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 Post subject: Soap Soup
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:47 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Hey Folks,

Today I finished up the white oak staked leg table. And by finish, I mean with a soupy mixture of pure white soap flakes in hot water. I'd heard of a soap finish from my grandmother, and have often wanted to try it. She was a homestead girl, and literally grew up in a log cabin. Their family table had a soap finish.

I have also heard it called a Scandinavian soap finish, probably because they are the only people who still use it. I got this recipe from Christopher Schwarz', Anarchist Design Book.

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It's applied with a rag, and it's about the consistency of mayonnaise. It soaks in a bit, then starts to harden up. After it hardened, I buffed it off with a dry rag.

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The next day, I sanded it with 320 grit, and applied some more soap. This time it was a bit stiffer, having hardened up overnight. After about an hour, I buffed it off with a dry rag, and it left a nice soft luster, sort of like a soft wax.

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I like this finish, and I think that I'll use it on another table some day. It has a very practical and simple feel to it. It's easily renewable, and in fact, it needs to be maintained with a buffing of new soap now and then. So the table comes with a package of soap flakes and some instructions for the buyer.

I've put it in the shop window, but I don't have a picture yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Cheers,
Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Soap Soup
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:22 am 
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Include some coasters.


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 Post subject: Re: Soap Soup
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:11 pm 
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Location: Skagit Co WA
So Tom, would the soap finish withstand frequent wiping with a damp rag? I can appreciate what a great hygienic finish this would be for a table top. You note that it's easy to re-do and should be 'now and then'. How soon is now and how late is when? (grin)

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 Post subject: Re: Soap Soup
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:31 pm 
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Hey Dennis,

Water does bead up on it, even though it's a water soluble finish. How it stands up, largely depends upon how hard it's gotten before it's assaulted with water.

Cheers,
Tom

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