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What finish for Spalted Beech box?

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Weasel Howlett

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Hi chaps,

After many months since my last one I had a go at turning a box tonight and while i think it went quite well I don't really know how to finish it to get the best results. I know some of you turn this sort of thing all the time so thought i'd ask your advice.

As it will be handled should i use Wax? Oil? Sandsealer? Im thinking sandsealer then wax but I've not realy used sandsealer much so am unshure of how to aproach it. any suggestions?

Many thanks


 

Spindle

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Hi

Sanding sealer followed by wax will be fine. The issue with spalted beech is it's greatly varying degree of porosity, some areas will be fine after just one coat of sanding sealer, others may take several before the grain is sealed and filled. Apply light coats and sand each back gently once dry until you achieve an acceptable uniform surface finish then apply wax. When sanding use light pressure and a slow speed to prevent the dust getting hot and clogging the abrasive.

Nice box by the way :)

Regards Mick
 

chipmunk

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If you can use Microcrystalline or Rennaissance wax rather than normal beeswax/carnuba blend then the box will not finger mark as easily and it'll stay shinier longer.

This wax is a little less easy to use because it takes longer for the solvent to evapourate but it's worth it.
HTH
Jon
 

CHJ

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Flood well with cellulose sanding sealer, as mentioned keep applying to soft areas until it will absorb no more.
Burnish final sealer coat as it dries with the piece rotating if possible, this should give you a hard glossy surface.
Gently denib with fine Nyweb if you have it rather than sanding, the white non abrasive type is ideal, to avoid removing detail.

And as recommended use a micro-crystalline wax for something that is going to get handled a lot, Carnauba is the next best as it won't melt and dull at hand temperature as beeswax will but that is not easy to apply to something with detail if you don't have buffing mops.


When you are working items such as this, where you are changing holding methods to finish, give a thought to finishing each stage as you go at least to the sealing level if not final polish. Removes all those difficult 'how am I going to remount that' problems & highlights any sanding/tooling marks before you demount.
Don't worry about blending in sealer edges if they overlap later as long as you dry/blend as it's drying you won't see the join so to speak.
 
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