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I'm going to show how little I know about finishing here.

I just made a batch of angle clocks out of red oak. I made a couple before, and after sanding down to 220 grit, I just finished them with Watco natural danish oil. It worked fine, but as you know, the grain in oak still has a rougher texture than the lighter part.

I've looked through the posts in the forum but haven't found this exact subject as of yet. Should I use sanding sealer or filler to be able to sand the surface equally smooth in the light and dark parts? Will either of those inhibit the ability of the Watco to work right? I may decide to use a colored Watco instead of the clear, and don't know if the oak will absorb the stain with sealer or filler applied to the wood. Thanks. Jim
 

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You can usually obtain a pretty uniform and smooth finish, even over deep grain areas, by applying a hard finish such as polyurethane, sanding lightly (or using steel wool) and then reapplying finish. Perhaps give this a try before filling any grain. To my knowledge, sanding sealer helps make the absorption of your stain more consistent, although I've never tried it.
 

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Hi Jim, have you considered applying a coat of Watco Danish Oil and while it is still wet sand it with wet and dry sand paper to make a slurry that fills the grain. I'd use 220 grit wet and dry paper. It is a little messy but does the job. Wipe off the excess and let it dry. Sand lightly with 320 grit and apply another coat. You can also use polyurethane to do the same thing. Dilute it 50/50 with mineral spirits and use wet and dry sandpaper to make a slurry with it. I have done both. Works fine. Either of these should fill the grain. By the way, I apply polyurethane with one of the blue paper shop towels that I have cut into 1/4. I use a baster (like used in a kitchen) to suck the poly from the can and put it into a clear plastic bottle that I get at the grocery store. The bottle is like what ketchup is put in except it is clear. I fill the bottle about 1/2 full of poly then suck up mineral spirits. This washes out the baster. I mix any where from 50/50 to 70/30 poly to mineral spirits. Have done this for 30 years or so. I use Zar poly since it doesn't yellow they was Minwax polyurethane does. Hope this is helpful to you instead of confusing. Malcolm / Kentucky USA
 

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Malclom beat me to it. His suggestion works well.
 

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I'd use a hard-wax oil (I use the fiddes brand in the UK). First sand to 180 grit, apply 1 thin coat with cloth, deburr with 500grit then apply 1 more thin coat, deburr again if required but no need to apply more coats.

Process is quick, easy and if you mess up you can just touch-up in patches.
 

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That's what so-called scrap pieces are for. Use them with the different methods, then use the one you like best.
 

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I make a few bandsaw boxes and have found tht after sanding down to 220, I use saning sealer and let it dry or at least 24 hours. Then sand again to 400 and seal again, then sand to 600 and finish with had wax. A good cot left for a few hours, then polished off. A seconf wax coat and you should be pleased with the finish. It also depends on just what finish you want to achieve, but I use sanding sealer always, having previously tried straightoill/wax and wax/wax.

Malcolm
 
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