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What is a good finish for an oak bookcase?

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Jake van der Laan

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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I am just completing a large oak bookcase and want to give it a nice finish.
Although I consider myself competent in the construction phase, I don't have
a great deal of experience in finishing. On past projects I have used
stains and Varathane. I would like to experiment with some of the oil
finishes (Danish oil for example) I understand the finish will be more
satin and that is ok. What has the accumulated experience been with this
kind of oil finish? Does anyone have any suggestions, tips, pitfalls etc.?

Any and all comments greatly appreciated.

Thank you

--
Jake van der Laan
j...@gormannason.com
(506) 636-7326

CNT

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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Welcome to the world of WATCO!

Chuck

> Danish oil


Leon

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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I find that as a rule oil stains tend to be much easier to use and are more
forgiving. Less tendency to show lap marks. You might want to look at oil
based GEL stains also.

"Jake van der Laan" <j...@gormannason.com> wrote in message
news:PUbk5.11040$yJ1.1...@sodalite.nbnet.nb.ca...

Jake van der Laan

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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I take this as an endorsement for this product?


"CNT" <C...@bfs.uwm.edu> wrote in message
news:39915515...@bfs.uwm.edu...

Walt Akers

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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Hey Jake:

You don't necessarily need to stain the piece... Oak is a very
attractive wood, left to its own devices. This bookcase has a very
light tinting with Minwax Golden Oak Stain.

http://www.jlab.org/~akers/Woodwork/2doorbookcase/2doorbookcase.html

While it might be blasphemous to many, I've always had great
success using old Homer Formby's High Gloss Tung Oil Finish... It has
all sorts of stuff mixed into (unnatural stuff that ain't tung oil) and I
would say it is more of a varnish than an oil... but, it dries quickly, it
is almost flawless to apply with a rag or a brush, it polishes well and it
looks great when you are done.

I believe this product would be a good first step away from
polyurethane finishes.

Walt

Jake van der Laan wrote:
>
> I am just completing a large oak bookcase and want to give it a nice finish.
> Although I consider myself competent in the construction phase, I don't have
> a great deal of experience in finishing. On past projects I have used
> stains and Varathane. I would like to experiment with some of the oil
> finishes (Danish oil for example) I understand the finish will be more
> satin and that is ok. What has the accumulated experience been with this
> kind of oil finish? Does anyone have any suggestions, tips, pitfalls etc.?
>
> Any and all comments greatly appreciated.
>
> Thank you
>

> --
> Jake van der Laan
> j...@gormannason.com
> (506) 636-7326

--
=============================================================
Walt Akers E-Mail: ak...@jlab.org
=============================================================

Jeff Thieme

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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"Jake van der Laan" <j...@gormannason.com> wrote:
>I am just completing a large oak bookcase and want to give it a nice finish.
>Although I consider myself competent in the construction phase, I don't have
>a great deal of experience in finishing. On past projects I have used
>stains and Varathane. I would like to experiment with some of the oil
>finishes (Danish oil for example) I understand the finish will be more
>satin and that is ok. What has the accumulated experience been with this
>kind of oil finish? Does anyone have any suggestions, tips, pitfalls etc.?
>
>Any and all comments greatly appreciated.
>
>Thank you
>
First of all, don't throw away any scraps! You'll find them useful in testing
various finishes. I'm no expert on this, but I thought I'd offer a
suggestion. I've been doing woodworking for a little over a year now and have
been experimenting with lots of different finishes. Lately, I've been messing
with oil finishes and here's what I've found:

You can use straight oil such as linseed or tung, but there are advantages
to using a mix of oil and varnish. The two major types of oil finishes are
oil/varnish blends and wiping varnishes. They are all basically some kind of
oil (linseed, tung, etc.), some kind of varnish, and some kind of thinner
(mineral spirits, naptha, etc.). You can mix your own, but I've found that
it's better to buy an existing product. I thought it would be fun to mix my
own homebrew and tried a lot of variations. In the end, though, Watco,
Waterlox, Formby's, etc. all worked better. I found that my mixes tended to
yellow more than the others even if I used polyurethane varnish. I think the
yellowing was more from the oil than the varnish, though. Either way, my
point is that the products available are fairly cheap and perform very well.

While there are other differences between the oil/varnish blends and wiping
varnishes, the major difference in the result (to me) is the build.
Oil/varnish blends aren't meant to create a build on the surface. They
penetrate. Wiping varnishes will build like a regular varnish, only it takes
more applications. Which one you choose should depend on your specific
application. The wiping varnishes will provide more protection and can be
rubbed out to a higher sheen. As the oil/varnish blends penetrate and don't
build, they offer a little less protection. However, I think the oil/varnish
blends can look a little nicer. Plus, they don't need to be rubbed out.

My next project is going to be a walnut bench for our entryway and I've been
playing with a few finishes. I guess I start projects backwards, but I
usually work on getting the finish right before I start anything else (except
maybe the design). I realize you are working with oak and not walnut,
but I've tried this on oak also and it looks just as good. Here's the
schedule I'm going to use:

In the evening of day 1, flood entire surface with Watco and keep wet for
20-30 minutes. I cut up those "Rags in a Box" paper towels to apply it.
Keeping it wet just means that you want to check on it about every 5 minutes
or so. If it soaks in, slap on some more. After about a half an hour, wipe
off excess. When they say wipe off the excess, they mean to wipe it all off
so that the surface is just left shiny. You don't want to leave any puddles
or much left on the surface. If you do, it tends to get gummy instead of
curing. This is less important on the first application because the wood will
usually continue to soak up the finish. But be sure that you wipe it all off
on other applications. This first application will penetrate pretty deep and
should seal the wood.

In the morning of day 2, wipe generously with Watco. Keep it wet again for
about 15 minutes. If you try to wait too long it will start to get gummy.
Wipe off the excess and let dry until evening. Do this again in the evening.

In the morning of day 3 you'll have three coats on it. Here's where a
judgement call is made. If it looks pretty good you can move on to the next
step. If not, put on another coat as you did the previous day and move on to
the next step in the evening. Remember that you're not looking for a build
here. I made this mistake the first time I tried Watco. I kept slapping it
on and leaving it - only to find that it would get gummy. I was trying for a
build finish. I've learned how great this penetrating finish can look without
a build.

Once the wood is sealed and has a few coats on it, it doesn't really have to
shine all over and look "done." The next step will get you that satin sheen.
You can use Watco Satin Finishing wax if you can find it. I've tried a
variety of waxes and didn't like the glossy finish they gave. Many suggested
applying with steel wool, and I tried that, but for some reason I kept ending
up with more sheen that I wanted. The Watco Satin wax is a liquid wax, not a
paste wax. I put it on pretty thin, but make sure it's wet all over. Then I
give it at least 15 minutes, sometimes more. Then just rub it off. That's
rub it _off_, not out. This wax doesn't really need to be polished and rubbed
as much as a paste wax (another advantage). Sometimes it takes two
applications as it seems as though it can penetrate a little on the first try.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find Watco Satin Finishing wax locally.
I just happened to pick up a can while on vacation to give it a try. I should
have bought more (and the exterior oil also, but that's another story). I
have come up with an alternative, though. Mix some Watco (natural) with some
paste wax in a wide mouth jar. Start with relatively equal amounts and keep
mixing it up with a screwdriver or something. Add Watco or wax until you get
a slurry about the consistency of grape jelly. Apply it the same way as the
Watco product only let it set for an hour or so before wiping it off. I also
think I need to buff it a little more than the Watco Satin wax, but not
anything like a regular paste wax. Give either a try.

Some other notes. When it comes to staining, they make different flavors of
Watco. The only two that I've tried were the cherry and the medium walnut.
Believe it or not, I used the cherry flavor on a mahogony board to bring out a
little more of the red. Worked pretty well. Mostly, though, I prefer the
natural. If you are going to stain, I highly recommend the Bartley's gel
stain first or another brand of gel stain second. The gels just seem to work
better for me. Be sure to let the stains cure totally as the Watco will pull
some of it up when you rub it on. Again, I avoid stain, but do what makes you
happy.

Whatever you do, try it on scrap first!

My approach is a little different than some. Others do a lot of wet sanding.
I haven't tried that yet, so can't really comment on how much better (if any)
it really is. For another perspective, though, check out:

http://www.members.home.net/jpaquay/oil_fin.txt

By all means, let us know what you decide to do and how it turns out.

-Jeff

Mary Shafer

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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Walt Akers <ak...@jlab.org> writes:

> You don't necessarily need to stain the piece... Oak is a very
> attractive wood, left to its own devices. This bookcase has a very
> light tinting with Minwax Golden Oak Stain.

Between the vagaries of monitors and scanners, as well as film, I
can't really tell the color this is. Is "Golden Oak" the same as
"Honey Oak"?

I've got a house full of contemporary honey oak furniture and was
thinking of getting a couple of unfinished pieces and staining them
myself, now that the newsgroup has me convinced that finishing isn't a
black art reserved only to initiates.

--
Mary Shafer
sha...@orville.dfrc.nasa.gov Of course I don't speak for NASA
Senior Handling Qualities Research Engineer
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA
For non-aerospace mail, use sha...@spdcc.com please

Ed Clarke

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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On 09 Aug 2000 13:32:00 -0700, Mary Shafer
<sha...@orville.dfrc.nasa.gov> wrote:
>thinking of getting a couple of unfinished pieces and staining them
>myself, now that the newsgroup has me convinced that finishing isn't a
>black art reserved only to initiates.

Hey, you don't have to be an initiate to finish wood. Just remember
to sacrifice a black goat at midnight of the new moon on even months
and a white goat on odd months and you'll do fine.

Leon

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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Excellent question. Golden Oak is any color a manufacturer wants it to be.
I have seen it range from a dark brown with a baby sh_t green cast to a
medium brown color and to a slightly darker than medium brown with a
reddish cast to it. Generally the color is in the brown family of colors.
Many paint stores and or woodworking supply companies will let you sample a
bit of each stain on your piece of your wood. So take your unfinished scrap
and a piece that you are trying to match and go to the store and start
testing. I do this all the time when I need to match a color. Keep in mind
also that a second coat may be necessary to obtain the proper darkness. You
can use the product color charts as a guide as to which colors to start
with.
Lastly always take a scrap piece of the same type of wood that you are going
to stain. Different types of woods will give different results with the
same color stain.

"Mary Shafer" <sha...@orville.dfrc.nasa.gov> wrote in message
news:u0n1imq...@orville.dfrc.nasa.gov...


> Walt Akers <ak...@jlab.org> writes:
>
> > You don't necessarily need to stain the piece... Oak is a very
> > attractive wood, left to its own devices. This bookcase has a very
> > light tinting with Minwax Golden Oak Stain.
>
> Between the vagaries of monitors and scanners, as well as film, I
> can't really tell the color this is. Is "Golden Oak" the same as
> "Honey Oak"?
>
> I've got a house full of contemporary honey oak furniture and was

> thinking of getting a couple of unfinished pieces and staining them
> myself, now that the newsgroup has me convinced that finishing isn't a
> black art reserved only to initiates.
>

Larry Jaques

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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On Wed, 09 Aug 2000 15:26:51 GMT, "Jake van der Laan"
<j...@gormannason.com> wrote:

>I take this as an endorsement for this product?

I'm a Watco oil/varnish lover, too. Here is the link:
http://www.flecto.com/products/WATCO.html

Something else you might like to try is Waterlox. It's
a rubbing varnish which builds quicker than Watco.
Find it at http://www.woodfinishingsupplies.com/

And you can always find shellac at http://www.shellac.net

I purchase from the latter two places because they're
both great guys and are participants here on the Wreck.


------------------------------------------
Friends don't let friends read "Wired"
http://www.diversify.com Wondrous Website Design
=============================================

Walt Akers

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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Hey Mary:

If you take a cloth, dampen it with mineral spirits and wipe down
a piece of white oak with it - this is roughly the color that you'll
achieve with one coat of the Minwax Golden Oak stain. I'm not
familiar with the Honey Oak variety, but I'd imagine its darker.

The Golden Oak stain (from Minwax) is almost identical to their
natural stain.

Best of luck,

Walt

Mary Shafer wrote:

> Walt Akers <ak...@jlab.org> writes:
>
> > You don't necessarily need to stain the piece... Oak is a very
> > attractive wood, left to its own devices. This bookcase has a very
> > light tinting with Minwax Golden Oak Stain.
>
> Between the vagaries of monitors and scanners, as well as film, I
> can't really tell the color this is. Is "Golden Oak" the same as
> "Honey Oak"?
>
> I've got a house full of contemporary honey oak furniture and was
> thinking of getting a couple of unfinished pieces and staining them
> myself, now that the newsgroup has me convinced that finishing isn't a
> black art reserved only to initiates.
>
> --
> Mary Shafer
> sha...@orville.dfrc.nasa.gov Of course I don't speak for NASA
> Senior Handling Qualities Research Engineer
> NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA
> For non-aerospace mail, use sha...@spdcc.com please

--
=============================================================
Walt Akers Voice: (757)269-7669 E-Mail: ak...@jlab.org
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
12000 Jefferson Avenue, MS 16A
Newport News, Va 23606
=============================================================

SL News Posting

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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In article <u0n1imq...@orville.dfrc.nasa.gov>,

Mary Shafer <sha...@orville.dfrc.nasa.gov> writes:
|> Walt Akers <ak...@jlab.org> writes:
|>
|> > You don't necessarily need to stain the piece... Oak is a very
|> > attractive wood, left to its own devices. This bookcase has a very
|> > light tinting with Minwax Golden Oak Stain.
|>
|> Between the vagaries of monitors and scanners, as well as film, I
|> can't really tell the color this is. Is "Golden Oak" the same as
|> "Honey Oak"?
|>
|> I've got a house full of contemporary honey oak furniture and was
|> thinking of getting a couple of unfinished pieces and staining them
|> myself, now that the newsgroup has me convinced that finishing isn't a
|> black art reserved only to initiates.
|>

Do be careful in selecting a finish for a bookcase. Poly is not
recommended.

Here is a quote from a website on Book Preservation:

http://archival.gaylord.com/technica/polyur.htm

3.wood, preferably "formaldehyde-free," types for home construction, e.g.
American Plywood Association products, which are made using phenol rather
than urea formaldehyde, with a "good quality sealer" followed by
"water-based acrylic" paint, several coats with adequate drying time
in-between, and a minumum of 6 weeks to cure before installing collections.

For those with wooden shelving already in place, I try to adapt the
recommendation to the nature and value of the collections. By and large I
say if it's boxed, don't worry about it, but make sure there's good air circulation.
Sher reluctantly recommends solvent-based acrylic coatings (e.g. Soluvar) if
you insist on showing the wood, with plenty of curing time.

If environmental control is poor, line the floor and back of wood shelves
with museum- quality mat board cut to size and held down with double- sided
adhesive. Even better, but significantly more expensive, is vapor barrier film.

scott

Mary Shafer

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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cla...@spanker.cilia.org (Ed Clarke) writes:

> On 09 Aug 2000 13:32:00 -0700, Mary Shafer
> <sha...@orville.dfrc.nasa.gov> wrote:

> >thinking of getting a couple of unfinished pieces and staining them
> >myself, now that the newsgroup has me convinced that finishing isn't a
> >black art reserved only to initiates.

> Hey, you don't have to be an initiate to finish wood. Just remember
> to sacrifice a black goat at midnight of the new moon on even months
> and a white goat on odd months and you'll do fine.

If I can't find a black goat, is it OK to stain a white one?

Larry Jaques

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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On 09 Aug 2000 17:24:16 -0700, Mary Shafer
<sha...@orville.dfrc.nasa.gov> wrote:

>cla...@spanker.cilia.org (Ed Clarke) writes:
>
>> On 09 Aug 2000 13:32:00 -0700, Mary Shafer
>> <sha...@orville.dfrc.nasa.gov> wrote:
>> >thinking of getting a couple of unfinished pieces and staining them
>> >myself, now that the newsgroup has me convinced that finishing isn't a
>> >black art reserved only to initiates.
>
>> Hey, you don't have to be an initiate to finish wood. Just remember
>> to sacrifice a black goat at midnight of the new moon on even months
>> and a white goat on odd months and you'll do fine.
>
>If I can't find a black goat, is it OK to stain a white one?

Either will do if you want to stain wood. Just use the -output-
of the goat for that. It will look and smell just like any
other stain, and add just as much "value" to the piece. :-/


------------------------------
Gator: The other white meat!
------------------------------
http://www.diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development

Jim Mc Namara ~ Future Collectibles

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Aug 10, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/10/00
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"Walt Akers" wrote in message:

> Hey Mary:
If you take a cloth, dampen it with mineral spirits and wipe down
> a piece of white oak with it - this is roughly the color that you'll
> achieve with one coat of the Minwax Golden Oak stain. I'm not
> familiar with the Honey Oak variety, but I'd imagine its darker.
The Golden Oak stain (from Minwax) is almost identical to their
> natural stain.

I was going to recommend their Natural Stain and a wax finish on top. The
natural simply lets out the grain character and does a great job. It seems
that the Golden Oak stain is the most widely requested in almost all of my
work (especially on pine.) The natural stain (Minwax) is my personal
favorite on oak because it adds very little tint at all.

--
Jim Mc Namara
Future Collectibles
www.futurecollectibles.com
j...@futurecollectibles.com

Jake van der Laan

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Aug 10, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/10/00
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Thanks all for your comments. I am going to experiment between Jeff
Thieme's suggested course of action and the following (from
http://www.assoc-restorers.com/r-articles/sal/smothoil.html) :

Super Smooth Oil Finish
By Sal Marino
Many woodworkers like to use oil finishes instead of lacquer, varnish,
polyurethane or waterbased finishes because oil finishes are much easier to
apply and much more forgiving when mistakes happen. However, one of the main
drawbacks of an oil finish is that one cannot achieve a glass smooth finish
on open pored woods (like oak, mahogany etc.) like one can when applying a
lacquer, varnish poly or other topcoat finish. When using a topcoat finish
on open pored woods, you can either build up the finish by applying multiple
coats and sanding back down until the pores have been filled or you can
first apply a paste filler to fill the pores, then apply a topcoat finish.
Oil finishes are thinner and contain much less solids than topcoat finishes,
therefore it would not be practical to apply multiple coats and sand back
until the pores have been filled. This would take much too long. Also oil
finishes need to penetrate the wood in order to work properly. Once the
finish penetrates, the solvents evaporate and the resins solidify actually
making the wood itself harder. If the pores have been filled with paste
filler (which is silica) a very finely ground glass, the oil finish will not
be able to penetrate the filler.

While leaving the pores open when using an oil finish is OK and many times
even desirable on some pieces of woodwork like a chest of drawers, chair or
clock, for other pieces like conference tables, dining tables, pianos,
jewelry and music boxes may look much better if the pores were filled so a
glass smooth finish can be obtained. In the end, it still comes down to
solely a matter of taste.

Many years ago, I read somewhere that one could wet sand some oil finishes
to achieve a higher sheen. The article mentioned nothing about whether this
was to be done with open or closed pored woods. At the time I was using an
oil finish that I still use quite often today, it is called Watco Danish
Oil. This finish is very easy to apply and leaves a beautiful satin to
semi-gloss sheen, depending on how many coats are applied. It should only be
applied to raw wood so it can penetrate properly. It is available in a
natural as well as many colors such as shades of walnut, cherry, golden oak
and others. I decided to run some tests using the Watco natural color on
various hardwoods. I first tried cherry and maple. First I prepared the wood
in my normal manner by sanding with coarse, medium and then fine paper. I
then applied a generous amount of Watco Danish Oil to the surface and
started to wet sand with 600 grit silicon carbide wet or dry paper. After
applying 3 coats of the oil (one per day) and wet sanding each coat, I
compared the wet sanded pieces with samples of maple and cherry that I just
applied three coats of oil (without wet sanding). The results were
disappointing. I did not see any signs of the wet sanded samples having any
higher sheen than the pieces that were just oiled. If anything these pieces
were a little duller than the samples that were not wet sanded. Next I ran
some tests using oak and walnut. I proceeded in the same manner as described
above, but this time the results were much different. The wet sanded samples
did have somewhat of a higher sheen, but what was more impressive to me was
that the surface of the wet sanded pieces of oak and walnut were much
smoother than the samples of oak and walnut that were just oiled with no wet
sanding. It was then that I realized what had happened, why the surface was
smoother and why the sheen had increased. By wet sanding, the Watco Danish
Oil mixed with the sawdust that was being created by the sanding. This
created a sort of slurry or paste. As I continued to sand, the paste was
forced down into the pores of the wood. Basically I had filled the open
pores of the oak and walnut by using its own sawdust in combination with the
oil which worked as not only a finish but also a binder to hold the sawdust
down in the pores and level the surface. The reason why a higher sheen was
achieved was simple. Once the pores are filled, much more light reflects off
the surface in contrast to when the pores are open the light gets trapped in
all the nooks and crannies of the open pores. The author of that article I
read must have been using open pored wood.

Although the sheen was somewhat higher by wet sanding on open pored wood,
there was not a dramatic difference. I believe the author of that article
missed the most important advantage of wet sanding. That is, of course,
being able to fill the pores of wood to achieve a glass smooth surface when
using an oil finish. Now the term glass smooth may be somewhat confusing.
many people associate this with producing a high gloss finish. This is not
true. You will not get a high gloss sheen (like you would when using
lacquer, varnish or other topcoat) when using any oil finish. The term glass
smooth refers to how level the surface is and how smooth it feels.

The Process
Over the years I have developed and refined the process of wet sanding on
open pored wood. The following is the method I currently use:
1. Prepare the wood by sanding with coarse (100 grit), medium (180 grit),
and fine (240 grit) sandpaper. Make sure to wipe off all sawdust after
sanding.
2. Apply a generous amount (almost flood the surface) of Watco Danish Oil to
the surface.
3. Over the years I have found that it is better to use 320 grit silicon
carbide wet or dry paper rather than 600 grit. The 320 grit paper will
create the paste quickly and the paste will fill the pores better.
Immediately after the Watco Danish Oil has been applied (while it is still
wet on the surface) wrap a piece of 320 paper around a sanding block and
start to wet sand with the grain. Continue to oil and wet sand until you
feel enough of the paste has been worked down into the pores.
4. There will still be a substantial amount of paste left on the surface. Do
n't wipe it off right away. Let the surface dry for about 10 minutes, then
wipe off the excess paste using a lint free rag. Wipe against the grain,
trying to cut the paste off at the surface, this way the paste in the pores
will remain and not be pulled out. Let dry overnight.
5. Before you continue, there may be a small amount of paste that is still
on the surface. This needs to be removed, if not visible now, it will be
when you apply additional coats. Because this has dried overnight, you will
need to sand it off. Take another piece of 320 grit paper, wrap it around a
block and DRY SAND lightly with the grain. You need only to take a few
passes, just enough to remove any excess paste that has remained on the
surface.
6. I have also determined that in most cases wet sanding need only be done
on the first application. Therefore, you need only wet sand once (in step
4). Now it is just a matter of applying additional coats of Watco (without
wet sanding) until you achieve enough protection and the desired sheen.
Usually I apply three to four additional coats after the first wet sanding
coat. I let each coat dry overnight and very lightly scuff between coats
with 0000 steel wool.
7. After the last coat has been applied, I let the finish cure about 1 week
and apply a coat of quality paste wax. That's it. Try it, I am sure you will
be very happy with the results.


The wetsanding sounds interesting.

I'll let you all know which gives the best result.


--


Jake van der Laan
j...@gormannason.com

(506) 636-7326


"Jeff Thieme" <rjth...@syr.edu> wrote in message
news:aKik5.1078$0E5....@typhoon.nyroc.rr.com...

Jake van der Laan

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Aug 10, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/10/00
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I have no problem getting it here - $6.75 a can (Canadian) - let me know if
you want some and depending on where you are I can send you a couple of cans
or whatever you need.

I am in New Brunswick, Canada ( just to the right of Maine)


"Jake van der Laan" <j...@gormannason.com> wrote in message
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Lee DeRaud

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Aug 10, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/10/00
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On 09 Aug 2000 23:49:42 GMT, slp...@pendragon.eng.nanobiz.com (SL News

Posting) wrote:
>In article <u0n1imq...@orville.dfrc.nasa.gov>,
> Mary Shafer <sha...@orville.dfrc.nasa.gov> writes:
>|> I've got a house full of contemporary honey oak furniture and was
>|> thinking of getting a couple of unfinished pieces and staining them
>|> myself, now that the newsgroup has me convinced that finishing isn't a
>|> black art reserved only to initiates.
>
>Do be careful in selecting a finish for a bookcase. Poly is not
>recommended.
>
>Here is a quote from a website on Book Preservation:
>
>http://archival.gaylord.com/technica/polyur.htm
>
>3.wood, preferably "formaldehyde-free," types for home construction, e.g.
> American Plywood Association products, which are made using phenol rather
> than urea formaldehyde, with a "good quality sealer" followed by
> "water-based acrylic" paint, several coats with adequate drying time
> in-between, and a minumum of 6 weeks to cure before installing collections.
>
> For those with wooden shelving already in place, I try to adapt the
> recommendation to the nature and value of the collections. By and large I
> say if it's boxed, don't worry about it, but make sure there's good air circulation.
> Sher reluctantly recommends solvent-based acrylic coatings (e.g. Soluvar) if
> you insist on showing the wood, with plenty of curing time.
>
> If environmental control is poor, line the floor and back of wood shelves
> with museum- quality mat board cut to size and held down with double- sided
> adhesive. Even better, but significantly more expensive, is vapor barrier film.

Depends on what you mean by "bookcase": these guys are concerned with
long-term (i.e. centuries) archival storage of museum specimens, not
furniture-grade oak shelving. Unless Mary is planning on rereading her
Stephen King collection when she's 150, polyurethane shouldn't be much
of a problem :-)

Personally, all that water-based acrylic paint, museum-quality mat
board and vapor-barrier film doesn't fit in all that well with the
rest of what I charitably refer to as my "decor".

Lee

Jeff LaCoss

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Aug 10, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/10/00
to Jake van der Laan
Jake,

I used this approach on a set of oak bookcases I built ten years
ago. I soaked in the first coat with as much oil as the oak
veneer would absorb, and allowed it to dry for a full day.

Then I wet-sanded the second coat with 400 grit and the third
with 600 grit. A full day of drying was given between each coat.
I then used Watco Finishing Wax over all. I got a wonderful satin
finish that is glass-smooth.

You DO have to be careful to check the surface an hour after you
wipe off excess: as the oil cures, it heats up, causing it to
expand back out of the pores of the oak. While this didn't happen
with the shallow pores in the oak ply on my bookcases, it DID
occur in a few places on the solid-wood face frame.

It is now time to strip off the wax and redo it, but I have no
complaints - the only other maintenance has been to dust the
books!

Best of luck,
Jeff

Jake van der Laan wrote:
>

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