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Thread: adding a bit of amber to maple ???

  1. #1
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    adding a bit of amber to maple ???

    Hullo experts...

    I'm building a small side table (very small - about 10w x 16h x 16d)

    The top is a piece of african dunnowood that my F-I-Law brought back from Tanzania 4-5 years ago for me. From looking through Terry Porter's "WOOD Identification Guide" book, I'm reasonably sure that it is African Mahogany. But it just might be Afircan Walnut.

    The legs and stretchers are all maple. Almost. I'm going to inlay some strips of the mahogany in the legs, to give some interest.

    Anyway. I'm experimenting on some scraps with different finishes. So far I've tried some Circa 1850 "Tung-n-Teak" oil, and I've also tried some "Tried and True Original Wood Finish" (which is a blend of polymerized linseed oil with pure beeswax).

    Both are pretty easy to use, and give a lovely deep tone to the African Mahogany. But I'd like the maple to be a bit more amber, and less pale.

    I'm curious if anyone has experimented with a "Wiping Varnish", such as "Watco Wipe-on Poly" and can give feedback or opinions.

    I want something that is also giving good water resistance - a film finish or varnish - as it will sit in the LR and you KNOW someone will set a glass on it, or spill something on it sooner or later.

    Ideas or suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Art, the wiping varnishes I've used (Formby's Tung Oil Finish and Minwax Antique Oil) both seem to add a bit of amber to maple...the Antique Oil more than the Tung Oil. Both seem to build up to a nice durable film finish after a few coats. Or, you could always hit the maple with amber shellac, followed by the T&T you're using on the dark wood.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  3. #3
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    Not what you asked about, but never stops us on the internet Varnish and Amber shellac come to mine as a possibilities
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    Not what you asked about, but never stops us on the internet Varnish and Amber shellac come to mine as a possibilities
    Well I picked up some Minwax wiping poly this morning. It applies very easy, but I'm not that excited about the colour. Actually it's okay on the maple, but it's rather dull on the African Mahogany.

    So far the "Tried and True Original Wood Finish" gives the best colour and depth to the mahogany. And all three are pretty similar on the maple. If it were NOT going to be a table that might get a cool drink set on it, then I might go with the Tried+True. But I'm just thinking a polyurethane is what I want on a LR table.

    So I may next try some shellac under the poly. And of course I'm pretty much out of alcohol. Got tons of shellac flakes. But I was thinking of trying premixed shellac sometime anyway. If I can find it around here...

    (Darn it, the table is all assembled and I'm itching to put the finish on it!)

    Ooh, here's another thought. I was just poking around the Tried+True website and maybe I should give their "Varnish Oil" a try. It's got the same linseed oil in it, and also varnish to build up a surface, and they say it is good for tabletops. Hmm, shall I take the 20 minute drive across town to Lee Valley???
    Last edited by Art Mulder; 03-15-2008 at 06:27 PM. Reason: had another thought...

  5. #5
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    I perfer a light coat of amber shellac, followed by satin poly.

  6. #6
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    Zinnser Seal Coat is a 2# dewaxed shellac. It does add a little amber cast, but not near as much as an amber shellac. You will want dewaxed shellac as the coat immediately under the poly, but the premixed Zinnser amber shellac contains wax as well as other stuff to preserve it and it doesn't separate well in order to decant the good stuff off. Might try some of the premixed amber, cut to about 1 -2 #, then over coat that with the Seal Coat, then your prefered poly.
    Jerry

    http://www.sawdustersplace.com

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
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  7. #7
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    I'm going to head out later to check out what I can find, but I'm thinking of getting some BLO and then using that under the poly -- I know you need to wait a few days for it to really cure before coating with poly.

    But I'll also keep an eye out for some shellac also.

    I'll post results here, but it may be a week.

    Thanks, folks!
    ...art

  8. #8
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    Boiled Linseed Oil will darken up the maple slightly and may pop some grain figure. It's nowhere near as dramatic as what it does on cherry but might give you some mild ambering and may do nice things to the dunnowood.
    --------------------------------------------
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  9. #9
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    Have you tried the 1/3 each tung oil, boiled linseed oil and urethane?

  10. #10
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    One more thing you can try on some scrap, is to add some dye to the poly. This will add the amber color to the finish.

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