I have been making things out of wood for profit for about 15 years.
I've just started making various wooden parts to use in woven baskets. Such
as handles, lids, bases, and legs. I make a lot of custom parts, where some
one will come in with a sample, and want something similar but with some
Two weeks ago, I made a handle out of 3/4 thk. oak. It was for in a wine
basket and had some very very very intricate scroll work in portions of the
handle. By intricate I mean the width of the remaining wood in some places
was as thin as 1/16th. I've done this quite frequently, but I am always
concerned that the oak will dry out, or get damp, expand or contract and the
1/16th. thk. scroll work will begin to crack. So immediately after I get it
finished, I spray on a couple coats of clear poly over it. Thus far I
haven't had any problems with cracking.
Anyway, the lady came and picked up her handles, and about an hour later
I get a call from her husband. He would like me to make a dozen more but he
doesn't want them to have poly. He said he would prefer shellac. Although
I've been doing this for a long time, I have never used any finish other
than - paint, a stain then poly, or just straight poly. I would like to
know if another finished would work in this application, and if so how do I
use it. Or at least lead me to a place where I can get information on the
process. I really don't have time to experiment with finishes that I never
used, but I would like to keep my customers happy.
And not to lead anyone into thinking I am a large company, when I say
customers I mean about 30 basket makers. Most of which do this as a hobby.
Thanks for your help.