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Gill

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I'm cutting a portrait of Lord Nelson out of oak (what else! :) ) which I intend to back with mahogany. I've never made one of these before, so I'm open to suggestions as to the best way to finish it.



Gill
 

Gill

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Awwww guys.... come on! I didn't think it was that difficult a question.

Danish oil, perhaps?

I could ask on one of the American scrollsaw forums, but the products they suggest are often unavailable in the UK.

Gill
 

DaveL

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Gill,

Finishing is not my strong point, :oops: but I use finishing oil on most things these days. (I bought a big tin and am still working my way though it. :whistle: )
Brings out the grain and gives good protection, but then I don't think water resistance is high on your list of requirements. :roll: :wink:

I understand that finishing oil and danish oil are very similar.
 

Alf

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Sorry, Gill. Thought I'd take a break from airing my ignorance of finishing. :oops: Oil on oak is usually pretty effective, fwiw. Forgive the dumb question, but is the oak going on top of the mahogany in a sort of 3-D effect, leaving all those finicky bits (impressive, BTW :shock: ) on the top, unsupported? Or is this just a sort of thicker marquetry picture? If it's the former, you're going to have one heck of a time with any finish other than a spray one, aren't you? :-k But I've probably got the wrong end of the stick. :oops:

Cheers, Alf
 

Gill

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The idea is that there'll be a mahogany backer to the portrait, leaving the top proud and creating a 3-D effect. I could 'finish' the backer first, leaving the edges bare so that they can be glued where they come into contact with large areas of oak. However, that would leave some of the finer pieces of the portrait vulnerable if/when something hits them (and we all know about sod's law :roll: ).

I'd like to glue everything into place, then apply a finish. Of course, rubbing an oil in wouldn't be a good idea :shock: so it would have to be applied with a paint brush. Would this work? I've never used a finishing oil before and I'm a bit worried about it. I'm particularly concerned it might clog up some of the finer detail. That's my worry about using an aerosol, too.

Gill
 

Chris Knight

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Gill,

A finishing oil may clog up detail if it is as fine as you imply - by being worried about an aerosol. Not because the oil is thick but because on an open pored wood, it can bleed back out of the pores after application. Normally it is just wiped off on a plane surface before it polymerises (and if you don't do this the surface will feel moderately rough until it is sanded down) but you will not be able to get at the end grain very easily.

Can you cut a complex but small curve or two on a scrap to use as a test? I would be inclined to try and seal the wood a bit first with a few coats of brushed shellac (use pale blonde if you buy this ready made - alternatively make up a 1# cut) then spray with your favourite aerosol. However, YMM!
 

dedee

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Gill,
That is avery small and intricate piece - looks to be about 3"-4" high - it must make for high levels of concenetration on wood that thick.
Can't really help on the finishing side - like others I seem to use oil now on just about everthing but with such fine detail it may be difficult to apply.

Is that tube a dust blower or sucker. The standard blower on my Hegner anoyed me so much as it just blowed the dust in my face that I bought some of that fleible cooling pipe like this http://tinyurl.com/c7fsz. With a little filling it fits quite tightly onto the metal tube that clamps to the upper arm.

Andy
 

Terry Smart

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Hi Gill

I think some experimentation would be in order to make sure you get the finish you're looking for.

I know from a previous posting that you use aerosols and this could work; I'd suggest building up in very thin coats (just a dusting really) to get the finish you want. Using this method shouldn't give a build up problem. For sealing I'd use an aerosol sanding sealer (we just happen to produce a very good one).

An alternative could be to use a sealer of your choice then followed by a coat of paste wax; apply sparingly and then buff up using a fairly stiff brush (shoe brushes work although if you are going to do this a lot we also supply brushes which have a perfect bristle for this job, slightly stiffer than a shoe brush and are worth the investment). Using a brush to buff should remove any build up.

I've finished some scroll work for people before now and they've been happy with the results but never anything very intricate so again, I would recommend a little experimentation first!
 

Gill

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Thanks for some good advice all round. I suspect the biggest problems I'm facing with this piece are the use of an unfamiliar cutting technique, plus the fact that I've never tried a finishing oil before. It's a silly 'fear of the unkown' thing.

Anyway, I decided to look round our local DIY shed and see what sort of finishing products were available. There was nothing except either varnish or Colron Danish Oil. How I'd have liked to have seen some of the Chestnut products (or even generic shellac)! So I've cut a small section of waste wood and I'm using that as a test piece for the Danish oil. The instructions say to apply a thin coat, leave to dry for six hours, then repeat the process twice. If it comes out to my satisfaction, great! If not, I'll try the aerosol technique Terry describes; I might even drive over to a proper woodwork shop and see what they've got.

Andy, I tried to follow your link but it doesn't seem to be working for me. Could you check it out, please? The tube on my Hegner can be either a blower or a sucker, depending on how it's configured. At present, it's blowing, but if I was working MDF I'd have it hooked up to a vacuum. I find it to be an effective dust clearance system, albeit a bit primitive, and if you've got a more sophisticated setup I'd love to see it.

Gill
 

Adam

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Gill":2r7qf495 said:
The instructions say to apply a thin coat, leave to dry for six hours, then repeat the process twice. Gill
When I followed that technique, I found I got a horrible finish. At my evening class, taught by a cabinet maker, he suggested leaving it for 10mins absolute maximum, before removing all (by polishing with a dry lint free cloth) of it with a cloth. Sometimes, I oil it and polish away the excess immediately, repeating many times over and over. (but a maximum of 2 coats per day)

Leaving it for six hours was very non-satisfactory on a piece I did, and it annoys me every time I see it. When I buff off the excess, it comes up almost glossy straigth away.

Just a few thoughts from me, given its not following the instructions at all, please completely ignore all the above!!!

Adam

*With the above technique, you get a succession of super thin coats, and it doesn't overpower a very delicate piece.
 

Taffy Turner

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I would agree with Adam on this one. I use Danish oil to finish a lot of my turned items, and I find that if I apply a coat and then wait six hours, it dries with a horrible, rough texture, that I have to cut back with grey Webrax. However, if I apply a coat, wait five minutes and then buff off with a rag, I get a much smoother finish that does not require cutting back. Obviously several coats are required, but a much better results are achievable this way, IMHO.

Gary
 

Terry Smart

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Interesting comments! I've just double checked our label for Finishing Oil (our version of Danish Oil) and we suggest wiping the surplus oil off the surface after a couple of minutes. I rather thought the Rustins version suggested the same but I am willing to be corrected on that one!
 

Alf

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Terry Smart":1s530zo9 said:
I rather thought the Rustins version suggested the same but I am willing to be corrected on that one!
I've got some Rustins Danish Oil here; I'll have a look- ah, I forgot. I had to decant it out of their :-# tin into an unmarked bottle, didn't I...? ](*,) :roll: :lol:

But as it happens, the info's on their site. And it does say a few minutes.

But wait, Gill bought Colron Danish Oil. But their website is so ghastly I can't find anything. :roll: Edit: Found it. I think we may have a slight misunderstanding here...

Cheers, Alf
 

Terry Smart

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That comment just made me have to look at the Colron site...

The very scant information they give on Danish Oil doesn't include the safety bit about disposing of used rags. This has already been done to death here but just in case... be careful! Used cloths should be either laid flat to dry or stored in an airtight glass jar; this product can spontaneously combust.

Sorry, I couldn't stop myself pointing this out!
 

dedee

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Gill,
not sure what happened to my link. I'll take a picture when I get home and post tomorrow.

Andy
 

Gill

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I see what you guys mean about the oil producing a coarse finish if you leave it on too long. However, I've tried wiping some off after five minutes and the finish is much more pleasing. I think that's the way ahead :) .

In fairness to Colron, there is a warning on the back of the tin that rags used to apply the product should be disposed of carefully because of a propensity to spontaneous combustion :shock: ! Since I'm applying it with brushes which I then wash immediately in warm, soapy water that shouldn't be too much of a hazard. Famous last words ;) .

I've been pondering on how to get surplus oil out of the fine blade cuts and decided to try dental tape! I'll let you know how I get on.

Gill
 

Chris Knight

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Gill,

Unwaxed floss might be better? (The tape I've had always seems to be heavily coated in some sort of wax or polymer).
 

tim

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Gill,

Looking good - but what have you done with his heart of oak!

All the above advice seems to be good and I am not a finishing expert by any means but I want to pick up on something that no one has yet mentioned (that I can see) except you in passing.

I would have thought that one of the more tricky probs you are likely to encounter is with the glue - gluing up after finishing may make adhesion tricky - even with some bare edges and finishing after gluing will mean oil potentially enhancing the squeeze out (as just happened to me on a project! :x ). I don't have a solution but maybe someone else can suggest?

Good luck with it - will it be ready for 21st October? England 1 France 0!

Cheers

Tim

Thursday's toast: "To wives and sweethearts - may they never meet!"
 

Alf

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tim":45v8n73a said:
Good luck with it - will it be ready for 21st October? England 1 France 0!
Tsk, and you a Naval man. Forgetting the Spanish methinks? [-X

Cheers, Alf
 

tim

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Alf":3loq4ynp said:
Forgetting the Spanish methinks?
Not really. Admiral Gravina and the Cadiz Fleet were under Admiral Villeneuve's command and flag - therefore technically French.

So many military history lessons spent staring out of the window and by a miracle something went in an ear and stuck!

Anyway, I like the Spanish.

Cheers

Tim
 
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