I normally lurk here (fine way to learn) as I'm not much of a woodworker. I
seem to have a better knack for metalwork, the material "speaks to me" in a
fashion I can hear, not so with wood yet. I've embarked on a combo project
for SWMBO Christmas gift, a 4 x 8 cherry table with hand forged base and
legs. The table will have a heavy medieval look with iron top straps and
exposed rivets. I'm having the tabletop built out of 6/4" black cherry by a
local mill shop, it will be delivered ready to final sand & finish. I really
like the way linseed oil brings out the grain and would like to use it
again, but I'm not sure what to topcoat with and there is the issue of
durability. We don't mind the some "battle scars" from day to day usage but
I don't want every hot pot or dribble of food to leave a lasting impression.
I can get cut offs and experiment with different stuff but I need some
Thanks in advance
Wed, Nov 10, 2004, 9:42am snipped-for-privacy@SPAMevolutionironworks.com
(Andrew V) says:
<snip> a 4 x 8 cherry table with hand forged base and legs. The table
will have a heavy medieval look with iron top straps and exposed rivets.
I'm not sure about the medieval look, but definitely think you
should post a link to pictures, when it's done.
Viet Nam, divorce, cancer. Been there, done that. Now, where the Hell
are my T-shirts?
Why not use oak ? It's the real timber of the medieval period.
As a finish for something with this sort of feel to it, I use plain
Plain beeswax and turpentine for authenticity (applied by power drill
and a plastic-bristle rotary brush) For something a little harder, a
mix of beeswax, carnauba wax and maybe some paraffin wax (Liberon
"Black Bison" in neutral).
If you're actually planning to use it as a table, then I'd oil it
first, then wax it. Oil certainly isn't authentic, but it's a
reasonable compromise of wear vs. appearance. I've even been known to
use a gel poly on some "old" work that I knew would get a hard life,
but only a single coat which is hopefully invisible.
I wouldn't use linseed. It's a pain to use and it tends to yellow an
awful lot. I'd go with a commercial preparation of tung oil, probably
sold aas "Finishing Oil" rather than "pure tung". Avoid Danish oils
or anything else that's an oil/varnish mix.
Why? These are wonderful finishes that do a great job of popping the grain,
as well as providing a reasonable amount of protective qualities. In the
case of Waterlox, it builds rather nicely, so if you want that effect it is
easy to obtain. Best of all, they are applied simply by flooding the
surface and wiping off the excess. I've used this finish on projects
ranging from every day use tables, high chair, picture frames, a queen sized
bed, etc. etc. and they ALL still look great, some after years of use
without any touch ups, other than dusting and maybe a recoat of wax every
So, I'm very curious why you would tell someone to avoid these absolutely
On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 13:31:21 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"
I'm thinking (hoping) that the suggestion was made in the context of
the piece being a medieval period piece. Danish oil probably wouldn't
Danish oil and tung oil are certainly my finishes of choice for a
cherry top but I would not do a medieval piece so no issue there. For
a medieval piece, I agree with Andy and think Oak much more
On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 14:14:27 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"
I'm no great fan of Danish oil myself - tools like hammer handles and
the upholstery webbing stretcher I made today are the only things I
use it on. I wouldn't rule it out though, if you like the look
yourself. For that quality of finish, I'd generally go for shellac.
If you want protection, you can tung or linseed oil it to get some
depth to the grain. Then for protection you could ude a wip-on poly.
If you do just two or three very thin coats, this will really toughen
up the finish but you will still feel the wood. Finally get some good
wax, I like Briwax Black, and apply it with 0000 steel wool, then
Try this on some test pieces first of course.
Finally, you can make your own wipe on poly by thinning regular oil
poly 50/50 with Mineral Spirits.
Really finally, leave the top out in the sun a few days before
applying any film finish that might have UV protection. Cherry darkns
by sunlight. Just a few hours of direct light will have a dramatic
effect and over the years, even with protection it will continue to
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