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Thread: Finishing end grain

  1. #1
    Matt Dunlap Guest

    Finishing end grain

    .....
    Last edited by Matt Dunlap; 03-31-2008 at 06:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    I could say sand, fill, and finish, just like any other piece of furniture, but if you have one shot at a show piece and it is only a couple inches long, wouldn't it be worth redoing the business card holder to show the wood grain better?
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  3. #3
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    If you are trying to keep the end grain color close to the face grain, then you can apply a coat of water down glue to the end grain before finish is applied.

  4. #4
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    Matt, I like the look of those holders. Tung oil has a tends to look nice on darker wood. Maybe you can try it on some scraps.

  5. #5
    Bob Wiggins is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Dunlap View Post
    Here's a couple of pictures of work in progress. I've sanded using 60, 80, 100, 120 and 150 grit. Still need to sand 180, 220 and maybe 300 grit.

    Attachment 4981Attachment 4982

    Because of the design, I have lots of end grain that needs to be finished and looking good. Some thoughts I've had so far is Tung oil or that Dutch stuff (suffering from CRS right now).

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks for looking
    That's a great looking card holder and I can see why someone jumped on it for $30.
    Sanding - I believe I would go to the 300 grit on the front and sand from bottom to top only. This single stroke sanding will lay the end grain fibers all in the upward direction.

  6. #6
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    Matt, I had good results sealing the end grain on cherry using Zinsser’s Bulls Eye SealCoat, thinned 50/50 with Naphtha. It is also a good idea to burnish the end grain with fine emery paper – I took it to 400, but I'm a little anal.
    "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a
    friend...if you have one."
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    "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second..if there is
    one."
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  7. #7
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    Matt, nice design....
    As you know, end grain absorbs more and can get very dark. Even if it's smooth it can have a coarse look due to the grain. You might consider several coats of a high solids filler. Target Coatings HF 5100 is one suggestion. Practice whatever you choose on scrap...that's too nice of a piece to "practice on".

    Another suggestion....several coats of amber shellac for color and depth followed up with as many coats of a clear varnish you need to get it where you like it. Probably 5-10 coats depending on application thickness.

  8. #8
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    Two topics...

    Price: 5 minutes on the bandsaw, 30 minutes hand sanding, plus finishing time, plus time to glue up the blanks, plus material... your $30 price is way too low. Even if this is a retirement "hobby" you will probably find, at the end of the year, that you haven't covered the costs of your machinery, blades, glue, sandpaper, and other "overhead" expenses. I find that I need to look for at least $40 per hour (when I am not learning a new technique), and even that rate would not have earned enough to put my kid through college. Note that for every hour you "work" as a craftsman, you probably have an unpaid hour or two sweeping the shop (and other minimum wage tasks), and marketing.

    Color. I am surprised how dark the ash has become... possibly the fine sanding dust from the walnut is getting embedded in the end grain, and is acting like a colored filler. Have you considered running the grain in the direction the cards sit, so the primary "show" is edge grain? The end grain would be at the bottom of the card groove (who cares) and at the top lip (where a darker line might be attractive). That may save a lot of sanding time, and would present a prettier grain to the viewer. It would create a weak spot where the foot connects, but you could dramatically reduce the back cut-out to compensate.

    Despite my business critiques, it is a pretty holder!
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  9. #9
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    Another vote for thinned sealcoat. I find it very useful and forgiving.

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