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Finishing burr walnut panels

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Doingupthehouse

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Hi,

I've just had my first attempt at hammer veneering a couple of panels -bookmatched burr walnut over plywood. I'm now trying to decide how to finish them. I'd obviously like to pop the grain as much as possible – which would suggest an oil finish – but I feel i would be better using a grain-filler first (although the hide glue seems to have filled a lot of the pores). I'm thinking shelac sanding sealer followed by a good quality traditional varnish, maybe Epifanes, as I'm familiar with it.

I don't want anything too glossy as they're going to be set in ash frames finished with Osmo Raw.

Any suggestions as to what's best in this scenario?

Thanks
Siimon
 

Blackswanwood

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I would use Skelton Saws Peacock Oil which will make the grain pop and then Alfie Shine Hardwax. You won’t need fill the grain.
 

Doingupthehouse

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Thanks for that interesting suggestion. The Peacock oil seems a little spendy, but I would guess a little would go a long way. Have heard many good things about Alfie Shine so maybe I’ll look into this combination.

Thanks
Simon
 

ED65

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Gah, I wish I hadn't just gone and read the marketing blurb for Peacock Oil for the first time!

Doingupthehouse":23jqqzr0 said:
I'd obviously like to pop the grain as much as possible – which would suggest an oil finish...
Yup, and within reason it may not matter much which one you use. Certainly higher price is no guarantee of increased benefit here (yes, direct dig at Peacock Oil :lol:).

If you really want maximum pop you may want to do a quick comparison using what you have in stock on a scrap of the veneer if you have it, or on a piece of highly figured wood if not, and see if you can see enough/any difference to favour one thing over another. If one of those things is Epifanes then obviously thin it enough to turn it into a penetrating finish.

IME pure oils win out at this, but the difference between them and diluted varnish and blended finishes like Danish oil (and Peacock Oil) can admittedly be small sometimes.

Doingupthehouse":23jqqzr0 said:
...but I feel i would be better using a grain-filler first (although the hide glue seems to have filled a lot of the pores). I'm thinking shelac sanding sealer ...
Shellac sanding sealer may not fill the grain much and anyway hide glue (diluted) would probably do a better job at it.
 

ED65

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Doingupthehouse":11lrr2am said:
Have heard many good things about Alfie Shine so maybe I’ll look into this combination.
FWIW you could make various waxes and wax/oil blends yourself quite easily. Formulas abound and many good old ones that have been retried by modern woodworkers are published online and in a few books.

The simplest version is just beeswax melted with some carnauba (or other hard wax), then let down with as much white spirit or turpentine as you want to get it to the consistency you prefer (no rules here, some prefer soft like butter on a warm day, some prefer something much stiffer). These days many are using a microcrysalline wax which can be as hard as a blend like the above in which case all you need to do is melt it and blend with the appropriate amount of spirits/turps, unless you want to add some colour so that it's not white.
 

Doingupthehouse

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ED65":2tdebbqo said:
FWIW you could make various waxes and wax/oil blends yourself quite easily. Formulas abound and many good old ones that have been retried by modern woodworkers are published online and in a few books.
I could do, but I get precious little time in the workshop as it is. I don’t use wax finishes very often, so spending a tenner on a tin of Alfie Shine isn’t too bad and would probably last me a good while.

Might well try some Polyx - as I’ve got some on the shelf - and see how that looks before splashing out on the Peacock Oil.

Simon
 

ED65

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Doingupthehouse":24forjxf said:
I could do, but I get precious little time in the workshop as it is.
Oh that's fine then since this is a kitchen job :D

I do get that buying in suits a lot of people with little free workshop time, you get a known quantity, etc. But just to give one example, I made some walnut oil/wax finish nearly exactly five years ago and I still have 3/4 of it left. Given my rate of use and how it ages the remainder will likely last me another decade. That's a good investment of half an hour I would have thought.
 

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