Finishes, what do you like & don't like?

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Jerry Bailey, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't know what Hoadley says, if anything, about warping while drying. I have both of his books and it has been a long time since I last consulted them. Another reference would be the Forest Products Laboratory. My experience is with mainly local woods and weighing them as they dry. When the data is plotted, it is fairly obvious where the free and bound water loss occurs. I could be wrong about warping, but it seems like splitting in white oak occurs rather quickly after it is cut. I'm not certain about warping since you mentioned your experience, but it would stand to reason that loss of bound water is more responsible for warping than the free water would be.
     
  2. Richard Wilabee

    Richard Wilabee

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    Bill....

    Would this be better than using Linseed Oil. I'm pretty new to this and I've been using the Linseed Oil. Always looking for something better though.

    Rich
     
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Linseed oil is just a pure oil finish so it is somewhat flat looking although several applications can increase the sheen at the expense of darkening the wood more than my personal preference. It is a bit soft and not as durable as the oil/varnish blend in Minwax Antique Oil. I presume that the oil in the Minwax product is linseed oil and the varnish is probably polyurethane. Mostly I have used it on bowls that I have donated to the Empty Bowls Project. It goes on quick and easy and looks good with minimal effort. It wouldn't be appropriate for treenware.
     
  4. Jerry Bailey

    Jerry Bailey

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    At Bill's recommendation, I have recently tried the Minwax Antique Oil finish on a piece
    I've use straight BLO, and didn't like how it darkened the lighter woods, and it was "OK" for the darker woods ......
    Am especially happy with the ease of application, and the finish it gives, more coats, the higher the sheen
    It doesn't darken the lighter woods, which is priority and my goals, in my desired finishes.
    Highly recommend giving it a try, I think you'll also be happy with the results Richard ;)
     
  5. Richard Wilabee

    Richard Wilabee

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    Is that something you can get at the local Big Box store?
     
  6. Jerry Bailey

    Jerry Bailey

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  7. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I haven't looked at the big box stores, but there is a Rockler Hardware very close to me and also Ace Hardware and they both have it. I imagine that any paint store that handles Minwax products would also have it.
     
  8. Richard Wilabee

    Richard Wilabee

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  9. John Tisdale

    John Tisdale

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    As Jerry Bailey is asking in the Newbie forum, I have to assume Jerry want's info relevant to what he is doing.
    So Jerry, what are you doing?

    If small stuff (under 5" or 6" dia), you don't need to lay awake worried about wood movement - rub-on oils and oil/varnish concoctions are great - there are several quality products that provide the soft sheen appropriate for smaller work. And as smaller work is often detailed, the rub-on lathe finish is hard to beat.

    If larger stuff (up to 12" dia) you might consider something more protective. There are several lacquers in spray cans that do a great job. Lacquer offers better protection against water vapor. Better is the operative word - nothing prevents the passage of water vapor - some finishes do a better job slowing it down.

    I think most of the contributors to the forums would agree on this: pick something and get good with it. My experience has been that whatever the problem or unacceptable result, it's me, not the material. Buying a can of something else avoids a solution.

    A friend that does executive furniture and conference tables made an interesting comments about woodworkers: there are a lot of super talented guys out there - their work shows talent and artistic passion. But rare is an equal passion and zeal for finishing. Applying and sanding coatings requires study and passion just like making.
     
  10. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Back when I did flat woodworking, that assessment described me. I figured that sanding and finishing were just two opportunities to to mess up an otherwise well crafted piece. A few years after turning took over my woodworking, finishing has become almost obsessive.
     
  11. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Woodturners finish

    Jerry, I did complete several pieces with General Finishes Woodtiurners Finish. The first 2 pieces did well (maple and Sycamore) . I think I have a learning curve as I got runs and what looks like drips. Sands out well and buff good is not too many coats. Seems to fill in grain well although have not tried on oak or walnut by it self, Which you will see what I mean in the pics. The ringmaster pieces acted differently after 2 coats the first wipe on looked like water on oil and required a second wipe over to even the wet coat out. The finish works well on some woods and buffs well . Directions say can buff on day after application. Oh also did a small elm bowl and it worked well.

    IMG_2769.JPG IMG_2780.JPG IMG_2783.JPG
     
  12. Justin Stephen

    Justin Stephen

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    It is definitely for sale at at least some of my local Home Depots/Lowes. Everyone's mileage may vary, but it might be worth it for other people to check their local big box stores before (if they are like me) having to drive much further to get to their closest Woodcraft or Rockler.
     
  13. Jerry Bailey

    Jerry Bailey

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    Thanks for all the replies guys, much appreciated !

    Gerald, I'm just now doing a piece with General Finishes, easy application, liking the result, have 2 more coats then buffing to determine if I'll use more in future.
    especially like the water clean up ....

    John, I'm doing a bit of stuff, mostly larger more utilitarian type, bowls and platters
    average sizes are 10" - 18" , but main concern is a good food safe finish that will withstand the abuse a customer will inevitably put it through.
    Figured/Curly Maples, Walnuts, Heavily Spalted woods (Maple/Hackberry/Pecan), Ambrosia Maple, and some Burls ........
    Being a cabinet/furniture maker for 30+ years, I have a reputation for quality, and I want to keep that reputation ;)
    I had cabinetry finishing well under control, but I find turning finishes to be much different.
    Have been using Oils/Wax combos, even mixed a couple of my own blends, and happy with those
    But the time it takes for proper finish......... I'm looking for alternatives to "expand my horizons"

    Have tried several different products, some I've liked, some I haven't, and the cost of the ones I haven't, and they're now just sitting on a shelf,
    trying to keep costs to a minimum by hearing from more talented people about what works for them, and why ........

    Like Minwax Antique Oil, Don't like how Waterlox darkens the lighter woods
    Like Mahoneys Oils & Waxes, like Odies Oils/Waxes/Wood Butter
    Don't care for rattle can finishes, as spray tips can be finicky and ruin end result
    Very competent in spraying with my own gun (Binks), so that would handle Poly's & Lacquers

    I also have a tendency to over-kill my finish with excess coats, but again, thinking of future abuse by other people
    So would rather have too many coats, than not enough ......
    After working cabinets/furniture for so long, and everything being second nature as to process
    having some difficulty finding the "happy medium" transforming into turning finishes........

    again, thanks to everyone for their interest and time in responding,
    am gaining a lot of good info and it is soaking into my "sponge upstairs" ;)



     
  14. John Tisdale

    John Tisdale

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    Being a cabinit maker you could teach us all a thing or two.
    But here is another two cents:
    The oil and oil/varnish coatings really do need to be food-safe due to the fact that many never totally cure - they out-gas over time and can leach into nearby items.
    At the other end of the spectrum is the catalyzed high-solids finishes. From what I understand, these cure and become inert. While the ingredients of may of these finishes are extremely hazardous, it's these volatiles that insure complete curing.
     
  15. Jerry Bailey

    Jerry Bailey

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    That's where I run into my contradictions John .......
    To protect a wood from darkening due to exposure from sunlight/environment, the finishes have a UV inhibitor
    that inhibitor never fully leaves the wood, else it wouldn't work after a time ..........
    People say when the smell is gone, that all finishes are safe, again I see contradictions ......
    If I use a Varnish, Pre-Cat Lacquer, or a Poly, even if it is dry & "cured" and people use utensils, small pieces breaks off, they ingest it
    I'm liable if they get sick from the ingestion of the finish .....
    Hence me sticking with the oils & waxes, which are all natural and definitely food safe
    takes longer (my finishes usually take up to 2 weeks to fully apply) but I'm completely confident it'll withstand any abuse by persons using the pieces I create.
    And I purposely make larger pieces to be used, not just displayed on a buffet or shelf ;)

    as for cabinets ........... a box is a box is a box , just some more pretty than others ;)
    I never worked production shops, all extremely high end cabinets/furniture,
    and to this day, I cannot fathom the prices the shops were getting for our work :eek:

     
  16. John Tisdale

    John Tisdale

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    Your comment brings some questions to mind: If you make a bowl, are you liable to future, unknown owners? If a person buys your 15" bowl at a craft fair and uses it to hold potato salad at next week-ends church picnic, are you liable if folks get sick? If I buy your bowl and eat my Wheaties from it then put it in the dishwasher, are you responsible if I get a splinter? Would a few hundred word disclaimer on the bottom of your bowl make me responsible for my own stupidity? Or maybe simply: Not for food products.

    Again, from what I understand, non-curing finishes may out-gas and affect surrounding items. Totally cured finishes are by definition inert and will not affect surrounding items. Then again, that's my understanding and I could be wrong. If there are some chemical engineer woodturners out there, would be nice to get a comment.

    The above being said, I think I'll stick to the totally non-functional.
    John

    Andy Warhol: "I'm a deeply superficial person"
     
  17. Jerry Bailey

    Jerry Bailey

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    LOL John, it could get a bit out of hand couldn't it? ;)
    As far as I'm concerned, I'm only liable for the disclaimer it being completely food safe and non toxic substances used ....
    when I sell a bowl/platter I include a card stock note,
    front side describes the piece and wood used, back side describes how to care for it in future
    I do state I'm not liable if they don't follow "my parameters" of proper handling/cleaning.
    And, I include a small bottle of oil/emulsified wax mixture for customer to refinish in time, and how to apply.
    and I also explain that bottle should last almost a life time ..........

    IMHO, I've done everything to cover my 6 ;)
     
  18. odie

    odie

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    My philosophy is for the wood to make the finish look good, and not the other way around. That may not connect with everyone's idea of how things should work.....but, it ultimately requires me to be a better tuner in order to live up to this standard. Think about it!

    My favorite is a simple Danish oil natural with a hard carnauba wax. It isn't too shiny, but just enough sheen to give a sense of integrity. It has become part of my style.

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
  19. Jerry Bailey

    Jerry Bailey

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    I'm actually in your same mind set Odie,
    The wood should speak for the piece, the finish should just compliment the wood, and bring out it's details/coloring/grain
    Either way, they must both work together .........
    a nice vessel with a crappy finish ...... is crappy
    a crappy vessel, with an outstanding finish ........ is still crappy.

    Altho from what I've read in my travels, most people are of the mind set the finish is what makes the piece :confused:
     

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