wood finishing question


hi all experts out there,
what is usually used to seal mahogany wood? or is sealing necessary for mahogany at all?
what kind of oils are used to treat wood? usually what oil is used on what wood, and why?
i'm rather ingnorant about all this, but i somehow don't like stains, wood that seems to be treated with some kind of oil does look natural and gives a nice feeling about the material quality of wood to me.
advices, suggestions, views, opinions, and whatever any one cares to tell me are all most welcome!
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Get yourself a copy of Bob Flexnor's book "Understanding Wood Finishing." Very accessable and invaluable as a reference.
Ideally, you'll want to have a few offcuts handy to experiment on.
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On Sat, 14 Jan 2006 22:37:57 -0600, with neither quill nor qualm,

ZZ, go pick up a quart of Waterlox Original. I degloss it with 0000 steel wool and Johnson's paste wax. The oil in the Waterlox highlights the grain, leaves a smooth feel, and is easy to apply. Finishing (and finish) just doesn't get any better.

He'd be -much- better off with Jeff Jewitt's "Hand Applied Finishes", Charles.
P.S: Flexner's name doesn't contain an "o."
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Larry,
I love quick and easy finishes that achieve good results and will last. Gee, how novel is that?
I'm relatively new (2 years now) I've come to really like rub on satin poly by minwax with several coats of paste wax afterwards as a way of finishing. I built a jewelry box for my wife out of cherry, put on 3 coats of the rub on satin poly, two coats of paste wax & buffed it out and it looks like someone who knew what they were doing did it. :)
Never heard of the "Waterlox" stuff, is it a varnish/oil, a blend of two or more things. You're enthusiasm with using it is makes me interested in hearing more about it.
I've have also read (have yet to try it) more than a few articles in the ww mags etc that say using a combination of dye first, then stain as a base produces a beautiful foundation before top coating, this is something I was going to try next. Any thoughts on that? Anyone?
I too appreciate any and all advise, I read lots of things, I have the book Understanding Wood Finishing by Bob Flexner that Charles recommended also. It seems like a good one, though it goes a bit deeper into the science and chemistry of how finishing works than I think I'll ever need to know. I would prefer something more concise that looks at lots of ways to finish wood but spares me the science.
A book that just tells me what the pros/cons are of each approach or type of finish have. Just as important I would like to see illustrated, detailed, how to instructions on how to achieve great results. I would really like to see one of these books focus on how to appraoch a project with many sides, corners, cureved or rounded pieces, what to do first, second, third on a given project and how that might change as the shape or size of the project changes. Especially procedures with projects whose geometric shapes or the state of assembly they are in make it difficult to know just what you should do first, second etc. Also, how to store or hang or hold up difficult pieces so as many sices can be done at once as possible. And when you are finishing one side first and the opposite side second, how to finish up to the edge or corner without dripping on the part you don't want to apply any finish to yet. Is masking it ok, what kind of masking etc. I would like a book that addresses the physical logistics of finishing as much as types and procedures and techniques of applying finish. These things are what puzzles me most of all and Bob Flexner's book doesn't seem to spend much if any time explaining these rudimentary but absolutely necessary skils and techniques.
Any books that dedicate sufficient time and space to these things I would love to get my hands on. Any suggestions?
RangerPaul
wrote:

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Seems like you'e like someone to do it for you... :>)
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On Sun, 15 Jan 2006 14:16:12 -0600, with neither quill nor qualm,

Stain and poly are their own punishment.

It's a blend of tung and linseed oils combined with varnish. Quick drying, tough, waterproof. The best stuff since sliced bread. www.waterlox.com I use only the non-poly Original finish in medium gloss. Because I prefer a non-glossy, touchable wood finish, I use steel wool to degloss it to a "satin" finish.

Gag me with a spoon. (I hate stains. ;)

Take a look at Jewitt's "Hand Applied Finishes", too. I read those two and Dresdner's "Woodfinishing Book" (now replaced by the New Woodfinishing Book) but the only one I really liked was Jewitt's. All contained good info but Jeff's was the most complete to me.

Build one or both of these:
1) A finishing/assembly table on casters. 2) A pair of 123 boxes. They're 1' by 2' by 3' and will give you platforms 1, 2, or 3' tall when you lay a piece of MDF or plywood over them. Adjust them to the height you want to work around, like 12x18x28" or something.
--And remember the first and last rule of finishing, Paul.--
NEVER, EVER RUSH A FINISH.
It's the quickest way to totally ruin a piece you've slaved over, nursed, and babied for days/weeks/months. (Or in my case, years. ;) Tell your client/friend/spouse to go sit on their hands until you say the project is ready for use. Do the finish, wait 1 or more days between coats for curing time (depending upon the finish) and then let it set a week or more before taking it into the house. Finishes need time to breathe and offgas and cure. Rushing it will end up with a tablecloth stuck to the table, ruining the finish. Or there will be complaints about the stinky finish, chemical smells, etc. Just say "NO!"
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On 14 Jan 2006 20:05:40 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Homework:
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)37328602/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-9686129-5087222?s=books&v=glance&n(3155> or: <(Amazon.com product link shortened)(3155>
Both are terrific, updated in 2005, and will answer many, many questions. You can also run the ISBN numbers through your local library computers and read them for free. At least one of them (either one) should be a permanent reference in your shop.
Other advice? Practice on scrap! It sounds lame, but nothing beats a few bucks worth of materials and some time to really get the hang of things. If you haven't practiced on a test board, you're experimenting on your project.
Have fun, Barry
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wow, a lot of ideas, thanks a whole lot guys!
i'll keep reading this group, and also go look for those good books!
thank you! great people, great info, great group!
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