finish question

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Hi everyone,
I just put the 4th of probably 5 coats of Watco Danish Oil (natural) on the cherry high chair for my 8 month old son. I was a little anxious about the oil finish due to the words of woe regarding blotchy cherry finishes, but I was NOT going to stain cherry, so I had at it. I must say, the results thus far are awesome. The armrests and footrest, as well as a few places on the legs and cross members, have some really neat wavy figure. The color in general is pretty even, but more importantly to me, it looks really nice.
Anyway, I'm now debating how to protect the finish, since it will definitely be exposed to a lot of moisture (in various forms, I dare say). I had been planning to use a wipe on poly on the tray, and try some gel varnish on the rest seat and arms. For the base I was going to try to get away with simply waxing.
Does anyone have any experience putting protective topcoats on a oil/varnish finish? Will the gel varnish provide much protection over the danish oil? Should I do wipe-on poly on the whole chair?
Thanks for your help!
Mike
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Think it might be time to try water-based poly if you haven't used it before...a little more $$$ but it goes on nice, dries quick allowing more coats than oil based in the time allowed, low fumes and pretty good self leveling even with the throw-away foam brushes. Have used it (Minwax brand which I think also owns Watco) on top of Watco with no problems. Realize it looks pretty crappy when first applied (milky) but that goes away so don't sweat it.
Good luck!

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On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 01:44:01 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"

Mike,     I've added thin, wiped-on coats of Waterlox Urethane over Waterlox oil/varnish (original) with good results. I don't see why you couldn't do the same over Watco, but I'd try it on scrap or an inconspicuous place first.
Barry
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that's a good idea, Barry, I'll look for it. I'm not sure if I've ever seen Watco Urethane, but I haven't ever tried to find it before. I have some wipe-on poly on hand and I tried it on some test pieces and it seemed very easy to work with. The water-based suggestion isn't bad, either. I used polyacrylic from General Finishes on some of the other baby furniture and was happy with it. Those were pickled, though, not oiled, and the finish was water-based as well.
Mike
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Ensure the oil has cured before WB finishing.
On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 11:39:53 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"

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On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 11:39:53 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"

Woodcraft in Manchester has both the Waterlox Urethane, and Watco's Wiping Poly. The Waterlox stuff has to be cut with mineral spirits to make it wipable, but I think either gives a better finish than Minwax's versions. I'm not sure if it's in the Woodcraft catalog. The Manchester store carries quite a few items that are not franchise items.
Waterlox includes the idea of adding a thin coat of poly over their "Original" finish in a data sheet I also picked up in the finishing dept. at Woodcraft.
Barry
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If you have five coats of Danish oil on the piece and it looks good I wouldn't bother with anything further.
Just put about three coats of a good paste wax on it and be conscientious about cleaning up the tray. The nice thing about an oil finish is that it can be rejuvenated by a new application of wax.
Good luck
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
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One of us is confused. Danish oil IS a top finish. It does not make sense to put anything over it. If you wanted varnish as your TOP finish, you should have started with varnish. Having three different finishes on your chair won't help it any. Or is there a deeper thought here that is going right over my head.
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If there is anything going over your head it was unintentional, because I have no clue about this myself. This is the first time I've used Danish oil on it's own. I followed a recipe for an antique maple finish that involved some waterlox over a dye stain, which was than sealed with shellac and then a glazing stain was applied, and more shellac and finally some more waterlox and wax. Since this was my only experience, it didn't seem to far-fetched to put things over the top of Danish oil.
Anyway, my main goal is to achieve the color and visual appearance of the oil finish, but to have a very durable and water-proof surface. That's why I am/was considering some wipe-on poly or other options on top of the oil.
At this point, however, I think I might follow Mike Hide's suggestion and to just put several coats of wax on the piece and see how it goes. If I find it problematic to avoid water spots or whatever else might happen, I suppose I can think about other finishes at that point, right?
I think a high chair is analogous to moldings in a bathroom. Do you guys just oil and wax woodwork used in those types of environments?
Mike
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Sorry, should've been Mike G.
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On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 14:29:53 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"

Howdy,
I would respectfully suggest that you are overdoing each phase... There is no need for "several" coats of wax. Even one would seem too much under the circumstances.
All the best,
--
Kenneth

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The wax would mainly be used to give it a bit of luster and sheen. Isn't this what wax is used for, as well as some protection (albeit minimal)? I've only continued to add coats of the oil/varnish because the color seems to be slightly affected with each one, becoming more rich and changing the overall affect, albeit subtly. I'm really going by a few things I've read, which suggest to do a couple of flood coats of the oil, then a third coat with wet sanding using approx. 600 grit paper, and then a few more "surface enhancement" coats to obtain the final color/properties. I was a bit skeptical about the effect after the first two, but it has definately been observable. The wet sanding made the surface extremely smooth and pleasant to the touch. The last coats of oil were less effectual, but it goes on so quickly and all that I didn't see why not. There were a few areas where the luster changed noticeably, too.
Other than that, why wouldn't you wax the surface?
Mike
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On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 17:20:18 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"

Hello again,
I have seen those instructions also, but believe that they usually come from the manufacturers of the finishing products <g>. I suspect that they would suggest immersing the object to be finished if they could get away with that approach.
In my experience, the "flooding" just wastes lots of material.
Also, oil finishes of the sort you are using need time to polymerize (harden) between applications. Without that, many woods will just drink in as much finish as you would care to apply. I doubt that such an approach hurts anything (other than the wallet) but it surely does not help either.
By the way, one of the great virtues of an oil finish is the ease with which it can be touched up at a later time should it become necessary.
Have fun, and enjoy your project,
--
Kenneth

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wrote:

Yeah, I wonder the same thing from time to time. The rationale seems to make sense, but probably is only necessary with particularly "thirsty" wood.

Well, by flood coat I didn't literally pour the finish onto the wood and walk away. I did apply a liberal amount to coat the surface, and waited about 20 minutes and wiped off the excess, which wasn't particularly plentiful. I then waited 16-24 hours and did the next coat. Maybe I didn't emphasize that earlier, but I did wait what I felt was a reasonably long time between coats. Each day I felt the wood to make sure it was dry, and it always felt just fine to me. Not sure if that means it was fully hardened or not.

Well, putting wax on isn't stopping the re-oiling is it? Wiping the surface with mineral spirits or something would remove the wax and allow for reoiling, or at least that's what I've always thought.

Thanks, I am having fun. It's going to be a lot of fun to see my little guy sitting in the chair, no matter what coating he's sitting on hehe.
Mike
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On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 18:33:41 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"

Hi again,
But that is just my point...
Wood finish is a surface matter. If the wood is "thirsty" we are finishing the inside. That will have no benefit visual, or otherwise.
All the best,
--
Kenneth

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On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 15:11:49 -0400, Kenneth

not completely true. penetrating oils have the benefit of reducing the amount of grime that can penetrate into the wood. coupled with a topcoat, you have a very good working finish.
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On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 12:27:20 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@igetenoughspamalreadythanks.com wrote:

Howdy,
You lose me when you say "coupled with a topcoat."
Would not that topcoat keep out any "grime."
Also, are we talking furniture, or farm implements? I ask because it would seem that the issues of "grime that can penetrate into the wood" would depend on the actual use.
All the best,
--
Kenneth

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On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 18:33:41 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"

one thing to consider when using very heavy oil coats, such as immersing the part: hardening oils need oxygen to do their thing. because of the cellular nature of wood, there's plenty of oxygen inside of the wood for the oil that penetrates to cure. however, if you completely saturate the wood (and it takes a *lot* of oil to do so) it can take a very long time to dry.
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On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 18:33:41 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"

Hi Mike,
I neglected to read that last comment of yours...
I have made furniture on and off for about forty years.
About three years ago I made a bed for my (now) five year old son. There is little to it. It was made of stained fir 2 x 10s because it was to be a temporary piece.
It means more to me than anything else I have ever made (and, more to him.)
Enjoy!
--
Kenneth

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"Kenneth" wrote in message

Know the feeling ... same with the little "prototype" bedside table of pine my youngest daughter and I did together a few years back. She's heading for college this fall and just looking at the thing is going to cause a flood of memories. This is the last one out of the nest ... and I am not ready for it.
--
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Last update: 4/13/04
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