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 Post subject: Wax with Festool Vlies
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2018, 12:22 
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Hi,

I've been watching several YouTube videos by Dave Stanton based in Australia. He has some really good ideas, one of which is how he applies wax to achieve a great finish.

He sands to 120/180 and then applies Triple EEE Wax, followed by a sanding with Festool Vlies. The result can be almost like a mirror finish. As far as I understand the Vlies is an abrasive disc but equivalent to 320 and 800 grit - it polishes more than sands. And the Triple EEE also has a mild abrasive nature.

Has anyone tried this in the UK? If so, which wax would be suitable, Triple EEE doesn't look available in the UK, so would Osmo PolyX Wax Oil have the same affect or even Briwax?

The finishing side of things is all new to me, so looking for advice on how to get different finishes for different projects.

I am working one some drawers at the moment with Mango Wood fronts to match a table we already have. I want to finish these to a matt/satin finish - so looking for advice on this as well.

I appreciate this is two different questions, but may was well ask them both at once.

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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2018, 14:43 
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Monions2112 wrote:
He sands to 120/180 and then applies Triple EEE Wax, followed by a sanding with Festool Vlies. The result can be almost like a mirror finish. As far as I understand the Vlies is an abrasive disc but equivalent to 320 and 800 grit - it polishes more than sands. And the Triple EEE also has a mild abrasive nature.


Waxing onto bare wood won't give you a high gloss no matter what wax you use. A high gloss with wax is achievable, but you need a base coat of something like shellac sanding sealer followed by a hard wax rather than a paste wax. As far as I know hard waxes are no longer available commercially, so you'll have to brew your own. Manglitter has a project on the go using a product I'm not familiar with called Alfie Wax, which bills itself as a hard wax. I've recently sent him some of the traditional hard wax that I brew up so he can run a side by side comparison, it will be interesting to hear his thoughts after he's experimented with both.

Osmo is a great product with many advantages, but high gloss isn't one of them. In fact Osmo has a very compressed gloss range, their matt products aren't particularly matt, and their gloss variants aren't particularly glossy.

Adding tripoli powder to wax isn't an innovation new to EEE, antique restorers have done it for years. In small quantities it helps burnish the undercoat, in large quantities it replicates that "dusty wax" look you get in crevices and quirks of old furniture.

If you want a high gloss without too much technicalities then try wax over sanding sealer, ideally a hard wax, or try burnishing after varnishing or burnishing after multiple coats of a wiping varnish.


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2018, 15:34 
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There are always people trying to push finishes to their limits. And sometimes (more commonly these days I suspect) beyond their limits.

If you want to achieve a super glossy finish for something like a tabletop there are better ways of achieving it than using wax alone. Better in all ways: glossier, tougher and more hard-wearing, much more resistant to water and other liquids. Most other methods will probably take longer to do, but that's a small price to pay I feel for a greatly superior finish.

Wax has long been used as a polish. And it's great polish. It's arguably the best thing you can use to protect finished woodwork. But that's the catch, the wood should really already be finished, you're not actually using the wax as the final finish the wax is there as a (if necessary sacrificial) surface glossy coating.

Monions2112 wrote:
I am working one some drawers at the moment with Mango Wood fronts to match a table we already have. I want to finish these to a matt/satin finish - so looking for advice on this as well.
Any particular colour desires here? Mango wood is usually quite pale, do you mind if the finish makes the wood more yellow? All finishes that contain oil will impart at least a slight yellow/amber tinge to the wood and this will usually slowly deepen with time.

Monions2112 wrote:
The finishing side of things is all new to me, so looking for advice on how to get different finishes for different projects.
Well worth hitting the books then rather than trying to pick up information piecemeal online. Even if all the information you get is good (which there's no guarantee of naturally) it might still conflict, which can lead to confusion and false starts.

Head to you local library and see how many books they have on wood finishing, or are available via inter-library loan. If you're lucky you'll have easy access to a couple by Bob Flexner or Michael Dresdner and you can drink in their views undiluted.

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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2018, 18:41 
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Incidentally, I'm typing this at a desk I made from a waney edged slab of highly figured Wild Mango. Osmo finish.

Attachment:
Mango-1.jpg
Mango-1.jpg [ 106.28 KiB | Viewed 162 times ]


Attachment:
Mango-2.jpg
Mango-2.jpg [ 107.03 KiB | Viewed 162 times ]


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2018, 19:11 
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custard wrote:

If you want a high gloss without too much technicalities then try wax over sanding sealer, ideally a hard wax, or try burnishing after varnishing or burnishing after multiple coats of a wiping varnish.


Custard, I'm interested in what wax you are referencing as a Hard Wax in this thread, I've only ever used Carnauba amongst the 'natural' waxes but do have distant memories of compounds many years ago that melted at high temperatures but were rock hard in set form that were floating about in the 'war surplus' markets, whether these were natural or 'manufactured' I've no idea.

As you say in the above quote See page 5 of this leaflet Carnauba gives a reasonably high shine.

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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2018, 20:00 
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Go back to the 70's or 80's and one of the most popular home finishes was shellac sanding sealer followed by a coat or two of hard wax. It gave nearly the same brilliance as french polish, but with only a fraction of the time and skill required. However, in the intervening years high gloss finishes declined in popularity, the few sources of ready made hard waxes disappeared, people expected tougher and lower maintenance finishes, and I guess fewer and fewer woodworkers had a double boiler handy to brew their own waxes. Anyhow, whatever the reason, today you hardly ever hear of it.

It's not the most robust finish (although it's easy enough to repair), however it is non yellowing on pale timbers which is a huge advantage, so it probably deserves to be better known.

You can do the job with paste wax, but personally I think there's a lot to be said for the brilliance you only get from a proper hard wax.

I was taught finishing by an antique restorer called Bruce Luckhurst, he recommended brewing hard wax with shellac wax (the by product from de-waxing shellac flakes), but that's almost unobtainable today and in any event I've compared hard waxes side by side made from both shellac wax and carnauba wax, and there's little if anything between them.

The biggest problem with a hard wax (other than actually making it for yourself) is that the application is far harder, especially on large surfaces. A turner can use carnauba wax direct on the lather, utilising friction, but for furniture making that's not an option. Personally I use a rag dampened with white spirit, work a square foot or so at a time, then buff for Britain.


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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2018, 12:45 
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Thank you for all the suggestions - looks like I have a lot of reading and testing to do.

Custard - those Mango surfaces look fantastic. I've included a photo of the cabinet top I am creating drawers for. It's a matt/flat satin finish, so I think Osmo PolyX will probably do just fine on it. I am considering using one of the Osmo tints to darken the drawer fronts if needed - but won't know that until I get the mango wood. I'm not attempting to get a perfect match, so may go with a lighter finish on the drawer fronts to create a contrast.


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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2018, 13:50 
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Monions2112 wrote:
I think Osmo PolyX will probably do just fine on it.


I agree. You can get away with murder when it comes to matching a horizontal surface to a vertical surface.


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