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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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I have read and agree that woodworking is a three stage process--design, building and finishing.
Although I have more to learn than I already know about the first two. I'm temporarily satisfied with my results. Finishing however seems to be an elusive and moving target. Oil stains, water stains. gel stains, tung oils, polyurethane, polyacrylic, lacquer, varnish and 200 more etc's. This is not even considering the various differences in manufacturers as well as methods of application

One (of many) of the youtube videos I have viewed started with a water spray to minimize the penetration of the following water based stain application. The next step was two different coats of gel stain which was then followed by five coats of sprayed lacquer. Sanding in between all. The finish was very professional, but time, space, equipment and conditions prevent my duplicating that kind of process.

My goal is to arrive at a fairly standard and simple combination of ingredients to suit most indoor furniture applications with as close to a professional finish as possible.

Many of you may have gone through this process already and I am reaching out to your experience and look forward to your help.

Thanks and be well,

Marvin
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Marvingee View Post
I have read and agree that woodworking is a three stage process--design, building and finishing.
Although I have more to learn than I already know about the first two. I'm temporarily satisfied with my results. Finishing however seems to be an elusive and moving target. Oil stains, water stains. gel stains, tung oils, polyurethane, polyacrylic, lacquer, varnish and 200 more etc's. This is not even considering the various differences in manufacturers as well as methods of application

One (of many) of the youtube videos I have viewed started with a water spray to minimize the penetration of the following water based stain application. The next step was two different coats of gel stain which was then followed by five coats of sprayed lacquer. Sanding in between all. The finish was very professional, but time, space, equipment and conditions prevent my duplicating that kind of process.

My goal is to arrive at a fairly standard and simple combination of ingredients to suit most indoor furniture applications with as close to a professional finish as possible.

Many of you may have gone through this process already and I am reaching out to your experience and look forward to your help.

Thanks and be well,

Marvin
Marvin,
I am faced with the same problem and I suspect that there are many other members of this forum that are in the same boat. Right now I have no suggestions that will rememdy the problem, but I am pretty sure that woodworkers that do there work as a commercial interprise do not spend hours and hours with the finishing process. Time being money would dictate, or so it seems to me, that having a quick as well a satisfactory finish on their projects is a must for the sake of profit.

Years ago I had a custom rifle built by a well know gunsmith. The finish on the wood was excellent and when I asked him about how much time it took him to do the finish work, he just sort of laughted and told me that he could not afford to spend much time on fiinsh work for the reason mentioned above. He told me what his procedure was, it was simple and it worked well for him. I won't repeat the process here as I have done so earlier on this forum but it underscores what I have said earlier in this post about time.

I'm a little embarrassed to say what I am doing right now. I explained it once and was quickly tagged as a very very ignorant novice on the subject which I readily admit to, but for now what I am doing works for me and as time goes by I will learn more, but I can not wait until I am an accomplished finisher before completing my projects. I like you Marvin, hope that you get some advise on your question, I, and others, will certainly be watching for the posts that will follow on the subject.

Jerry
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 05:30 AM
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Marvin, one simple method that works well is to use Watco Danish Oil. You flood this on the surface and let it soak in for a few minutes, apply a second coat and after a few more minutes wipe it off. This will give a soft finish that looks like it is hand rubbed. It will penetrate into the wood a bit and protect it for many applications. If you are using it on a table top let it dry for a week and then apply a coat or two of polyurethane to build up a tough finish. Watco Danish Oil is available clear (which gives a slightly yellow hue to the project) or with different tints like cherry, oak and walnut. This is one of the easiest methods and will make you proud on your first try. It helps to apply the finish to a test piece of the same type of wood your project will be built from so you can see how it will turn out before you commit on using it. This is the first method I worked with.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 06:15 AM
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Marvin,
There real is no one way to apply finishes and what I mean by that is you ask 10 woodworkers how to get low luster finish on a dinning room table and you will more than likly get 8 different answers.I have been doing this around 30 years and I still see some go ideas from other woodworkers that I have started using.One sugestion I can make is find out what you have available to you where you live ,is it Minwax, Old Master etc.
The best thing I can tell you right now is the prep work is the most important thing because bad prep work will give you a finish the you won't be happy with.
Woodsmith shop has a great video to help you understand the differant finishes. Go to woodsmith.com.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 07:04 AM
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Marvin,

Best advice I can give you is to join forums on finishing as this is a router forum and the advice here, is good, is best for router questions. Try these forums.
Furniture Refinishing & Antique Restoration
Homestead Finishing Products :: Portal
Target Coatings, Inc. :: Index

Bob
Lake Geneva, WI
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 07:15 AM
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Give you a hint - start with shellac, finish sanding, grain raising, resanding and etc. Then move to bare wood and waxes, bare wood and oil finishes and etc. Now you move to all the other things you mentioned - the finish is dictated by the piece, the wood and the knowledge of the craftsman, not the perverse, gotta spend more money advertising that tells you what you need. Remember the best furniture from 300~400 years ago did not have any of the modern finishes that we have today.

Good luck - Baker

PS = try pure Tung oil - the results can be great, it is easy and it dries hard
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 07:32 AM
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I agree with Richard but would take it one step farther. Stay with shellac unless the item is to get heavy use or be subjected to moisture. Shellac is almost mistake free. It drys very quickly and once fully cured can be rubbed to a beautiful soft or shinny finish. You can use it indoors and either brush or spray it on. You won't get that plastic look that you get with other products.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 09:50 AM
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You may want to try the new water based rustoleum line of stains and poly. I just finished a couple of items and was extremely impressed with the results. No prep needed for the stain and no sanding in between
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 10:11 AM
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Default wood finishing

I use Sam Maloof to finish indoor furniture, its a bit pricey, but I really like the end product. Its easy to rub on , I use at least three coats and sometimes then the wax-polish coat. I have no plans to use anything else. The only time when I dont , is if kids are going to be giving it a rough go. Then use poly.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 10:40 AM
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I have begun to use dye rather than stain for color, and I'll never go back.
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