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Finishing Ziricote - HELP

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nugget

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Hi

I'm having some troubles finishing some nice ziricote (had similar issues with rio rosewood previously) I'm not experienced with different finishes so maybe (hopefully) the answer is easy???

I'm trying to finish just to seal the wood rather than the normal high gloss I'm used to but things I've tried just darken the wood too much making the grain undefined and a bit mushy looking blending in the different colours into one. I've used shelac sanding sealer before with great success on lighter woods which really brings out the grain and also linsead oil but both these ruin the look of the wood, which is beautiful before finishing.

Sorry if this is a stupid question, I didn't want to go spending loads on different finishes to try unless I have to so any help is greatly appreciated

Thanks
Dave
 

nugget

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Renaissance wax???? anyone tried it? Dont need it to be waterproof just light handling
 

Sgian Dubh

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Cordia or zirocote shouldn't cause too many problems in the actual finishing procedures, but if you're finding it's getting too dark for your preference try a small sample with a water based varnish, the type you can buy at DIY places. Normally I'm not fond of water based finishes because they tend to give a bit of a cold appearance to the wood, and they often used to be a bit milky looking or have a slight blue cast to them. Nowadays you can buy some water based finishes with a shot of brown/red dye that you add to the mix to warm the varnish up a bit if so desired. But given what you've said, a water based varnish might work because on application they tend to change the original wood colour the least. Slainte.
 

woodbrains

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Hello,

Blond de-waxed shellac has to be the best bet IMHO. Thin it lots with meths to keep the finish as thin as possible i.e. negligible, a couple of coats, and then apply clear paste wax. I think water borne finishes are horrible and only use them in very limited circumstances. The solids content in these is high and builds up thickly, so adding too much artificiality and gets too far away from the natural look of the wood. Incidentally, the 'coldness' of these water bornes finishes has little to do with their lack of colour. The way light refracts through the film is different than through oil based varnishes and shellacs and does nothing to enhance the figure and depth in timber. On the other hand, oil varnish and shellac actually enhance the wood as their refractive indices are closer to that of the cell structure in the wood. I don't think blond shellac significantly darkens wood, but actually brings out it's true colour. If the piece is sandpapered, it might give the impression it is darkening, as the scuffed surface scatters the light and is not the real wood colour. If your wood is planed with a super sharp plane, the wood fibres are not torn and the light is reflected more evenly and you will notice it is already a few shades darker than sanded wood--closer to it's true colour.

Mike.
 

Jake

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woodbrains":340xugx0 said:
The solids content in these is high and builds up thickly, so adding too much artificiality and gets too far away from the natural look of the wood. Incidentally, the 'coldness' of these water bornes finishes has little to do with their lack of colour. The way light refracts through the film is different than through oil based varnishes and shellacs and does nothing to enhance the figure and depth in timber. On the other hand, oil varnish and shellac actually enhance the wood as their refractive indices are closer to that of the cell structure in the wood. I don't think blond shellac significantly darkens wood, but actually brings out it's true colour. If the piece is sandpapered, it might give the impression it is darkening, as the scuffed surface scatters the light and is not the real wood colour. If your wood is planed with a super sharp plane, the wood fibres are not torn and the light is reflected more evenly and you will notice it is already a few shades darker than sanded wood--closer to it's true colour.
This makes a whole load of sense if you start with the idea that a shellacked piece of hand-planed oak is the "true colour" of oak.

Take away the bootstrapping, and a levitation issue may become apparent.
 

woodbrains

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Jake":2mekir1r said:
This makes a whole load of sense if you start with the idea that a shellacked piece of hand-planed oak is the "true colour" of oak.

Take away the bootstrapping, and a levitation issue may become apparent.

Hello,

A cleanly cut surface is closest to the true colour of the wood we can get, the burnished surface left from a sharp cutting tool, whether it be a plane, carving gouge, drawknife, or whatever. Blond, de-waxed shellac has little colour and is applied so thinly as to minimise what little effect that has, to a negligible amount. What comes closer to the 'real' colour of the wood than this? Add the fact that the light refracted through the film is closest to how it would reach the eye directly from the wood cells themselves, I don't think we could get truer without leaving the wood untreated. And untreated wood would inevitably oxidise quicker and get dirtier, so the colour would not remain true for long, anyhow. It is all a matter of choice, but very few people prefer water borne varnish as far as appearence goes, it is primarily a tough finish where sacrificing natural appearence is a necessary evil. If you like plastic encapsulation of wood, it might be your thing.

Mike.
 

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