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 Post subject: Finishing question
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:38 pm 
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For many years, have been using wipe-on poly as the finish, usually 4 to 6 coats and sanding with 0000 grit steel wool between coats. The finish has worked very well for me and is quite easy to apply. However lots of people seem to prefer the "Rude and Crude method". Now I am wondering just what I am missing? What is the benefit of "Rude and Crude" over wipe on poly or any other finish?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:40 pm 
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Depends on the look you want. R&C typically doesn't give you the "glassy" look that poly does. The shellac seals the wood somewhat so an oil finish doesn't need quite as many coats. I prefer it over poly and use it quite a lot, since I like the result, especially on dark wood such as walnut. You may also. Try it out on some scrap. :) It works well with Formby's, Waterlox, or other Danish oil finishes.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:26 pm 
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Hey Halkossman,

I would only add that because the R&C starts off with shellac, it provides good control over the "blotching" that can sometimes occur on non ring porous hardwoods like cherry and maple, when oil finishes are applied first.

Tom

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:19 pm 
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In addition, it's a very fast finish as you are not building up a poly finish. The shellac seals the wood. It has a softer, more glowing look than just poly alone in my experience. It will not resist water as well as poly so if you are making a tabletop that is going to get a lot of wet glasses then poly would work better.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:20 pm 
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tms wrote:
Hey Halkossman,

I would only add that because the R&C starts off with shellac, it provides good control over the "blotching" that can sometimes occur on non ring porous hardwoods like cherry and maple, when oil finishes are applied first.

Tom


I'm confused by this. When you apply a first coat of Formby's or waterlox doesn't it seal the wood too? I kind of thought the high gloss version of these harden and seal pretty good. Not sure about Danish oil since I have never used it. Watcha think?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:12 am 
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I use natural Danish oil it makes the grain of the wood pop especially on woods like cherry,walnut, red oak, ... even on woods like maple. After a day or two wipe on poly one or more coats on hard use items.
Danish oil alone is fine on things like cradles...

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 Post subject: Re: Finishing question
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:15 am 
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halkossman wrote:
For many years, have been using wipe-on poly as the finish, usually 4 to 6 coats and sanding with 0000 grit steel wool between coats. The finish has worked very well for me and is quite easy to apply. However lots of people seem to prefer the "Rude and Crude method". Now I am wondering just what I am missing? What is the benefit of "Rude and Crude" over wipe on poly or any other finish?


You're not missing anything. If you seal with shellac and use a soft long-oil wiping varnish you'll get the same thing. Your wipe-on is a thinned product rather than a long-oil type. You can use it in a two/three coat mode, and cut back any shine with 600 or pumice to give a good base for a wax, or build up to a film with depth if you want.

As to shellac or lacquer sealing versus oil - Apple, meet Orange. Their solvents are like water in the way they affect wood; the cellulose swells and bonds to the alcohol/ketones if it has time. Oil just fills the holes, it doesn't "stick." Even if you thin the daylights out of oil ("Danish") you can't get it as low in viscosity as alcohol. Only thing that keeps shellac near the surface is the rapid evaporation of the solvent.


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 Post subject: Follow up question
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:44 am 
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Thanks for the answers however I should have been more complete. I am a simple hobbyist working almost exclusively with either walnut or cherry and only use wood that is free of the heartwood whiteish color. I do not use any stain or oils but sand to 220 grit. Then apply the wipe-on poly. The grain on the wood pops nicely and the wood feels smooth after 4 or 6 coats. Cherry especially feels like butter with a rich color. Walnut also looks great but not quite as smooth as cherry. I am concerned that my standards are not high as they should be. Perhaps I should simply try the "rude and crude" to compare. Do any others finish like I do and if not why? Does the rude and crude finish require stain? Is it more durable? More beautiful?

Thanks again


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:39 pm 
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I finish the way you do quite often, though with cherry I like the darker color that an initial application of boiled linseed oil will give the wood. I also use the Antique Oil, which is an alkyd resin for the final finish. Cherry loves oil-based finishes.

Walnut doesn't grow this far north, but when I was in flying training in Oklahoma I got a good batch and built our livingroom tables out of it. Same linseed/alkyd combination still looks decent in the kids' basement thirty some later.

The Minwax Wipe-on-Poly uses a modified soy oil, by my nose, so it doesn't amber light woods like maple and birch that badly.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:20 pm 
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I would suggest you try it on a scrap piece and see what you think. I really like it when time is a question. Rather than waiting 24 hours for each coat of poly to dry (the minimum dry time here in humid Fla) I can have a piece completely done in a day. Here is an example. This is lyptus with R&C using thinned satin poly as the single top coat. It was done in an afternoon.


Image
See "R&C Test"


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:41 am 
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whether you use danish oil or poly or lacquer as your top coat, shellac is always a great first step. The reason is that, as said before, it penetrates the wood fibers and seals them.

I'm sure you are familiar with the way that first coat of poly feels over bare wood. Really rough. So with shellac, you kinda get that initial rough feeling out of the way first, but it only takes an hour or so to dry to the point of working with it. Then you can move right into your poly step or other finish.

The only caveat is that you need to use dewaxed shellac. Some pre-made shellacs have wax in them and may inhibit the bond between the top coat and the shellac coat. Zinnser makes a great pre-made shellac Sanding sealer called Seal Coat. They guarantee this product under any clear top finish. otherwise buy dewaxed shellac flakes and Denatured alcohol and create your own mix.

This is just another way of skinning a cat!

Good luck,
Darryl


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:34 am 
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DDD wrote:
The only caveat is that you need to use dewaxed shellac. Some pre-made shellacs have wax in them and may inhibit the bond between the top coat and the shellac coat. Zinnser makes a great pre-made shellac Sanding sealer called Seal Coat. They guarantee this product under any clear top finish. otherwise buy dewaxed shellac flakes and Denatured alcohol and create your own mix.


Read the label. That'll let you know if it's been dewaxed. I like to avoid the commercial product and mix my own, though Zinnser claims a long shelf life. If you mix your own 1# cut you can always decant the juice from the mush that the wax makes on the bottom. Whether you think the saving is worth the hassle I leave to you.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:46 am 
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NB George wrote:
DDD wrote:
The only caveat is that you need to use dewaxed shellac. Some pre-made shellacs have wax in them and may inhibit the bond between the top coat and the shellac coat. Zinnser makes a great pre-made shellac Sanding sealer called Seal Coat. They guarantee this product under any clear top finish. otherwise buy dewaxed shellac flakes and Denatured alcohol and create your own mix.


Read the label. That'll let you know if it's been dewaxed. I like to avoid the commercial product and mix my own, though Zinnser claims a long shelf life. If you mix your own 1# cut you can always decant the juice from the mush that the wax makes on the bottom. Whether you think the saving is worth the hassle I leave to you.


Just to add a bit to Georges comment on mixing your own. If you do buy flakes you have several choices in color. Blond or SuperBlond (there's some jokes about that ) Garnet, Orange, etc. which can give some subtle interest to a piece. Here's a little info about it - http://www.meritindustries.com/shellac.htm

and an article: http://www.popularwoodworking.com/artic ... r_Shellac/

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:43 pm 
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I like to use Maloof's Oil/Poly finish. With the exception of the 1# cut of shellack, it's like R&C in a can as it's a simple 3 equal parts Pure Tung Oil, BLO, and Poly. It saves me the trouble of the mixing.

At any rate, I think the oils really help to pop the grain, and I love the look. I've used wipe on poly before, and still use it from time to time. Not a bad finish and it's tough as nails. I use it mostly on Red Oak. The oils tend to darken the wood very slightly and it really looks great on cherry, and walnut. I never stain anything these days.

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