Gloss Finish on a Box

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JAW911

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My late father left his prized watch to my youngest son. My father bought the watch in 1941 with his first ever pay packet from the RAF and he kept it in perfect condition and working order ever since! Rather than just giving it to my son I thought I would make a watch box with the watch brand logo in brass inlaid into the lid. I have purchased a board of 10mm Wenge for the box and a board of 3mm Sycamore for the insert/lining. I was thinking of covering the box with clear epoxy resin but maybe this isn’t the best solution. Can anyone please suggest a way to create a clear gloss coating that will seal the whole box and brass inlay etc? I really don’t want to invest in sprayers/compressor as I would have no further use for these.
 

TheTiddles

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Epoxy would do that, but it’s a bit of a cheap look. Oil onto wenge would be better and that brass will tarnish but if you want a material not to tarnish, brass isn’t it, plastic coating works but then you’re back to shiny overcoats
 

Ollie78

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I agree with The Tiddles about epoxy or thick polyurethane looking a bit cheap. Maybe nitrocellulose if you can still get it in a spray can? still maybe too shiny.
The finest finish for this type of thing is probably pale Shellac but its a bit labour intensive to build it up nicely. I like to build it up pretty thick and then flat it back with really fine wet and dry paper for a deep satin but it takes flippin ages.
Wenge is really open grained so you will probably need some level of sanding sealer to fill the pores whatever you do and sycamore can yellow a lot with certain finishes.
Experiment on offcuts.

I might be inclined to oil it and let the brass patina.

Ollie
 

JAW911

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Thank you both. When you say ‘oil’ I would normally use Osmo Polyx but have only really used satin on oak. I note they also do a ‘glossy’ - would that work? Brass patina would be acceptable.
 

TheTiddles

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A hard wax oil would be one option, or liberon finishing oil etc…
F06F8054-4378-4CA9-BD03-8CC2C8136EE0.jpeg
09138F3A-D6E4-40C0-84EB-F4CCB56C150E.jpeg

I think this was shellac then wax, but ebony and walnut are closed grain so more suitable for that.
 

JAW911

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I have had a practice at inlaying the brass logo into an offcut of the Wenge I have used to make the box. Whilst the finished effect looks great, up close there are small chips missing on a couple of the sharp angles (it is a very brittle wood!). What is the best way to fill these please? Sanding dust mixed with CA glue? Or mixed with Titebond? All suggestions welcomed please..... Also I was intending to cut the recess deeper than the thickness of the brass so that I sand the wood down to the brass logo rather than the other way round as I want to avoid brass dust getting in the dark Wenge grain. Any other way to avoid this?
 

recipio

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The black lacquer sticks available from Liberon are very good at running into small cracks and virtually invisible. If you check out 'Manor Wood' on the Tube he uses black hot melt glue but I haven't any experience of it.
 

JAW911

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Thank you for the Liberon suggestion - Great video on Japanning, a bit beyond my capabilities!
 

TRITON

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Thank you for the Liberon suggestion - Great video on Japanning, a bit beyond my capabilities!
I beg to differ. It's not beyond your capabilities because its just a process of steps you work through.
Start with the base, bring that to a perfect surface using easy to learn techniques.Then you're laying on each coat one at a time.
I think the hardest part would be the brushwork.
I myself after sending a life in the meat trade did 4 years at college learning to design and make fine furniture.
At some point i covered french polishing, which is pretty much the same thing. The base, the layers, sanding back between each with very fine paper. Building layer upon layer. Time is all it took and a bit patience.
Japanning looks exact the same. Obviously you'll learn through trial and error what makes the surface glassy smooth, why streaks or lines occur and how to eliminate them.
And I watched 20 other students all cover the same thing. Folk from a range of economic and social backgrounds all in the end producing fine work.

So no, sorry, i dont believe you ;)
 

gasman

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Rustin's plastic coating always works well for me - you can get a proper mirror finish like this jewellery chest I made last year
Regards Mark
 

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JAW911

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Thank you for the vote of confidence Triton! Possibly for a future project but not enough time available for this one.
 
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