Finishing mahogany

I'm trying some finishes out on scrap (what? don't you do that?) mahogany trying to find something I like for my project.
I'm not finding anything I'm crazy about yet so I'm throwing it to the rec. What's your favorite finish for mahogany (african, if it matters)?
do you pore fill or not? why? etc etc etc etc.....
Joe
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Joe wrote:

Lacquer. Varnish for more color. ___________

Depends. If one wants a "piano" finish you pretty much have to. Alternative is *many, many* coats of clear finish. Personally, I do neither because I don't want to spend the hours and hours to do a perfect finish and then see it get damaged.
African mahogany (Khaya) is a bit more open grained that Swietenia.
--

dadiOH
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dadiOH,
Thanks. not looking for that piano finish. Don't even know what I *am* looking for, just that I haven't found it yet. I'll try your suggestions and see what I get.
Thanks again,
jc
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dadiOH wrote:

Depends on the finish you want. Because mahogany is such an open pored wood, you have to use a pore filler if you want a smooth or glossy finish.
If you are going for a gloss finish, your only REAL option is to use a good pore filler and then lacquer or varnish.
If you want a semi-gloss or satin, your choices widen. You can use multiple coats of shellac, color of your choice.
On the other hand you could use an oil finish, put on NOT as the directions on the can say, but as per instructions I saw somewhere and copied but do not have direct access to at the moment) Flood for an hour, let dry 48 hours, flood and sand with 500 wet dry DO NOT wipe. Let dry 24 hours and sand with 500 grit wipe then put a good even coat on, wipe and let dry 24 hours, sand with 600 grit and put on another coat and wipe and let dry. Sand with 1000 grit, wipe and put on another coat, wipe and let dry. Sand with 1000 grit wipe and wipe on a final think coat and let dry. When fully dry, buff with 0000 or better steel wool and put on a couple of coats of good paste wax (I use Briwax). It will be a nice satin to semi-gloss and smooth as the proverbable babies backside.
If you like the open pore look:
You could just let the pores show and put on a good poly.
You could sand to 400 and buff in about three coats of wax.
Deb
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I like a clear lacquer or hard varnish. Sometimes, I'll dye it first, others I'll rub a dark wax into the pores.

I've used both fillers and sanding sealers to fill pores. In these instances, I'm often looking for a highly polished, guitar-like finish. In other cases, I've pore filled table tops and left the rest of the table's pores open.
Mahogany is very easy to finish, but you need a goal first.
What look are you shooting for?
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wrote:

Barry,
Goals are good. I've tried some of the suggestions and settled on the following. Behlen's water based pore filler 3 coats bulls eye shellac tinted with transtint reddish-brown 3 coats oil-based wiping varnish rubbed out with 0000 wool 1 coat scjohnson wax and buffed.
Looks great (at least on the scrap.... lol)
Will post pics when finished
jc
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Lookin' forward to it!
Aren't Transtint dyes great?
Sounds like a good schedule.
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