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Thread: sanding sealer or lube?

  1. #1
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    sanding sealer or lube?

    What I want is simple, should be easy too, all I am looking for is perfection! The finish I am seeking is good protection that brings out the color of the wood but doesn't make the surface appear coated.

    Right now I am playing with Spar Varnish, Mineral Spirits , and BLO. Tried three equal parts, seems like too oily so I am going to cut back on the BLO probably try 2-2-1 next time and work back and forth from there. However first things first, I have a bit of an issue with muddy areas and discoloration when sanding, especially when turnings have bark inclusions. Considering the finish I want to go over the top with, what can I use to seal before sanding? What about a sanding lubricant?

    Pretty lousy picture, most of what looks like caked up crud is actually glare, the check in the lower knot needs cleaning, but this is where I am at now. Surface finish OK after a Beall buffing, would have been better had I not bounced the bowl on the concrete a few times when I dropped it after the white diamond stage. The line near the upper knot is a deep scratch.

    Thanks for any and all suggestions!

    Hu

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by hu lowery; 04-29-2014 at 09:37 PM. Reason: forgot the picture!

  2. #2
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    Hu you might want to post this in the turners forum,, seeing as how this is a turning piece.. some folks dont watch the finishing forum as much..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
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    Personally have been getting more fond of shellac the more i use it. Its a bit fussy because you want to put it on real thin (and maybe 4-5 coats) and if you hesitate while applying it you applicator can stick making a big blarg spot. The nice thing is that it dries pretty fast (unless the humidity is really high) so I can do coats 20-30m apart so if I'm doing a bunch of bowls I can just work through them in series. I usually do one coat and then let it sit for a couple of days and then sand that back.. then I follow up with the finish coats 1, 2, 3, 4.. real quick, let them cure and then buff out. I'm still hand buffing. I use a rag wrapped around some wool to apply it on the finish coats and then rub out the last coat after its set up a little with a drop or two of oil on the rag and just keep the rag lightly damp with alcohol to keep things flowing.

    The bowls I posted here are 4 coats shellac and then topped with one (or two? maybe two) coats of wax: http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...wls&highlight= The biggest problems I have are that my sanding still isn't what it could be (lazy) and neither is my buffing (again lazy and could use a power buffer here.. todo..).

    The shellac alone won't really pop the grain on some woods so if I want more I'll put either walnut or linseed oil under it and give it a while to cure first. I accidentally got some really neat figure in an english walnut bowl that I oiled with walnut and then suntanned (again an accident it was sitting at the front of the shop by a window ) got a lot of really interesting figure to pop out anyway.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hu lowery View Post
    What I want is simple, should be easy too, all I am looking for is perfection! The finish I am seeking is good protection that brings out the color of the wood but doesn't make the surface appear coated.

    Right now I am playing with Spar Varnish, Mineral Spirits , and BLO. Tried three equal parts, seems like too oily so I am going to cut back on the BLO probably try 2-2-1 next time and work back and forth from there. However first things first, I have a bit of an issue with muddy areas and discoloration when sanding, especially when turnings have bark inclusions. Considering the finish I want to go over the top with, what can I use to seal before sanding? What about a sanding lubricant?

    Pretty lousy picture, most of what looks like caked up crud is actually glare, the check in the lower knot needs cleaning, but this is where I am at now. Surface finish OK after a Beall buffing, would have been better had I not bounced the bowl on the concrete a few times when I dropped it after the white diamond stage. The line near the upper knot is a deep scratch.

    Thanks for any and all suggestions!

    Hu

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	finish1post.jpg 
Views:	29 
Size:	124.4 KB 
ID:	82654
    If you are looking for a single mix for a stand alone finish, that will enhance the grain, Spar Varnish has a very high oil to resin ratio, and add to that mixing in with BLO creates an imbalance. You would be better off using an oil base interior varnish, BLO, and VM&P Naptha. I would only use about a 15% ratio of BLO, because the varnish has it. This makes for a good wiping finish. You can experiment with the mix ratios, as the less "oil" will produce a harder finish.

    If you just want to enhance the grain, which works well on most all species is a 50/50 mix of BLO and VM&P Naptha. Use it as a wipe on and wipe off. When it cures, you can topcoat it with any film finish. You can substitute mineral spirits for the Naptha. It will dry a bit slower.



    .

  5. #5
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    If you're looking for some protection without the appearance of a film finish, how about just a coat or two of straight BLO? It's my go-to low-gloss finish.

    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

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    If you're looking for some protection without the appearance of a film finish, how about just a coat or two of straight BLO? It's my go-to low-gloss finish.
    You manage to get a lot more gloss out of that than I do - even with a wax top coat. I'm guessing that its because you're doing a better job at buffing them post oil?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    You manage to get a lot more gloss out of that than I do - even with a wax top coat. I'm guessing that its because you're doing a better job at buffing them post oil?
    Maybe so. although the only buffing on those bowls was with a clean buffing wheel after applying a light coat of Renaissance Wax to the wood. The bare wood was sanded to 400 grit, as I recall, and I think I applied only two coats of BLO.
    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

  8. #8
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    Thanks All, for the advice and the eye candy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    Personally have been getting more fond of shellac the more i use it. Its a bit fussy because you want to put it on real thin (and maybe 4-5 coats) and if you hesitate while applying it you applicator can stick making a big blarg spot. The nice thing is that it dries pretty fast (unless the humidity is really high) so I can do coats 20-30m apart so if I'm doing a bunch of bowls I can just work through them in series. I usually do one coat and then let it sit for a couple of days and then sand that back.. then I follow up with the finish coats 1, 2, 3, 4.. real quick, let them cure and then buff out. I'm still hand buffing. I use a rag wrapped around some wool to apply it on the finish coats and then rub out the last coat after its set up a little with a drop or two of oil on the rag and just keep the rag lightly damp with alcohol to keep things flowing.

    The bowls I posted here are 4 coats shellac and then topped with one (or two? maybe two) coats of wax: http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...wls&highlight= The biggest problems I have are that my sanding still isn't what it could be (lazy) and neither is my buffing (again lazy and could use a power buffer here.. todo..).

    The shellac alone won't really pop the grain on some woods so if I want more I'll put either walnut or linseed oil under it and give it a while to cure first. I accidentally got some really neat figure in an english walnut bowl that I oiled with walnut and then suntanned (again an accident it was sitting at the front of the shop by a window ) got a lot of really interesting figure to pop out anyway.
    Ryan,

    Some nice yarn bowls! I had looked at those awhile back I believe. I haven't used shellac because I thought it lacked penetration. I do know it is pretty much the universal between coat for everything for compatibility issues. Generally speaking oil finishes don't work well here because of the high humidity so I'm wanting a little more than oil.

    I have been hand buffing until lately when I bought the Beall system. My extra bench grinders and 3/4 horse motor are in storage, somewhere, so I got the #2 morse taper to adapt it to my lathe. I cover the ways and have at it. I can't come anywhere close to the finish from the Beall system hand buffing even if I do it for hours. The power buffing makes it almost too easy. I go from 320 grit to smoother than I really want after buffing.



    Quote Originally Posted by mike marvel View Post
    If you are looking for a single mix for a stand alone finish, that will enhance the grain, Spar Varnish has a very high oil to resin ratio, and add to that mixing in with BLO creates an imbalance. You would be better off using an oil base interior varnish, BLO, and VM&P Naptha. I would only use about a 15% ratio of BLO, because the varnish has it. This makes for a good wiping finish. You can experiment with the mix ratios, as the less "oil" will produce a harder finish.

    If you just want to enhance the grain, which works well on most all species is a 50/50 mix of BLO and VM&P Naptha. Use it as a wipe on and wipe off. When it cures, you can topcoat it with any film finish. You can substitute mineral spirits for the Naptha. It will dry a bit slower.

    Mike,

    Thanks for the info about the high oil content in spar varnish. I was just looking for quality varnish when I bought it. I'm familiar with naptha but I notice you always specify VM&P Naptha. Is that a brand or a bit different mix or ??

    A pure oil or high oil finish is almost guaranteed to get gummy over time here. Between the heat and humidity it will eventually come to the surface.



    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    If you're looking for some protection without the appearance of a film finish, how about just a coat or two of straight BLO? It's my go-to low-gloss finish.

    Vaughn,

    Those bowls are beautiful but pure BLO mostly makes a mess down here. I put it on some wood for overnight protection a time or two but it doesn't dry and just works to the surface of the wood forever although a wax over it might slow that down. So much moisture in the air that it absorbs a little water over time and gets gummy too.

    The finish I think I want is something that gets down into the wood with good penetration and then kicks to harden. I have been reading up on all the home brews since we all know homebrew is better than anything you can buy!

    I only let that little bowl dry about twenty-four hours, outside in the breeze in the daytime, inside at night in the climate control, before buffing and waxing. Looks pretty good now other than the blotchiness and some oopses that have nothing to do with finish but it feels the slightest bit oily. A good rubdown with a dry paper towel takes that away but it will feel that slightest bit oily again tomorrow. The very hard carnauba wax that came with the buffing system doesn't stop the oil migration.


    (to all)
    Maybe all I want is a wiping varnish, very light sanding, then wax and buff? I was concerned with the varnish getting deeply enough into the wood for protection. Would a thin coat or two of wiping varnish penetrate deeper then go to a slightly thicker blend? I still want to sand the surface and buff it to a satin sheen. I put some lacquer on other pieces for a built up finish and it made a beautiful deep finish but it was obvious that you were handling plastic, not wood. I want to offer some pieces with the plastic finish but I also want some that seem to have little or nothing on the wood.

    First thing I need to do is avoid making a mess sanding the wood. No finish is going to suit me unless it is going over clean wood without discoloration and muddy areas caused by sanding.

    Hu
    Last edited by hu lowery; 04-30-2014 at 03:33 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hu lowery View Post
    Some nice yarn bowls! I had looked at those awhile back I believe. I haven't used shellac because I thought it lacked penetration. I do know it is pretty much the universal between coat for everything for compatibility issues. Generally speaking oil finishes don't work well here because of the high humidity so I'm wanting a little more than oil.
    Thanks! You're mostly right, it doesn't penetrate real deeply and like I said its ability to pop the grain is only so so compared to oil. If you thin it down some with denatured alcohol (DNA) it will get in a bit deeper but still nothing like an oil. I'm also not sure how fast/well it'll cure in the humidity there; that might be a problem.. A few coats does make a pretty hard surface finish though and it seems tougher than most of the poly's and many of the wiping varnishes I've used. Its pretty water resistant if used fresh. I used to use more wiping varnish but have started preferring shellac for mostly two reasons: first its much faster to apply so I can put a build on pretty quick and with the fast cure it doesn't pickup dust as bad, and second it doesn't stink so bad (smells kinda like green apples). Its also somewhat more forgiving because you can push it around with DNA on a rag.

    I'd still say give it a shot - the worst that happens is you spend $18 on a can of sinsser and figure out why you don't like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by hu lowery View Post
    I have been hand buffing until lately when I bought the Beall system. My extra bench grinders and 3/4 horse motor are in storage, somewhere, so I got the #2 morse taper to adapt it to my lathe. I cover the ways and have at it. I can't come anywhere close to the finish from the Beall system hand buffing even if I do it for hours. The power buffing makes it almost too easy. I go from 320 grit to smoother than I really want after buffing.
    I need to invest in that

  10. #10
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    Thanks, and a few more questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    Thanks! You're mostly right, it doesn't penetrate real deeply and like I said its ability to pop the grain is only so so compared to oil. If you thin it down some with denatured alcohol (DNA) it will get in a bit deeper but still nothing like an oil. I'm also not sure how fast/well it'll cure in the humidity there; that might be a problem.. A few coats does make a pretty hard surface finish though and it seems tougher than most of the poly's and many of the wiping varnishes I've used. Its pretty water resistant if used fresh. I used to use more wiping varnish but have started preferring shellac for mostly two reasons: first its much faster to apply so I can put a build on pretty quick and with the fast cure it doesn't pickup dust as bad, and second it doesn't stink so bad (smells kinda like green apples). Its also somewhat more forgiving because you can push it around with DNA on a rag.

    I'd still say give it a shot - the worst that happens is you spend $18 on a can of sinsser and figure out why you don't like it.



    I need to invest in that
    Ryan,

    I am starting to get a shelf full of the few bucks here and few bucks there stuff! However I do think I need some shellac around just for it's barrier abilities if nothing else. I'll give it a try as a finish and if I don't like it at least it is likely to get used somewhere else. Some of the other stuff on that shelf . . . The man that lived here before me died in the nineties. There are still cans of finish everywhere from his woodworking days!

    If I use shellac for the finish, do I use very thin shellac as a sanding sealer? Trying to get the sanding step under control right now but I know that anything I put on the wood to keep it clean sanding has to be compatible with the finish which is why I thought it was a finishing question also.

    One more thing, are you talking about dewaxed shellac? My ignorance concerning wood finishing is pretty much boundless!

    Hu

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