Mahogany bookcase - finish help needed

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When you say sand "lightly", what exactly do you mean?
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On 24 Mar 2005 15:27:20 -0800, the inscrutable "swinter"

Don't sand, denib. Just take of the rough spots with 320 grit. I do it dry so it doesn't fill the pores (if any) with sand grit and bland dust/finish. YMMV
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swinter wrote:

natural, no stain, and 3 or 4 coats. Be sure to add a dryer,e.g., Gillespies Japan Dryer, so that you get faster drying and a harder finish quicker. Watco is just wipe on, let set, and wipe off. About as minimal labor as possible. Easy to repair, just wipe some more on. If you use darker color Watco oil, it will tend to muddy the wood, clear, will be better.
When to finish-- You can put on a coat on before gluing it up, or even before cutting dadoes, but the last coats should be after the case is completed.
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To this point, no one has really addressed the fact that this is a bookshelf. Here is some information on wood selection and finish for bookshelves:
<http://www.nedcc.org/plam3/tleaf42.htm
extracts: WOOD Storage furniture, especially shelving, made of wood has traditionally been popular for reasons of aesthetics, economy, and ease of construction. Harmful acids and other substances, however, are emitted by wood, wood composites, and some sealants and adhesives. Although the levels of emissions are highest initially, in most cases volatiles are present for the life of the materials. To avoid potential damage to collections, storage furniture made of wood or wood products should be avoided. If this is not possible and wood must be used, precautions are necessary. Certain woods and wood composites are more potentially damaging than others. For example, oak, which has been used extensively for the storage of library and archival materials, is considered the wood with the most volatile acidity and should not be used. Also, many wood composites that are advertised as formaldehyde-free may contain potentially damaging acids or other aldehydes. Current information should be obtained prior to selecting new furniture made of wood or a wood product so that the least damaging wood can be chosen. All wood and wood composites should be tested to determine their safety for use.
COATINGS FOR WOOD For wooden storage furniture that is already in use, safeguards should be taken. All wood should be sealed. It should be noted, though, that no coating or sealant will completely block the emission of acids and harmful volatiles for prolonged periods of time, but it can be useful for short-term exposure. Also, some sealants are better than others at blocking damaging substances. Great care must be taken in selecting a sealant to make sure that the one chosen forms the most effective barrier and does not itself emit harmful substances.
The most readily available sealant that is recommended at this time is a moisture-borne polyurethane. Many kinds of polyurethane are available. Oil-modified polyurethanes are the most common. However, oil-modified polyurethanes, oil-based paints, and other products that contain oil or alkyd resins should be avoided. Only moisture-borne polyurethanes are recommended. Unfortunately not all moisture-borne polyurethanes on the market are safe for use. Also, formulations often change without notice. For these reasons, the polyurethane selected should be tested prior to use to guarantee its acceptability. Contact a preservation professional for brand names of moisture-borne polyurethanes that are currently being recommended and begin testing with these. Because these urethanes do not completely prevent the escape of volatiles, choosing low-emission wood products is of critical importance.
Paints can also be used to seal wood if the natural appearance of the wood does not have to be retained. Oil-based paints and stains should not be used because of the potentially damaging effects of the acids in the drying oils. Two-part epoxy paints form an excellent barrier, but they are difficult to use. Latex and acrylic paints form a less effective barrier but are easier to use. All coatings should be tested prior to use. Contact a preservation professional for current information before making a decision. After furniture is sealed it should be allowed to air for three to four weeks. Because of the toxicity of various components of most sealants, the sealants should be used with caution and appropriate safety measures observed.
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I think that I might try the Watco danish oil. When I get the wood I'll buy some and test it out on a scrap piece to see if it's truly the finish that I want.
Does anyone have any pics of some mahogany finished in just danish oil?
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