Finishing Wood (Staining Cheerry? Oh No!)


Just went to Lee Valley and picked up a book on finishing cause I have several projects on the go and need info..
Think I can recommend this book...
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=30284&cat=1,190,43047
Understanding Wood Finishing          Understanding Wood Finishing - Woodworking by Bob Flexner
It seems to answer a lot of the questions that come up here.
FYI it points out that many of the beloved finishes that get rhapsodies here are polymerized oils -- (plastics -- oh the horror of it all!) things like BLO and Polymerized Tung oil... Geez no better than wipe on poly -- <grin>
Think I'll finish my cherry table project in stain and wipe on poly. :-( Just kidding Tom -- recall the hit squad. (sheesh -- just a joke!) But what I did do was used Deft -- fruitwood colour -- which according to Flexner acts more like a die -- does not obscure the grain and can be topcoated by a finish more resistant to water and alcohol. This is used to bring the cherry to a more consistent colour instead of waiting and praying to the colour gods for a favourable transition. A rather neat trick... And it does seem to work as I did this on the lamps I made with no seeming ill effect, now I know _why_ it works.
Anyway -- I found it very useful particularly in the recommended finish charts (comparing finish characteristics) , notes on compatible stains and top coats, compatible dyes and top coats etc.
Other useful charts identify many common finishes as to their components. This is really useful when you wish to get good grain "pop out" but need to top coat to protect.
One of the problems he points out -- through comparison charts is that you can get good transparency through oil, or oil/varnish combinations, or you can get good protection -- but you can't get both without using conversion finishes (professional finishes) and losing repairability. In other words -- you can't win. Something I have long suspected.
...and well worth the $20 in CDN pesos. Save me money in wasted effort already, and in understanding why some of my WAG's worked. (And why some would not have if I had tried them and wasted the project...)
(Toller -- maybe a dye would have popped the curly cherry -- maybe not but worth a try...)
If you get it, hope it helps you as much as it helps me.
This blurb is from the Lee Valley site...
--------------------------------------------- Understanding Wood Finishing          Understanding Wood Finishing - Woodworking by Bob Flexner
This is clearly the best-researched, most complete book on finishing that we have seen to date.
Flexner stresses understanding the chemistry and mechanics of finishing, developing in his readers not only a knowledge of what materials and techniques work for a given finishing problem, but why they work and how they work. He debunks myths, gives valuable tips, and presents numerous tabulations of problems with their solutions in a clear, usable format.
All readily available finishes are covered, from their history, composition and chemical behavior through application and repair techniques and relative merits, with advice on how to assess which is best for any situation.
Flexner's straightforward prose, well illustrated with color and black-and-white photographs and drawings, makes this book a complete education in finishing
-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
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I'll go out on a limb and state that most of us here like Flexner's books.
Dave
WillR wrote:

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David wrote:

Yah figger eh? :-)
This one was particularly good I thought. Lot of info there for people who have never done wood finishing courses or really thought about it.
If you can think of any others -- by anyone -- I want to expand the library a bit -- other than one other book on faking -- er I mean repairing ( complete with old time materials lists) -- antiques this is the only one I have.
-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
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I'd recommend Finishes & Finishing Techniques - Taunton Press. Jeff Jewitt and others are included in this book from Fine Woodworking articles. You'll get diverse opinions from each author, on some minor points.
If you spray finishes, then Andy Charron's Spray Finishing is informative.
Dave
WillR wrote:

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David wrote:

Thanks -- I'll look at them. No spraying yet.
12 X 20 shop. Little small for that so far.
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Will
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I like Flexner's book. He actually seems to know what he is talking about, rather than just repeating what he has heard.
But, I don't entirely agree with his claim that BLO can't be considered a finish. For items that won't get wet or see much use, it is enough of a finish. I just did a large cherry cabinet, putting BLO everywhere, and a few coats of varnish where it might get some wear. It was too large for the basement stairs, so my son and I carried out the walkout basement door, slightly scraping it on a rock in the process. A little fresh BLO, you can't tell where the scrapes were. Try that with Varnish. (maybe shellac, but Flexner doesn't think too much of shellac either.)
I "think" dye would have obsured the curl on the curly cherry, but it would certainly be worth experimentation.
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toller wrote:

Yah maybe so. The Minwax antique oil I have learned to like is varnish/blo and it looks great on oak and cherry I have found.
The Deft (Polymerized tung) I mentioned seems to be pretty nice as well.
You're right -- seems to be a matter of protection -- and water resistance mostly. Should be safe on book shelves and entertainment centres.

Yeah repairs are the other issue. I have repaired varnish -- pita... Oil is much simpler -- agreed.

Not true saw some sample finishes using shellac in this book iirc.

The Deft Tung Oil showed up some curl in the cherry and the maple on my latest jewel box -- will post pictures on my site later tonite. Did not show up as well as a dye would have -- but then I did not even know it was present...

-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
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I thought Deft was a brushing lacquer. But it has been a long time since I used it. Am I thinking of something else?

Okay. Looks like you are talking about Deftoil? Looking at their web page leaves you wondering exactly what it is. I don't see anything saying that it is polymerized Tung Oil. On the product page at http://www.deftfinishes.com/wood/deftoil.htm they say it is a penetrating Tung Oil and Urethane mix. on the spec sheet at http://www.deftfinishes.com/wood/protech/deftoil.htm it says that the resin type is "Linseed Oil, Oil Modified Urethane"
BTW, the Deft I was thinking of is their clear wood finish, a brushing lacquer.
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alexy wrote:

Yes, as you note below.
I found the Flexner book good because it identifies the finish contents as best he can -- and gives you methods for figuring out what you have when the container does not have sufficient information.

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pE090&cat=1,190,42942
I was referring to this one -- it's actually a combination as you note:
------------------------------- A. This tung oil and urethane resin formula penetrates deeply and builds easily using a brush, rag or rubbing pad.
Suitable for interior wood floors, furniture, cabinets, paneling, etc., it seals the wood and creates a durable finish that resists water and alcohol.
It should be applied, left 30 minutes, then excess wiped off. Subsequent coats can be applied after as little as 60 minutes. Allow at least 24 hours drying time before use.
Finished surfaces can be overcoated with lacquer, polyurethane or wax for added protection if desired. Available in clear natural and in six other tints. ----------------------------

Yes I have both here and have been using both. I was unclear on that...
Flexner (and the can) lists the Danish Oil as Tung Oil/Varnish -- with Asphaltum as the dye/stain. Thought it was polymerized -- maybe not

That one: Yes I will try it in the future.... http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pE092&cat=1,190,42942
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I was very pleased with its ease of application and the results. And a piece I finished with it 25 years ago still looks good. But I work in a basement shop with little ventilation, so I haven't used Deft Clear Wood Finish in a long time. Your REALLY need ventilation with this stuff.
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