Cherry & birds-eye maple finish?

I just completed a cherry jewelry box for SWMBO with birds-eye maple drawer fronts. This is my first cherry project. What do you recommend for a finish that will compliment both woods? I don't plan to stain. Yes, I did a google search. BTW, I bought the birds-eye at the neighborhood saw mill with SWMBO. They had three beautiful 8' X 8" X 5/4 birds-eye maple boards. I was going to buy one. SWMBO said, "Why don't you buy all three?" I gave in and bought all three. I hate when she pushes me around. ;>)
Steve

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Danish or tung oil brings out the color nicely. I just did some boxes for gifts and put a coat of Danish oil, then after sitting for a week, a few coats of lacquer. Unfortunately, the lacquer is in a spray can and difficult to get a nice smooth professional finish.
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Damn, that's a no-lose gloat :-) Look at the logic here: Either you get to gloat over the price you paid for the maple, or if the price wasn't gloatworthy, then by definition you get to gloat about your outstanding SWMBO!
:-) :-)
Seriously, these woods respond really well to oil-based rubbing finishes such as tung or danish. They are easy and nearly foolproof, and look great. Only caution: some formulations amber wood a lot more than others, and that's an effect that many people don't like on maple. I've always liked the Park's tung oil finish, and in general the linseed-oil based finishes amber more than the tung oil based ones, but this is a matter of taste.
Another possibility is shellac (but mix your own from flakes so you can control the cut), which will dry dead clear with no ambering at all, just gorgeous on maple and cherry. It's a bit less forgiving though, and you may have to sand the finish coat with very fine-grit (1000 or higher) to get a result you really like. Shellac does have the advantage of being completely reversible, though - it comes off with the same denatured alcohol you use to mix it in the first place.
No matter what you do, you violate the first law of finishing at your peril: ALWAYS TEST ON A PIECE OF SCRAP FIRST. That's what those leftover bits are good for, and it's the only way of knowing what an unknown finish is going to do for you.
A coat of paste wax after the finish is completely hard, of course.
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Oil finish on the cherry with linseed-based products - clearer.
Shellac or lacquer the birdseye. Lacquer preferred, because a lot of cosmetics have alcohols in them, and they might get carried to the box on lotioned fingers.
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What brand do you recommend for past wax?
-Jim
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jtpr wrote:

although I still have an old tin I use on equipment tables, etc.) :)
At present I use Minwax and/or Behlens among others...there are a passle...
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Butcher's Bowling Alley wax, Briwax, Liberon Black Bison, ...
Briwax 2000 is a formulation w/o Toluene; important to some. Since it takes me several years to go through a can, I figure that I get more exposure to solvents from pumping my own gasoline.
Patriarch
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comremove (SteveC1280) wrote in

I'd definitely suggest some oil-based finish to bring out the depth in the birdseye maple.
Oil and shellac would be the first choice, especially if you want a finish with a lot of depth.
I recently did some curly maple projects with Waterlox original and I liked the way the figure came out. The Waterlox was more time consuming to apply and build than the oil/shellac route.
Cheers, Nate
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Steve: I just finished a curly maple jewelry box for LOML. The finish is a coat of boiled linseed oil to pop the grain, flooded on, wiped after 1/2 hour to remove excess, then dried for a week. Over that, General oil/poly in satin. Shazam.
Bob
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SteveC1280 wrote:

My favorite for the last 2 projects is VERY simple...
two coats of Tung Oil (tung oil finish.... the stuff that polymerizes), then after dry, I use paste wax with 0000 steel wool as the applicator. I put it on quite heavy, rubbing fairly vigerously, then wipe it off before it dries with a clean towel. It's INCREDIBLE how smooth this gets your piece, and there is little aroma when completely wiped down.
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I tried that recently, and ended up with tiny little pieces of steel wool in the grain. I had to resand it out and start again, this time without the steel wool. Think my steel wool was defective? Did I not use enough paste wax?
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mark wrote: ...

Maybe not up to the best, but while others swear by the stuff, I <never> use it for finishing for the same reason...I use wet/dry paper or rub out...
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There was an article on "Three Finishes for Maple" in FWW #163 (6/03) by one of their regular contributors (Teri Masaschi) who's a finishing pro.
For a light look she recommends sanding to 180, then flooding w/ Waterlox Original thinned 1:1 w/ mineral spirits and wet-sanding w/ 400. The wet sanding drives the finish into the eyes and leaves a glass-smooth finish. One app only to avoid yellowing the maple w/ the oil. Then finish w/ CAB acrylic lacquer, or a pale solvent finish Behlen (Water White Restoration Varnish a particular recommendation), or water-based lacquer or urethane. Use glossy finish for clear coat to avoid the dulling effect of the flatting agents in satin or semi-gloss finishes. If don't want the high sheen in the end, rub out the gloss coat.
Her idea is to use the oil to enhance "pop" the eyes while the film coat creates the deeper more dimensional finish than the oil alone...
She also gives a "recipe" for mid- and "antique" tones...
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