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Thread: Mesquite turning question

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

    Mesquite turning question

    I have some mesquite that a local gardner gave me. Nice wood but i turned some of it the past couple days and noticed that it has a very open type grain to it. Did a couple test type finishes and im not real thrilled about either of them so i thought i would see what everyone else is doing or what has worked for you in the past.
    Test 1 - after finish sanding i put a couple coats of antique oil on and wet sanded each coat in well - thinking the slurry that is created would seal up the pores in the wood. After the second coat dried i lightly sanded it down again with 400 grit then let dry for a week and buffed using white diamond and carnuba finish. It looks kinda foggy or dull under the finish but shined up well.
    Test 2 - After finish sanding and not wet sanding at all, I put about 5-6 coats of semi gloss laquer on it until i could see that the surface was smoot without the pores showing. Then just buffed with Carnuba. Shined up nicely but still not real happy with the finish - still looking a bit dull
    I couldnt post pics as my camera software is causing me issues....

    Anyway thought i would see what others do when they finish there projects with this kind of wood or any other..........

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    I have turned a good number of mesquite pieces. I have not had a problem with Antique Oil finish. I put 3 coats or so on and buff after curing for a couple of weeks. One thing I don't do is buff with carnuba wax. If I use a wax it is Renaissance wax. I also use gloss lacquer and don't buff. I generally put on 5 to 7 light coats. Gloss Waterlox is my favorite to use on it and 2 or 3 coats. I don't buff it either. The big thing is to let these finishes dry/cure some say a week but I let mine cure for two and some pieces I don't buff because from experience come out looking bad.
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Dan, I suspect that Test #1 came out foggy due to A) the wet-sanded slurry, and B) the white diamond buff, and Test #2 came out dull because you used semi-gloss lacquer.

    If you want to fill the pores, I'd suggest a few coats of lacquer sanding sealer, sanded between coats as directed on the can, followed by a few coats of gloss lacquer. You can always turn a gloss finish into semi-gloss or satin, but you'll never get a glossy finish out of semi-gloss or satin lacquer.

    If you want a more natural look and feel (with the more open pores), I'd go with Antique Oil, minus the wet slurry sanding.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Dan, I have turned a lot of mesquite but ours here is referred to as "Honey Mesquite" and I do not find in particularly open grain. Compared to pecan it is closed grain. I use a lot of danish oil on my mesquite pieces applied with very fine wet or dry paper and it works very well. Not sure if there is a drastic difference between species but could be.

    Good Luck


  5. #5
    I just wish I had some mesquite to turn..
    Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it
    still sings!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Palm Springs, Ca
    Thanks im going to try some of the suggestions mentioned

    I would think that buffing a Antique oil finish is not such a good idea unless your just using the wax and buffing. I would think the white diamond would cut thru the finish easily..........thanks Dan

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