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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the past couple weeks I have been making wooden boxes and baskets.

I made 6-wooden basket out of tiger maple with mahogany bottom and handle. Three of these I have shipped to kids with major medical issues.
I made a wooden box for my son for his birthday. The wood is spalted, quarter-saw red oak.
I made 6 tea or treasurer boxes. One I made out of maple burl for my wife for her birthday. One was made of bloodwood and tiger maple, one was made of bubinga and 4-out of rosewood (flooring).
I made a box out of birdseye maple and walnut for putting the K-Cup coffee pods in.
All are finished with Zar oil-based poly with 50/50 mineral spirits.

This fat boy has been busy as usual.

Malcolm / Kentucky USA
 

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Those are some of the best looking boxes I've ever seen posted on the Forum. Can you tell us more about the effect of adding mineral spirits to oil based poly? I really like that finish and would like to give it a try.
 

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Beautiful boxes as usual Malcolm.Massive "wow" factor & 10/10.
James JJ777746
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I use Zar oil-base poly and I purchase 6 oz. plastic bottles from Midwest Bottle Company. I buy the caps for the bottles from them. I fill the bottle with about 1/4 semi-gloss and 1/4 gloss. Then finish filling the bottle with odorless mineral spirits that is labeled "cleans up paint" so it is stronger than some of the other mineral spirits. Then I put the cap on and shake the bottle to mix the ingredients. I generally fill 6-at a time.

To apply the finish I use the blue paper shop towels. I cut them into 1/4s. To apply the finish I fold the towel to 1/4s again making it about 2" square by 4-layers thick. I don't get runs and just throw away the towel so there is no cleanup.

Sanding...I generally sand the wood with an orbital sander using 100, 120, 180 grit paper. After I apply 4 or 5 coats I have a 5" orbitals sander that I set on half speed. I attach 600 grit black wet and dry sand paper. I use a 1" foam brush to apply the same mixture to the sandpaper and to the box. I sand for 30 seconds or so per side of the box wiping off the mixture when I finish with that side of the box. After 8-hours I start back applying the finish. After 8-hours or so I will apply more until the finish looks right.

Hope that helps. I have used Zar for 25 years or so and have used this same method on kitchen cabinets, tables, a couple coffins, funeral urns and a host of other things.

Malcolm / Kentucky USA
 

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Those boxes are nothing short of WOW!!!
The finishing process is very interesting and the results are spectacular.
I assume you have to do all but the last couple of coats before assembly?
Otherwise, it seems almost impossible to sand the inside surfaces.
 

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I want the ability to give like 10 thumbs up! Those look AMAZING!!!

Since this pile of garbage won't let me put in ten of this, multiply it by 10
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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In addition to the beautiful boxes, you've given us a great finishing lesson. Thanks!



I use Zar oil-base poly and I purchase 6 oz. plastic bottles from Midwest Bottle Company. I buy the caps for the bottles from them. I fill the bottle with about 1/4 semi-gloss and 1/4 gloss. Then finish filling the bottle with odorless mineral spirits that is labeled "cleans up paint" so it is stronger than some of the other mineral spirits. Then I put the cap on and shake the bottle to mix the ingredients. I generally fill 6-at a time.

To apply the finish I use the blue paper shop towels. I cut them into 1/4s. To apply the finish I fold the towel to 1/4s again making it about 2" square by 4-layers thick. I don't get runs and just throw away the towel so there is no cleanup.

Sanding...I generally sand the wood with an orbital sander using 100, 120, 180 grit paper. After I apply 4 or 5 coats I have a 5" orbitals sander that I set on half speed. I attach 600 grit black wet and dry sand paper. I use a 1" foam brush to apply the same mixture to the sandpaper and to the box. I sand for 30 seconds or so per side of the box wiping off the mixture when I finish with that side of the box. After 8-hours I start back applying the finish. After 8-hours or so I will apply more until the finish looks right.

Hope that helps. I have used Zar for 25 years or so and have used this same method on kitchen cabinets, tables, a couple coffins, funeral urns and a host of other things.

Malcolm / Kentucky USA
 

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Mike
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Malcolm looks like you are staying busy and doing a fantastic job build boxes and baskets.
 

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Beeeeutiful...and thanks for the tip on the finish...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The finish I described is for the outside.

For the inside I finish before assembly. I sand to 180 and occasionally to 220. I apply several coats of the same finish as on the outside. Anytime I apply a finish I alway look for defects. No reason to continue applying finish if there is a defect. Generally it would be planer marks. If I find a defect I sand it down and start again. After about 3-coats, I sand with 320. Then apply several more coats. I do not attempt to use wet and dry because the finish would get on the end joints and the glue wouldn't stick when I tried to assemble. After the finish looks good I may lightly sand with 320 and apply one last coat of the Zar poly.

For a box that wouldn't be opened and closed a lot like a funeral urn, I generally apply 2 or 3 coats of shellac on the inside that I sand between the coats. I make quite a lot of urns for people and pets. For the outside of the urns, I apply the same finish as with all the boxes and baskets.

Malcolm / Kentucky USA
 

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Thanks for including the finishing details. My intuition tells me that the blue paper shop towels would leave some paper fuzz but I can't argue with your success. Your intuition is only as good as your prior experiences in life. I obviously did not have any prior experience using blue paper shop towels for finishing.

Beautiful boxes.
 
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