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Thread: WANTED! Finish suggestions for my chair.

  1. #1
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    WANTED! Finish suggestions for my chair.

    Still having some sanding and line tweaking to do I'm starting to think on how I could finish my chair. I'm evaluating different possibilities.

    Clear urethane varnish

    Nitrocellulosic lacquer

    Tung oil and lacquer coat on top ( Don't know if it makes sense or if it is possible)

    Any other suggestion?

    As the wood is hard maple I'd like to enhance the grain somehow.

    Thanks in advance.
    Best regards,
    Toni

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  2. #2
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    Toni, I don't know much about furniture finishes, but an oil finish with lacquer over it (the third option you listed) is one of my favorite finishes for turned wood pieces. I think the oil will give you the grain enhancement you're looking for, and the lacquer gives a clear hard finish over the oil for protection.

    I'm sure there are others who will offer suggestions based on more experience than mine.
    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

  3. #3
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    Thanks Vaughn.

    I was afraid of having problems of the lacquer not sticking onto the wood due to the oil finish.

    How many coats of oil and of lacquer do you give to your pieces?

    How long do you let them dry in between coats?
    Last edited by Toni Ciuraneta; 10-22-2007 at 12:30 PM. Reason: bad grammar
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  4. #4
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    Enhancing the grain on maple is something gunstockers love to do. The main, not so secret 'secret' is nitric acid. Using a dilute solution, you can wipe on and watch the effect. Want more, just do again. It can take time. Most use a very dilute solution to bring out the grain exactly to the point they want. Then it is rinsed with a neutralizing solution to stop the darkening. Sanded and finished. FWIW, on gunstocks, a high quality boiled linseed oil is preferred.
    Sometimes, the acid solution will have fine iron filings dissolved in it. That or fine steel wool works. To get really disgusting, some add tobbaco for more color. It works.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  5. #5
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    Hi Frank.
    What dilution percentage as start would you suggest?
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni Ciuraneta View Post
    Hi Frank.
    What dilution percentage as start would you suggest?
    Tony, knowing how particular you are with what you do, I'm sure this answer will prove unsatisfactory. Ennyhow.....whatever. Sorry, these gunstockers are as much artists as craftsmen. There are few absolutes. All I can say is very dilute. What I have used, I applied with my bare hands and didn't suffer from it except dark stains that lasted weeks. Do experiment on scrap. One advantage/disadvantage of this method is that the process raises the grain. Rifle stockers will sand down several times to get a perfect. In fact, some use broken glass to scrape the whiskers off. It can be an ardous process, maybe not what you would want to do with furniture. A result shown. I didn't do this one.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails rifle stock.jpg  
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  7. #7
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    I'll make an effort to get my flatwork done during the evenings this week so that I can turn something out of some not-yet-dry soft maple (pretty sure it is from a Red Maple tree) and apply a 1/3 each tung oil, boiled linseed oil and urethane finish (locally-ish made so brand I don't think would help you) to show you.

    I do have some before and after finish pics of this on cherry in my threshold thread - not the same as maple, but might be of use to look at.

    That rifle stock is beautiful, by the way - is it a Kentucky long rifle in .50 by any chance?

  8. #8
    Toni

    If I recall correctly, that lovely chair has end grain on the front end of the seat and on the top back edge.

    I am no finishing expert, but I do think you're going to have some interesting things to think about when applying the finish, you may find that the end grain is a lot darker than the top edge of the seat.

    I have read about putting a glue size (half white glue half water) on the grain and letting it dry before you start finishing to slow down the absorption rate but I am no expert!

    Hopefully others more knowledgeable than I will chime in here, but at the very least I would suggest doing some test pieces before you touch that chair and ruin a wonderful piece of work.

    Here is something I found on the web

    http://www.furniturefinishwizard.com/washcoatsolids.htm

    The google search I used was "staining end grain"
    Jay

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kosmowski View Post
    I'll make an effort to get my flatwork done during the evenings this week so that I can turn something out of some not-yet-dry soft maple (pretty sure it is from a Red Maple tree) and apply a 1/3 each tung oil, boiled linseed oil and urethane finish (locally-ish made so brand I don't think would help you) to show you.

    I do have some before and after finish pics of this on cherry in my threshold thread - not the same as maple, but might be of use to look at.

    That rifle stock is beautiful, by the way - is it a Kentucky long rifle in .50 by any chance?
    Mark, actually, it is a Revolutionary period transitional rifle. If you note the buttplate, it is more like a shotgun butt than the Kentucky/Pennsylvania hooked butt. The 'transitional' part is that it is the link between the European style Jaeger and later, American 'Golden Age' rifle that we now call the Kentucky, or for purists, the Pennsylvania. This one is a .45 cal. flintlock.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Tony, knowing how particular you are with what you do,
    What do you mean Frank? Do I have three arms and six legs?? I wasn't aware of that Well... now that you mention it I find it easier to scratch my ear with my sixth hind leg while I'm planing a piece of wood with my third hand while I hold it steady with the other two

    Jokes apart, thanks for the pic, it looks gorgeous and I might give it a try on a piece of scrap, the only problem will be to find a place to buy the acid but I'll manage.

    When you say it raises the grain, do you mean as if we were lacquering, or more similar to when we sand using a very soft pad, that is, eating away the soft lines of the grain leaving the hard ones portrude?.

    Thanks again
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

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