Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Question on finishing another Cedar chest.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Posts
    940

    Question Question on finishing another Cedar chest.

    Hi folks,
    A friend of mine saw the pictures I posted of the Lane Cedar chest that I just finished and asked me to give him a price on refinishing one that he has. He brought it over yesterday and it's a beautiful piece. Very clean and simple design and it has two hinged compartments. It just needs a couple minor repairs and then a sand and refinish and it's good to go. He asked me if I could use a lighter colored stain on it that would go better with the oak trim he has in his house. I showed him a Minwax color chart and he chose Golden Oak. So I picked some up and that was the plan.

    It looks like a really nice piece that's solid wood and not just veneer over particle board. When I started sanding it, I found that it's made of solid Black Walnut! Well, the lid, front, and ends are solid walnut. The back of the unit, the bottom, and the bottom of the upper section are solid cedar. The walnut has an aromatic cedar veneer on the inside. There's no way that I'm going to make this lighter but after sanding, it is really nice. I told him about it and he said to do whatever I think will work.

    I like this piece so much that I asked him if he'd like to do a trade straight up for the Lane I just finished. He said not really because he really likes it too. I'm kind of bummed about that, but I'm going to take some good measurements and pictures and am strongly considering doing a reproduction of it for myself.

    I was thinking that just a few coats of Tung Oil on the outside would be good and that's it, no hard finish. I think it would bring out the beauty of the walnut. Then if it ever gets scratched or anything, he could just hit it with a little sandpaper and re-oil it. Or if it starts to look a little worn, put another coat on. I've used Tung Oil before but it's been a long time. Is that a finish that you can leave just oiled and not put a hard finish on top?

    Here's what it looked like before I started...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chest1.jpg 
Views:	23 
Size:	51.1 KB 
ID:	73609Click image for larger version. 

Name:	chest2.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	48.0 KB 
ID:	73610Click image for larger version. 

Name:	chest3.jpg 
Views:	23 
Size:	56.1 KB 
ID:	73611

    Any thoughts on that plan?
    Last edited by John Pollman; 02-06-2013 at 12:33 PM.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Posts
    940
    I guess I should have done a search first. (Sorry)

    There's LOTS of info here on Tung Oil. It looks like I won't be going that route because Tung Oil is apparently quite costly. I'm not going cheap on the project, but I didn't quote it very high because it's for a friend and thought it was going to be a straight forward sand, stain, poly job. It looks like maybe BLO might be the way to go. I think leaving it with a hand rubbed oil finish will be nicer than having a hard poly finish on it. After time if it starts to look a little bad, another couple coats of BLO would bring it back.

    In searching for Tung Oil, I saw a couple posts regarding using BLO/mineral spirits 1:1 and wiping it on in several coats, allowing it to try between coats. That sounds like a good option for this project. What do you think?

    Thanks for any input!
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Outside the beltway
    Posts
    5,261
    John why do you think Tong oil is costly ...the time ? BLO is just as time consuming.


    1st if you use a 2 part wood bleach you can get the Walnut light to tone to match, if the customer what it.

    You can also spray on a lacquer sealer to seeal the wood before going with the oil and cut your time in half. Works just as well as using shellac.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,323
    Quote Originally Posted by John Pollman View Post
    ...It looks like I won't be going that route because Tung Oil is apparently quite costly....
    Tung oil is no more costly than any other finish - actually, it's cheaper than some polys or varnishes. Lee Valley has it.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Posts
    940
    OK, I just read a few other replies on other posts concerning Tung Oil. Several commented that pure Tung Oil is pretty costly and that most "Tung Oil Finishes" really don't contain much, if any actual Tung Oil.

    I have a couple pieces of Walnut that I've had for a long time and never did anything with. I had some Old English Wood Oil that I used on that Armoire restoration and I use it on our oak dining room table and chairs now and then. I wiped some on a small area of the stuff I had and it's GORGEOUS! But I think I need something more substantial than just a plain wood oil. I'm going to head out and take a look at what I can find. I like the idea of just a wipe on oil finish as opposed to a hard poly. If it ever gets damaged, it's a fairly easy repair or to "refresh" it a bit down the road if the look starts going downhill due to age.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,323
    What about Watco 'Natural?' It's a clear, oil/varnish product that's easy to apply, seals and protects the wood, and is easy to repair by just wiping on another coat.

    If you do use it, be careful about disposing of the rags and towels you use for application and cleanup. They can spontaneously combust if not handled properly.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Posts
    940
    Thanks Jim,
    that's kind of what I was thinking so I went out and picked up some Watco Natural. Put some on a test piece of walnut about 45 minutes ago. It's BEAUTIFUL! I talked to my friend and he likes the idea of it having a more natural look as opposed to a hard poly finish. I think that Watco is going to be the way to go.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Posts
    940
    Watco is nice stuff!
    I finished it up a little while ago. I'm extremely jealous of this piece. I tried to trade it straight up for the other chest that I just finished restoring, but he likes this piece as much as I do. I'm probably going to build a replica of it because I like it so much. It came out beautifully and the pictures don't do it justice!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chest4.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	47.4 KB 
ID:	73624Click image for larger version. 

Name:	chest5.jpg 
Views:	11 
Size:	54.0 KB 
ID:	73625Click image for larger version. 

Name:	chest6.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	59.1 KB 
ID:	73626Click image for larger version. 

Name:	chest7.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	45.7 KB 
ID:	73627
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,020
    That's gorgeous, John. Nicely work.
    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Posts
    940
    Thanks Vaughn!

    I just had an idea. I really like the simplicity of this piece. But I've thought of a couple minor tweaks that I'm probably going to incorporate into my version. The first one is the V shaped channel right below the seam between the top and bottom sections. It's actually half of a V (the lower portion is just a bevel), the top portion is a half round bead. I think I might adjust the spacing of the V notch just a little bit and make it so that it is just below the top of the lower piece and then put another V notch on the lower portion of the upper section. I think it might be a pretty nice detail since I don't have a bit to recreate the original. The second is that I'm thinking about using through dovetails for the corner joinery on the boxes. I think it might look really nice. For the first one, I'm going to use Oak I think, it's much cheaper than Walnut. If the piece works out well and comes out nice, I'll spend the money and do it again in Walnut.

    I can't wait to get started!
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

Similar Threads

  1. Finishing......Cedar?
    By Kevin Vernon in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-30-2014, 01:20 PM
  2. Lane Cedar Chest repair/restoration. A work in progress.
    By John Pollman in forum Flatwork Project Showcase
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 01-28-2013, 11:48 PM
  3. Cedar Chest
    By Dave Hawksford in forum Finishing School
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-25-2011, 09:01 PM
  4. Small Cedar chest
    By Ron Roase in forum Flatwork Project Showcase
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-08-2010, 01:39 AM
  5. Refinished an old Lane Cedar Chest
    By Tony Bilello in forum Finishing School
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 06-07-2010, 04:22 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •