wood finish question

Hello all! I just finished my first woodworking project after several years away from woodworking.. It's a goban for the game of Go, it's very simple, it's 3 peices of basswood laminated to be 17" x 18". I sanded this with several grits, up to 400.. this may be overdoing it but the cutting and laminating was so easy that I figured I should put some effort into sanding. On the surface of this game board, I have put a thin layer of SC Johnson Paste Wax and buffed it as well as I could, the result was a very smooth top which I'm quite pleased with. On top of the waxed layer, I drew the game board lines with a technical pen using india ink from Koh-I-Noor. Now I'm at a loss for how to protect this thing with one last coat.. In my test peices I tried covering the lines with a second coat of paste wax but it tends to make the ink smear.. probably due to the chemicals in the paste wax.. Does anyone know how I might get a final layer of finish that will protect the ink lines from wear and tear, and what kind of finish I should try on this board? I need something that will not have an adverse affect on the wax and ink I already have down. If you needed to put ink lines (without the ink bleeding into the wood) on a board like this, how would you do it? (I'm curious if anyone has some tricks or thoughts on other ways to finish a board)
Thanks to all who can lend a hand!
Josh
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On 28 Nov 2004 21:13:08 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (revgum) wrote:

Do some searching - couple of threads on goban a month or so back.

I don't know a "technical pen" (tube nib?) that uses indian ink. Real indian ink contains shellac and is pretty stable once dry. Much "indian ink" in this type of pen might be a stable pigment, but it doesn't contain the shellac, so as to avoid blocking the nib. A pre-war draughtsman's "bow pen" will let you use real indian ink.
However Japanese ink is notoriously unstable, so there are solutions anyway. One is to not wax the board after inking it, just letting it build up a natural patina. This needs better sanding than 400 grit though - for lime (basswood) then it will burnish pretty well with either dried horsetail reeds, dogfish skin (rawhide, not tanned) or 3M plastic abrasive pads (a bit easier to obtain).
You could also use a wax finish over the ink. Most commercial waxes will have a fairly harsh solvent like toluene or xylene in them, and that's a great ink lifter. If you make your own though (or buy it) and just use natural turpentine as a solvent, then you should have no ink trouble. I've posted recipes here before (seach for "carnauba"). I don't think lime would need a hard wax here, so plain beeswax and turpentine should do it. Don't use a "creamed" wax polish over your ink though, as it contains ammonia and that might also distrub the shellac.

Traditionally an inked sword blade was used, which I haven't tried yet. They didn't use lime either, which will help with some bleeding. The usual fix for this is to make two narrow-spaced knife cuts and only ink between them.
My goban are done with black epoxy inlay. I used to like them, but now I feel shamefully modernistic.
--
Smert' spamionam

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I used a couple coats of oil finish over the lines on the goban I made - but I didn't use wax underneath. In any case, try out your intended topcoat on a test piece with the same finishes/ink you used for your real piece.
JeffB
revgum wrote:

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Thanks for the comments and recommendations.. I went ahead and sanded off the previous finish and ink (what a mess!!). This time my base coat is a very thin layer of polyurethane which I'll apply the lines to and probably give it one more thin layer of polyurethane on top of, followed by a finish coat of wax. The first coat of polyurethane is on and dry and it's looking good so far. If anyone is interested, I'll post a URL to a pictorial when this thing is done.
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