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A question for Terry

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Taffy Turner

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Terry,

What would you recommend as a suitable finish for burr oak and burr elm?

I have a 12"dia by 3" thick blank of each, which I plan to turn over the Christmas holiday. I have not turned any burr material before, and don't know what to finish them with.

Both blanks have a degree of fissures in them, and I am afraid to use wax as I don't want it to build up in the fissures.

I would go with Danish oil, but I was hoping for a more glossy finish to show of the character of the timber to it's best.

Any suggestions?

Regards
Gary
 

Terry Smart

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Hi Gary

I'm not an expert on finishing burrs so if I make any mistakes in this post I hope someone will dive in and correct me...

The wax idea shouldn't necessarily be discounted straight away. Careful application should prevent too much of a build up and if you polish the wax using a firm brush (a shoe brush or better yet one of the brushes we supply) this should remove any surplus wax. You should also be able to get a higher shine with a brush.

Althernatively, perhaps one of our aerosol lacquers might be an idea. I'm not sure if you're asking how to finish the 'outside' or the inside of the burr, but the aerosols will be ideal for both. I've seen this done on a number of occasions with great effect. Generally the satin is used on the outside for a subtle effect (achieving a gloss on the outside without making it look like plastic is virtually impossible!) and the gloss can be used on the inside for a high gloss finish.
Alternatively the satin on the outside and wax inside.

Another option for the inside would be Danish/Finishing Oil to start, as many coats as you care to apply (within reason!) followed by a good wax. Oil and wax shouldn't mix but no-one has told them that!

I hope this gives you some ideas... please feel free to come back if you need more information on any of the above or if I haven't covered an area you particularly wanted to know about.
 

Taffy Turner

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Thanks for that Terry.

I may well go with the wax and use a brush to buff it up.

I have never tried this before - I always use a rag to polish with, which tends to push the wax into any fissures.

Regards

Gary
 

Midnight

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FWIW... the biggest elm project I've built to date was finished with wax, burrs and all... finish looks awsome and is very nearly imprevious to SWMBO too... any damage is eassily fixed in a couple of minutes; the leactures after take wayyyyyy longer... :twisted:
 

Taffy Turner

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Terry,

Just ordered some Chestnut Wax and a buffing brush from Axminster.

Presumably I use shellac sanding sealer first, and then when it is dry, apply the wax, wait 10 mins and then buff with the brush?

I will let you know how it comes out. I will post a picture if I can borrow a digital camera from a friend.
 

Terry Smart

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Hi Gary

To a large extent, yes.

Any of our sealers can be used with the wax then sanded where possible.
The wax is very quick drying and only needs about 30 seconds to dry before polishing. Some waxes are based on different solvents and need longer and some will say that even ours benefits from being left longer; we feel that it is easier to buff if done so quickly. If it is left too long it can dry very hard which is much harder to get to a shine. Using the brush should make this a lot easier even if the wax has been left longer to dry.

Look forward to seeing the finished result!
 

Alf

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Terry Smart":3vo5j1g3 said:
The wax is very quick drying and only needs about 30 seconds to dry before polishing.
Gosh, really? Just as well you said that 'cos I just bought my first tin today and it's highly unlikely I would have read the blurb on the side.


Cheers, Alf
 

Terry Smart

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And there's us agonising over the wording on such things!
 

Terry Smart

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lol

Mind you, I'm the first to say that our instructions both verbal and printed should be treated more as guidelines. We've often found that people find their own, personal favourite method of using our products which is fine by us.
There's nothing I hate more than seeing people in print stating something to the effect of 'this is the way you must do this job'. Very rarely is that the case, there are a few golden rules of finishing that should not be ignored but other than those experimentation is ok!
 
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