spray several light coats of shellac on the surface.
GerryG
wrote:

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I got one of those cheap air brushes from HF and spray either wipe on poly or blo depending on the finish I want. Puff

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I found the air brush approach to work very well film finishes, typically using shellac or some non-water base to reduce grain raising. I'd first spray the cutout area with several light coats until the color is uniform. Some cutouts absorb quite a bit of finish, and this lets you get them uniform without building up puddles on the surface. I let dry then wipe the face lightly with sandpaper to remove any buildup on the surface. Then a heavier spray on the surface to get the finish I want. In some cases I'll first seal the face with shellac, then switch to a water base poly.
My first attempts with a cheap air brush worked okay, but it needed more pressure and spit with heavier finishes. I moved to a Badger and found I could get better results, and do it faster and with less psi. In larger pieces I'd use the air brush only for the cutouts, and a spray gun for the face.
I've never tried this with BLO, and don't see what the advantage would be over dipping.
GerryG

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I had just not thought of dipping my pieces in blo. I can see no advantage to the spray in that case either. Puff

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I finish most of my fretwork pieces with Danish Oil. Just dunk and dry. I drop them in a bucket and then lay flat on paper towels over night. I haven't tried this with tung oil yet but I know a few fellows who do this with tung as well.
Kevin Daly http://hometown.aol.com/kdaly10475/page1.html
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I've done it with Tung oil also, to avoid the extra darkening from BLO. The only difference is the cure time. For that matter, there are many things you could use. For one run it was shellac tinted with dye.
As a note on the Danish Oil, your results may vary as rarely are any two Danish Oils alike.
I should also mention one other use of an airbrush, in that you can apply a light dye and easily vary it to produce shading. You then combine that with dipping where you need a uniform coat.
GerryG
On 13 Sep 2004 10:38:39 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnospam (Kevin Daly) wrote:

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