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Thread: Finishing questions on bowls

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Palm Springs, Ca
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    1,167

    Finishing questions on bowls

    I have been finishing my bowls more or less in the following way:
    1-after finish sanding i apply 2-3 coats of Danish oil and rub each coat down
    after a bit of time to soak
    2- 24hrs to dry well and then apply by hand a coat of Danish/turp/varnish
    mix 1/3 ea. each coat drys 2 days and is scuffed down with 3m or 0000
    steel wool before the other coat. Total coats 3-4 depending on the look. I
    usually dont do anything to the last coat.

    Question: I was reading where someone had done similar finishing but on the last coat they used 0000 and then applied a good wax by hand, let it dry 15min or so and buffed it by hand with lambs wool or something like that.
    The finish with a good varnish seems to look fine so why would someone take the finish down one final time and apply a wax coat ???

    Another method i have used is if the turnings are small i submerge the turning in a container of oil (Danish) for a day or two and then dry well and wipe down....when totally dry i start the finishing as i described above....i usually let the submerged turning dry for several days before i touch it with any finish. I have used BLO and done the same as well as experimented with other oils to soak and they do turn out well.

    My next step is to start using my airbrush to try Laquer over the soaked bowls...........

    Any thoughts ?? How is everybody else finishing there bowls ??

    Thanks Dan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    112
    Lately I've been doing several coats of Danish only. Maybe with a light 3 wheel buff (tripoli, white diamond, wax) which does seem to add a little more sheen. I've tried a couple with an Arm-r-seal topcoat (or 2) and I think they are just a little too shiny, almost plastic looking, BUT, my wife loves that look. I have not tried lacquer over oil. I used to use a lot of Deft brush on lacquer applied with a rag on the lathe, but I seem to get a little more pop out of the grain with the oil.

    What does the 1/3 mix for the last coat do that another coat of Danish would not?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
    Posts
    4,834
    For me depends on if the bowl is going to be used for food or decorative. If for food I use General Finishes Seal-A-Cell followed by Arm-R-Seal. The other finish I use is Minwax Antique oil for food bowls putting on 3 coats. I don't see any reason to put anything over the top.

    The finish I use for decorative bowls is to submerge bowls in Antique oil but don't see any reason after 2 or 3 soaking coats to put any other finish over the top of this. IMHO I really don't see any benefit in doing that. I just buff and it's done.

    As for lacquer I use it on small turnings such as ornaments, mini birdhouses, lidded boxes, bottle stoppers, etc.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Posts
    336
    I think I've tried every finish under the sun. Here lately, I've reverted back to Danish Oil and Beall buff for bowls and HF's, Minwax wipe-on poly or rattle can lacquer for smaller stuff.

    But, I reserve the right to change again if the whimsy strikes me.
    Cody


  5. #5
    I am a newbe but i use milands high friction poish followed with carnuba wax. is this enough or am i missing something? my way seems fast and i get a real nice shine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,008
    Ralph, the Myland's is a nice finish, but it's not as durable as a lot of other finishes, especially in a bowl that might be exposed to liquids. The wax helps (there's also wax in the Myland's), but it's still not a durable as the other common film finishes like poly, lacquer, or wipe-on oil/varnish mixes like Danish Oil or Antique Oil.

    Dan (and Ralph, too), if you like the way your bowls are coming out now, stick with what works. On the other hand, it can never hurt to experiment to see if you find something you like better. Like some of the other guys, I've tried a lot of different ones, and change things up from time to time depending on the wood and the expected use.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
    Posts
    4,834
    Ralph I agree with Vaughn. Mylands is a good initial finish but with bowls won't last especially if used for foods or handled a lot. These shellac based finishes or waxes do not hold up for very long at all. The initial shine is great but after handling and time they will fade.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

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