I've been working on some mahogany cabinetry and experimenting with
finishing the scraps. I decided that I want to use shellac so most of my
work has been in learning to fill and pad the stuff. Now I've got my
technique down and the test piece has some nice coats of garnet shellac.
The consistency, depth and clarity are great. But, the color is not really
what I expected. I've read on the wreck that it should have a nice red
color, but it looks more like orange than red to me. It definitely looks
more red on the non-finished side. Should I plan to leave the pieces out
in the sun for a day after sanding but before finishing? Or keep adding
more layers of garnet? Or use some chemical? Or use a dye in the shellac
or on the filled wood? Oh, I mixed the garnet from fresh de-waked flakes.
You'll be happy to hear that I have ordered the 2 finishing books that
everyone recommends but it will take a week for them to arrive.
It depends on the wood itself, Matt. I recently finished a Limbert-
inspired Honduras Mahogany table: the base was originally all one 16"
wide board, with the top coming from two different boards. The base,
after a teak oil finish, came out a reddish-brown, but the top came out
rather orange. The reason, IMHO, was due to the base piece being much
denser/finer grained than the top pieces. I rubbed on a coat of Liberon
Black Bison cabinet wax, and now the top is in harmony with the base.
Thanks Kim. I know that I have a couple different kinds of mahogany,
despite getting them from the same place (Austin hardwoods) for the same
price. The color and grain pattern of the boards is totally different, so
much so that I'd suspect that the first stuff that I bought may be some
other kind of "mahogany." I'm pretty sure that the newer stuff is true
honduras stuff. So, I'm probably going to need to use a dye to try to get
both of the woods to look more similar. But, still, does anyone know if
it's normal for garnet to make the wood look so much more yellow that it
ends up less red?
I'm pretty sure that the more recent stuff that I bought is Honduras
mahogany. The grain is quite nice and it is a pink tone before being
exposed to light. The last 1-2 inches of the boards were exposed to
light and were a very nice dark red. I'd believe that the first batch
was something else since the color was, as you described, not very nice
at all. Well.. thanks for the reply. I'll have to see how it looks
after getting a tan and then I'll try my hand at coloring Shellac.
Makes me kind of regret spending extra to get the garnet shellac. I
could have just got ultra blonde and toned it anyway. I also wish that
the lumber yards would start referring to wood by the tree species. It
would be a bit more complicated but then there wouldn't be the confusion
over which flavor they are selling.
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