I have some extraordinary curly maple that looks great with mineral spirits
on it. How do I finish it to make it look that good when done?
A google search suggests the most popular method is tungoil/shellac/varnish.
But I saw a Fine Woodworking article referred to that seems rather more
complicated. Should I go to the trouble of finding the FWW article, or
stick to the TO/S/V?
If it matters, it will be on a turned bowl. Won't turn it until Monday, but
the wood is great.
Seriously, a rubbing with a light colored dye or BLO will beautifully
pop the figure. Cover that with whatever clear coat you're
Or, you can send it to me... <G>
Aren't you in NY State? I'm looking for somewhere to fly Sunday
afternoon. I can pick it up!
Thats right, but I would like to hold onto it.
It is actually rather better than the photographs.
Are you looking to fly somewhere for the hours? A few months ago I flew
around Letchworth Park with someone who just needed to fly somewhere; great
flightseeing trip for free!
The hours do get logged, but I do "hours" to stay proficient. This
time of year, many of my favorite destinations are boarded up. Picking
out new places keeps it fresh and lets me hear some different voices
on the radio.
An interesting idea. A guy I work with rode his motorcycle though
that area last summer. Thanks!
Almost any clear finish that is not too dark will help pop
the curls. Avoid any traditional stains. A true stain is
made with finely ground opaque pigments in a binder.
Such a stain will fill the pores and kill the chatoyance
that results from the changing grain direction.
Dyes don't do that.
One technique that takes advantage of the difference
in absorption between the curls is to dye the wood,
(you can try treating with sodium hydroxide too, that
darkens maple, though not as much as it does cherry.)
then scrape it down with a cabinet scraper until the
dye is removed from in-between the curls. Then sand
(if necessary) with very fine sandpaper and finish
with a clear topcoat, or oil and then a clear topcoat.
You could probably do the same substituting a spit
coat of a dark shellac for the dye.
I would try Deft Danish Oil Finish on a scrap. Deft Danish Oil has more
resins and urethane than other brands.
They use it on their custom furniture at Homestead Heritage in Waco.
I've used it on two chairs I built and I really like it.
I'd pass on the oil, just in my experience. Shellac does fine by itself.
So does varnish, thinned 20-30%, likely with vmp naptha.
I see no reason to try and do a three part finish on that piece of wood.
Too many ways to trip up, to no good end.
Is this a user bowl, or a showcase bowl?
Satin Minwax wipe-on poly does it for me.* Takes about 4-5 coats, but
they go on and dry quickly, and there are no brush strokes. :-) Finish
with sandpaper going from 220 to 400 grit, and then a final rub with
0000 steel wool and paste wax.
Here are some photos of cheese boards finished that way:
And a curly maple and walnut hall table:
Run the slide sow and check out img_0121 in particular.
*PS: Use Minwax, not Watco. Minwax is mostly solids, Watco has a fair
percentage of oil. Takes longer to dry and doesn't finish as hard.
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