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Finishing - Hard to start

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SteveB43

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So you spend hours, weeks sometimes in the design and build stage, researching a piece of furniture, working out the joints, then slowly and carefully constructing a masterpiece, until one day you're left with an object, the envy of all your fellows, sitting in the workshop, bare...

..then totally ruin it by a complete mess of a finish... :oops:
Arghhh...

There are courses a plenty on building the stuff, why are there none on finishing...
I'm seeing this as a skill in it's own right, and, like the last lap of a marathon one that's sometimes incredibly hard to build up the enthusiasm for, ...
any commiserations, tips, advice strong or otherwise always welcome..
(nice to get past a finish that does'nt say Ronseal on the tin...)
 

Dodge

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Alot of people think that finishing your work is a real "Dark Art"

Not the case - there are several easy ways of finishing timber to provide a really good finish which are easy peasy.

Give me a bell if you want me to talk you through a couple - my numbers on my website

Cheers

Rog
 

Harbo

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Again depends what finish you are after but Hard Wax Oils by Osmo and Chestnut and Sam Maloof's mixture are easy to apply.


Rod
 

SteveB43

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Hi All,
Thanks for the comments back and offers of support, Sorry Glasgow is a bit too far, and you would thinkl being in London, there would be a dearth of courses, sadly not, elfnsafety mean most councils will run to basket weaving and no further...
Most of the finishing I've done to date have been on my 'training' pieces, which means Pine and following Rico 'Salvager' Daniel's approach with stains, waxes and the old fave, a few soda crystals in water to open up the grain...
I'm starting to tinker with hardwoods and would like to start with shellacs and polishing...
Maybe it's a case of as with developing build skills, try and see what works first...
 

Hudson Carpentry

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The key to a good polished finish is hard work. I have little experience with shellacs but a polished finish follow below.

Sanding down to 240g before applying anything is fairly a must, 120g on some hardwood would be fine but I always go down to 240g regardless.
Sanding sealer applied evenly with a brush, pad or cloth then a quick sand with 240g again.
Another coat of sanding sealer and then sand with 240g again.

Apply colouring if required. If its a wax use 0000 wire wool (if not oak) to apply it saves sanding after. If not make sure you sand with 240g after, just a quick hand sand is find. Its also important not to create heat patches as this could effect the polish (same with shellac I believe) and create noticeable patches.

Now the polishing. The key is to apply many thin coats rather than a few thick coats. Apply the polish with a lint free cloth but hold the cloth in a way where it creates a cushion like tort surface. Apply evenly and sand between coats with 0000 wire wool. Start applying the 3rd coat in circular motions to buff the surface at the same time. Keep going until desired shine is nearly reached then buff the surface dry but do not create heat spots.
 

MIGNAL

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I'm surprised that more woodworkers don't use Spirit Varnish (basically shellac) brushed on. It's quite possible to get it extremely close to a French Polished surface and it's actual application is very quick. Drying/hardening time can be lengthy so perhaps not for those who are in a hurry.
 

houtslager

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Well, imho most cabinet makers hate finishing and sub it out even DC and DS have done that.

First thing to consider in the design process is the FINISH, then the rest comes after that, why then you can decide on the type of finish is suitable for the end user to maintain. Often when I FP a piece I let the EU decide on the shine if they wish I then wax it and leave a small jar for them to use ONCE A YEAR on it.

For other finishes used - two pack spray, one pack spray/brush/ragged on, sometimes nowt just bare wood rubbed with shavings.

As to your present problem, it would help to know what is it you've just made, what it will be used for then I or someone else can help you further with the right finish to use and apply.

sorry for the long winded reply,

hth.

k
 
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