Cradle finish

Hi All,
Making a cradle for our daughter out of Butternut and Cherry but not sure of best finish. Thinking about Formby's Tung Oil (about 8 coats) but not sure about top finish. Will Minwax Finishing Wax be O-K or is it toxic or not acceptable for any reason? Not set up for spraying any finish so that's out, actually I prefer Tung Oil because it brings out the grain almost in 3D.
Haven't assembled it yet so I'm open to all ideas from the experts.
Got the plan from Furnitureplans.com. No, I didn't the SWMBO picked it out and insisted that was THE plan she liked. Tinkled me, I got to order a new Shopfox Mortising Machine for the spindles. Convinced her that round mortise and tenons wouldn't work. "Gloat"?
Thanks All, Al in WA
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8 coats of Formby's might get a little soft. I've used it before, and it is a good varnish, but 4 coats is plenty. For a small project like a cradle Formby's isn't too cost prohibitive, but for larger pieces I generally like to use Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish ( http://www.waterlox.com/product.cfm?productid=5 ) for that reason. The Formby's is almost clear, while the Waterlox is slightly amber and both are excellent products IME. Oh and I'd also probably apply an undercoat or two of straight boiled linseed oil first, to really pop the cherry, but this is optional.
Experimenting on scrap and deciding what *you* prefer is the best advice I can give, though.
Brian.

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I second the Waterlox for the cradle. I made one out of cherry for my son and at the suggestion of Larry Jaques here on the Rec, I used the Waterlox to finish. The finish is absolutely beautiful and completely safe. Below is the information that Larry provided to me about his technique for applying the fininsh
Quote from Larry Jaques
"An exclusive technique I designed myself using exquisite motions with half (2nd half) of an old sock. Of course, Frank Klausz uses those nice lambswool applicators, but most anything (lintfree) will do. Rub it on thinly and evenly, let dry, use 400 grit to denib it, wipe clean, repeat until satisfied. (That's usually 2-3 coats.)
After at least a day (preferably 3) to dry, I use some Johnson's paste wax on an old superfine Scotchbrite pad to degloss, then wipe off with the 1st half of an old sock. Waterlox dries in 20 minutes, but lots of things can make it take longer, like cool or moist weather.
Repeat after me: Thou Shalt Never Rush a Finish!
This is the first rule in furniture finishing and should never, under any circumstances (nagging wives included) be broken. Failure to follow this rule _to_the_letter_ will leave you like over 3/4 of the guys here: hating to finish wood.
More rules are: 2) Finish in a ventilated but non-dusty environment. and 3) Use all the light you can while finishing. It allows you to see any sags and dry spots so you can touch them up before they become a problem."
This is pretty much the process that I use as well. I have made a few changes that seems to work for me.
1. Apply coat with a foam brush and let sit a few miniutes. 2. Wipe off excess with clean cloth 3. Let dry ~ 1 hour then repeat
I usually apply at least 3 coats to build the finish. The other thing I do a little different is that I apply 1 coat of wax using 0000 steel wool, then a second coat using a soft cloth. I use a power buffer with a lambs wool bonnet for the final buffing. I like the Waterlox so much that it is about the only finish that I use anymore. It really brings out the figure in the wood.
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ranted:

<snip> I'm honored to be quoted.

I tried that precisely once. A cabinetmaker's scraper took the ridges off and I wiped from then on.

I prefer to wait at least 8 hours if not 24 between coats, even as light as I coat.

Ditto here, although I keep some Super Blonde shellac flakes around for those odd uses, too.
-- Remember: Every silver lining has a cloud. ---- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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I second the Waterlox for the cradle. I made one out of cherry for my son and at the suggestion of Larry Jaques here on the Rec, I used the Waterlox to finish. The finish is absolutely beautiful and completely safe. Below is the information that Larry provided to me about his technique for applying the fininsh
Quote from Larry Jaques
"An exclusive technique I designed myself using exquisite motions with half (2nd half) of an old sock. Of course, Frank Klausz uses those nice lambswool applicators, but most anything (lintfree) will do. Rub it on thinly and evenly, let dry, use 400 grit to denib it, wipe clean, repeat until satisfied. (That's usually 2-3 coats.)
After at least a day (preferably 3) to dry, I use some Johnson's paste wax on an old superfine Scotchbrite pad to degloss, then wipe off with the 1st half of an old sock. Waterlox dries in 20 minutes, but lots of things can make it take longer, like cool or moist weather.
Repeat after me: Thou Shalt Never Rush a Finish!
This is the first rule in furniture finishing and should never, under any circumstances (nagging wives included) be broken. Failure to follow this rule _to_the_letter_ will leave you like over 3/4 of the guys here: hating to finish wood.
More rules are: 2) Finish in a ventilated but non-dusty environment. and 3) Use all the light you can while finishing. It allows you to see any sags and dry spots so you can touch them up before they become a problem."
This is pretty much the process that I use as well. I have made a few changes that seems to work for me.
1. Apply coat with a foam brush and let sit a few miniutes. 2. Wipe off excess with clean cloth 3. Let dry ~ 1 hour then repeat
I usually apply at least 3 coats to build the finish. The other thing I do a little different is that I apply 1 coat of wax using 0000 steel wool, then a second coat using a soft cloth. I use a power buffer with a lambs wool bonnet for the final bufing. I like the Waterlox so much that it is about the only finish that I use anymore. It really brings out the figure in the wood.
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Al in WA soon MT wrote:

Well with the cherry, nothing beats the warmth of shellac and several coats of a good wax. Then look at it this way. If it's safe for medicine and fruits and veggies it will be safe on a cradle.
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I much prefer linseed to tung. Tung stinks, and always seems to have a bit of internal light scatter to it when used in varnish formulation. I build a _bunch_ of cradles when I was in the service, and used varnish in either full-strength or thinned. Any cured finish is "safe." Certainly safer than the oak cradles I made because the customers insisted. Hope the toddler didn't chew it and get a mouthful of splinters.
Last couple have been to give away, so I spent more time on them. Linseed and shellac.
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