Question about finishing oak plywood


I have completed a stand alone pantry made of oak plywood with solid oak trim to cover exposed plywood edges. I have looked through my book by Bob Flexner on wood finishing but I can't get a clear idea on oak plywood. The gist of what Flexner says is you can apply wood filler to oak if you like but it is just a matter of personal preference. He goes on to say that I should not use sanding sealer. By the way, I do not intend to stain the project.
May I ask those of you who have finished a project that is made of oak plywood to share your experiences about finishing such a project (unstained)?
TIA
Dick Snyder
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try one of the colored watco or seal-a-cell oils. two coats, then spray topcoat with a water-based poly or lacquer. that approach works very well for me.
good luck,
--- dz
Dick Snyder wrote:

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Dick Snyder wrote:

1. Oil is easy, looks nice if you don't want a shine. If you do, continue...
2. Lacquer is relatively easy (especially Deft which sands nicely) and fast.
3. Varnish is nice too but takes much longer than lacquer because it dries slowly.
4. Clear polyurethane is hard, lasts long, hard to redo and looks like plastic.
Filler is overkill (IMO) for any of the clear finishes on oak. Also, it is not the stuff you use to fill dings...it is a very fine silica with a binder and thinner. You can make your own if you have any Cabosil lying around.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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3 and 4 in your list are redundant. Polyurethane is a type of Varnish. Polyurethane only starts to look "plastic" (IMHO) if to many coats are applied.
--
Stoutman
http://www.garagewoodworks.com/index.htm
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stoutman wrote:

Point taken _____________

How do you get less than one??? :)
--
dadiOH
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Think dilution.
I usually do not use full strength poly. i'm a big wipe-on poly fan.

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I just use plain old satin finish water-based poly, sanding with 400 grit in between coats. It's easy and looks just fine, IMHO. I probably wouldn't use gloss or semi-gloss, since the oak is too porous to get a smooth glossy finish, anyway. I've never done it with filler; a gloss finish would probably look nice in that case, though maybe not appropriate for a pantry.
Josh
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Dick Snyder wrote:

Usually, I prefer an open or semi-open grain on red oak, semi-open on white oak. On table tops, I'll keep going until I fill the grain with finish, if required.
My _favorite_ hand-applied, natural, semi-open look on red oak goes like this:
PRACTICE ON SCRAP, both to get the hang of it and see if you like the look!
- Sand to 150 (you can probably start _&_ finish w/ 150 on plywood) - Vacuum or blast & tack rag the dust away - Apply one full-strength coat of Zinnser Seal Coat with a foam brush - wait an hour or two - Carefully apply one coat of Pratt & Lambert gloss varnish or Sherwin Williams Fast Dry gloss varnish. Use a good brush pre-wetted with mineral spirits to apply the varnish. Don't puddle it or glop it on. - Wait one day for the SW FD or (2) for the PL - lightly scuff & remove any dust nibs with 320 grit and a felt block - wipe with a clean tack rag - apply another coat of gloss varnish - wait again, as necessary - VERY lightly remove any dust nibs w/ 320. - rub out (with the grain) with med & fine pumice & rottenstone, stopping at the level of gloss you want. For a good semi-gloss look, you won't need the rottenstone. Use paraffin oil as a lube and and old t-shirt material and felt blocks as rubbers. - paste wax as desired.
This will leave you with an "almost filled" look on the grain, with the Seal Coat and oil varnishes adding a slight amber tone that will deepen in a short time. If you start to rub out and things don't seem right, give the varnish more drying time.
If this is an entire kitchen, I'd probably switch to sprayed lacquer after the seal coat. The boxes would get a third coat of semi-gloss lacquer, the doors and drawer fronts, gloss. I'd typically only rub out the door and drawer fronts and end panels. Face frames and insides are fine right off the gun, sprayed semi-gloss.
Drips and runs are easily removed with a sharp card scraper, sanding will often round the bump over. The details of all of my steps are in the Flexner book you mentioned.
Have fun! Barry
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I did an armoire/entertainment center last year of red oak and red oak ply. I used Garrett Hack's recipe of equal parts turp, linseed or tung oil, and varnish. The project turned out wonderful and the finish was the easiest I've ever used. As an added bonus you don't have to have a perfectly dust free finishing room to use this finish. Google "garrett hack linseed oil varnish finish" and click on the first result's "view as html".
Cheers! Duke
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