I am close to completion of my first cabinet. Will post pictures once
it is done. I am planing to finish it with pure tung oil on the outside
and shellac on the inside. I will be using shellac first time, but
since it is not a French polish and not even outside I should be Ok.
My question relates to finishing inside of the cabinet. How do you get
into all those corners inside of the cabinet?
On Sat, 12 Jun 2004 21:50:47 -0700, Dmitri Priimak
Use a brush, not a pad or rubber.
I use artist's watercolour brushes. 1/2" filbert (half oval) is a good
shape for large areas, or a 1/2" flat brush to get into corners. The
brush fibre is important - use a synthetic, not a natural fibre.
Watercolour brushes or "Golden Taklon" are the sort to look for.
Keep separate brushes for blonde or garnet shellac and don't clean
them afterwards. Wipe them as clean as you can, then just let them set
hard. Before using them next time, soak them for a couple of minutes
"Thou shalt treat one side of a board the same as the other. This is
the first and greatest commandment" . . . in my finishing book. The
shellac may cause the inside of the cabinet to accept or reject
moisture at a different rate than the outside that's finished with
tung oil. This could cause unnecessary warping due to the
differential in moisture content from one side to the other. And it
will continue to cause problems every time the relative humidity
swings. Don't know where you live, but down heah in Mississippi, we
get lots of stupidity - I mean humidity - in the summer, and our
houses tend to get dry in the winter. A cabinet that's differentially
treated would tear itself apart around here. Which ever finish you
decide to go with, use the same on inside and out. A smallish brush
or a wiping rag will get into the corners well enough.
Thanks for the advice. On the other hand Krenov highly recommends
in his books to finish inside with shellac even though (my impression)
outside it would be finished with Danish oil. I also have a bad experience
with finishing inside of the cabinet with poly. Even after more then 4
month that box still has that unpleasant odor inside. Knowing how long
it takes for pure tung oil to really get dry it would probably take a
year before all odor would be gone on the inside if I finish it with pure
tung oil as well. What do you think?
You can use shellac over oil. Search the wReck Google archives for the
instructions as to the particulars, but it works, and it's easy. And the
Accolytes of St. Krenov do it regularly.
(That last bit was said with tongue in cheek. I have had the privilege of
meeting a number of graduates of the College of the Redwoods, and visiting
the shops there, and with the staff. While I can say that, for the most
part, they are quite confident in their skills, and rightly so, they are
aware of the privilege they have had to learn in a fine program, with good
There is an active thread running on danish oils, and the variants in mixes
and techniques, and why one would be used over another. Good information
there. Look for posts by Mike G. You don't need to use 'pure tung oil' to
get the benefits you seek.
...applying your shellac, ( or whatever finish)to components before glue up,
gives the best results, especially for an interior. Taping your joints
before applying the shellac prevents any joint/glue failures.
hmmm...I'm thinking that's a little too close for comfort for me. Doing the
jointery, a dry run, applying finish, then glue up, minimizes risk and
allows you to easily access all surfaces for finishing. IMHO it's the most
failsafe and provides a flawless finish.
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