I have been finishing my hardwoods (maple, cherry, walnut as well as
jatoba, jarrah and other more exotic woods) with a natural danish oil
(Watco) followed by 2-3 coats of diluted shellac. Is there any reason
(other than color)why I could not leave out the oil finish and apply the
shellac directly on the raw wood? This would save 2-3 days while the
oil finish dries. I make wooden picture frames and need the shellac as
an archival sealer. Some of the exotic woods are already quite oily.
Based on some recent experiments with cherry + Danish Oil + thinned
shellac, I think what you'll find is that on the darker woods it won't
make a gigantic different to leave out the D.O. But on lighter woods,
there's a big difference in tone between just shellac and D.O. +
I'm working on a cherry desk at the moment and made a ton of test
strips to try various finishes, including shellac only, oil + wax (both
linseed and D.O), wipe-on poly, and D.O + shellac. For my money, the
D.O. + shellac looked best, with a nice rich brownish-gold tone that
shellac by itself didn't provide.
That said, I completed a cherry jewlery box about a year ago, and used
shellac only. In the year since I've finished it, it's started to take
on a very nice golden hue, whereas the cherry + shellac strips I did a
month or so ago look too pink-orange for my taste. But some of that
difference may just be the lumber itself - what I'm using for the desk
may just be more pinkish than what I used for the jewlery box last
year. Also, as you probably already know, cherry it has the tendency to
darken over time.
On Fri, 02 Dec 2005 10:27:45 -0800, PetQuality wrote:
But you don't need to do the whole oil finish bit. Just a light coat left
on for a few minutes and then wiped will highlight the grain and give most
of the darkening effect of the full process.
I do this and usually apply shellac the nex day with no problems.
I don't see much point in using a film-forming danish oil underneath
shellac. A plain tung oil blend, without the varnish, will highlight any
chattoyance that the timber has and will do it rather better than
danish. It'll also dry more quickly than danish oil. I'd use a shellac
over plain oil finish, but I'd still use the two steps.
OTOH, just try the damned thing and see what the results are like - it's
the only real way to tell.
By archival I mean that I need to seal the wood so that no acid can
reach the paper and artwork in the frame. Historically the best sealer
has been shellac and thus my final coat has always been shellac.
As for trying various combinations, I have been doing that for quite
some time. The intent of my post was to get more viewpoints.
Thanks to everyone who has responded, this is a very helpful group.
On Fri, 02 Dec 2005 10:02:29 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm, Mike
Mikey, you need to learn Rule #1 about finishing:
DON'T RUSH IT!
The Watco will pop the grain so the wood has DEPTH.
The shellac will seal it.
Both are necessary AFAIC.
Just Do It!
For a quicker combination product, try www.Waterlox.com and get the
Original (not the damned poly.) It rubs on nicely, dries quickly, and
doesn't need to be rubbed off.
The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient
while nature cures the disease. --Voltaire (1694-1778)
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