Finishing Sapele - Router Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Default Finishing Sapele

I'm making a small table from sapele that will serve as a stand for indoor flower pots. On test pieces I have used BLO, Danish Oil and Miniwax Wipe-on Poly. I like the BLO the best - brings out the rich color and gives some shine. Questions: Can I use the wipe-on poly on top of the BLO to protect from water stains? How will that effect the look of the wood? How long should I wait between the BLO and the poly? If all of this is not a good idea - recommendations for alternatives are more than welcome.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 03:25 PM
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Hi Hank, I have not tried it on sapele, but have done so on bird’s eye maple. I followed the advice of an expert on the Web. Three coats minimum of BLO. Allow five days of curing for each coat of BLO, sand up to 400 between coats, followed by two coats of polyurethane (same sanding between coats).
You can see in the attached image the enhancement of the grain, and also the deep gloss - if you enlarge the image, you can see the reflection of the metal handles.

Last edited by Biagio; 07-23-2019 at 03:26 PM. Reason: Additional info
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 03:28 PM
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Sorry, file did not attach last time, rotated this time.
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Last edited by Cherryville Chuck; 07-23-2019 at 07:30 PM.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! Very nice. Thanks for the info. I'll have to muster the patience for such a fine finish.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 07:32 PM
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I rotated for you Biagio. Question: did you use water base poly or oil base poly over the BLO?

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 08:35 PM
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Dang, that's pretty. Not sure I'd have the patience for that kind of finish, but it is sure to bring out the beauty of the wood. I hope you're using something to protect that top from scraping by the coarse bottom on most pots.

The more I do, the less I accomplish.

Last edited by DesertRatTom; 07-23-2019 at 08:41 PM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 08:33 AM
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@CVC, Thanks for rotating. Please do so again - I cannot crack it.
At the time, I only had a local oil-based polyurethane on hand. I have since become impressed with Rustoleum water-based, imported from the US, and am itching to try the same combination. But it does take time - watching the paint dry.

@DRT, thank you. I forget the name of the guy who posted the method, but he uses birdís-eye maple every week (professional woodworker). Even his stained birdís-eye popped.
The top is actually a piece of composite counter-top with Formica laminate, left over from my kitchen remodel. I applied an ABS edging all round. No danger of pots scraping - I built the unit to house some medical instruments in my examination room. Made the cable carrier for my EKG, from a piece of left-over Birdís-eye from the drawer fronts. The hinge and wall plate are iroko.
BTW, the joints are modified lid stays, with a one way friction action - pull away from the wall very easily, require some pressure to return them to the storage position.
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Last edited by Cherryville Chuck; 07-24-2019 at 11:02 AM. Reason: rotated photos
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 11:13 AM
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I take your original photo and save it to my computer and then open it with my viewer and rotate to correct orientation and then save it that way. Then I edit yours by going back to Manage Attachments and Remove your faulty image files and replace them with the corrected ones and upload again. I don't know if they are saved in your computer in the faulty orientation or not but if they are that's how to correct it.

I thought you might have used an oil base poly over the BLO. I wonder if there would be compatibility issues with using a water based poly over the BLO? I haven't used BLO by itself but I've used Behr Scandanavian oil, teak oil, and Danish oil which I'm pretty sure have BLO in them but one or two of those also had some varnish in the mix. You can tell when they do as those leave a shinier finish.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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