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By ratkinsonuk
#1198849
I’ve just glued up some ash boards for a small project I’m making. The boards aren’t particularly well colour matched, as one side is a slightly pinkish (heartwood?) colour.

I’m hoping to balance the colours out in the finish, but I’d like some advice. My plan is to use Rustin’s Clear Danish Oil. I’m hoping it will slightly darken the grain (even though it does say Clear). 3 or 4 coats of the DO, and then a couple of coats of clear Poly to give it a slightly tougher surface.

Anyone with experience of this product? Are there any other Danish oils you know of with a very light stain in them – I don’t want to lose the nice white natural colour of the ash if I can help it?

Cheers, Rat
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By custard
#1198861
I like Ash as a timber, but finishing Ash isn't easy.

Any oil based product will turn Ash the same nicotine yellow colour as a smoker's fingers.

The grain pores on Ash are very open. Unless you use a grain filler it will eventually become packed with dirty household grime. I used to think this only applied in the old days of open coal fires, but it's equally true in modern centrally heated homes.

I'd suggest a water based transparent grain filler like AquaCoat (not cheap unfortunately) followed by either an Osmo white tinted finish or a water based poly varnish.

Here's three different Osmo white tinted finishes on Birch, the "Transparent Oil" is effectively neutral with just enough tint to compensate for the yellowing.

Osmo-White.jpg
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By ratkinsonuk
#1198865
Thanks Custard.

If I went with 5 coats of a water based clear Poly without applying any other finishes, do you think it would come out the same tint as the second section (from the left) in your image? I'd like just enough to bring the grain out and give it a lustre without starting to yellow it.
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By custard
#1198868
ratkinsonuk wrote:Thanks Custard.

If I went with 5 coats of a water based clear Poly without applying any other finishes, do you think it would come out the same tint as the second section (from the left) in your image? I'd like just enough to bring the grain out and give it a lustre without starting to yellow it.


Close enough, why not try it on some scrap?

Incidentally, five coats is too many for protection but not enough for grain filling, personally I'd abandon any notion of grain filling with poly varnish and just use two or three coats.

Good luck!
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By custard
#1198903
ratkinsonuk wrote:Let's just say, I love the shine :lol:


Then you're in luck. I tend to go for more matt finishes and water based poly varnish in matt isn't all that great. It's not absolutely terrible, it's just that the flatting agents tend to make it softer, so over time normal household polishing will burnish the surface and cause patchiness, ie shine on the edges and high spots, matt on the flats and in the hollows.
By ScottGoddard
#1198909
Reading this out of interest as i did put Danish oil on Ash... :( (it didn't happen on my test piece). You (Hopefully) can see some yellowing, its not too bad, so ill leave it for now.

IMG_0837.JPG
IMG_0837.JPG (47.93 KiB) Viewed 507 times
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By custard
#1198914
ratkinsonuk wrote:Out of the more common hardwoods, i.e. cheap, which ones take Danish Oil better/best?

Rat


I've used DO often on Oak which it compliments well. On Walnut (Black or European) many consider the slight yellowing from DO a good thing as it warms up what are otherwise very cool toned timbers, but Walnut is now well over £100 a cubic foot so I guess it couldn't be considered cheap. Iroko isn't expensive and takes DO quite well as long as your particular boards aren't exceptionally oily, but Iroko isn't everyone's cup of tea as a furniture timber and it's often awkward to work.

Oak's the stand out candidate.

Looked at from the opposite perspective, IMO Beech, Poplar, Sycamore, Maple, and Sweet Chestnut all look like crepe with DO or oil based varnish.
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By custard
#1198917
ScottGoddard wrote:Reading this out of interest as i did put Danish oil on Ash


It looks like those particular components of Ash have flashes of "Olive Ash" in them, not uncommon with Ash. DO might actually help unify the overall piece. I've got several cubic feet of spectacularly rippled Ash in the timber store, but it also has Olive flashes, if and when a client commissions any furniture from it I might consider an oil based finish for just this reason.