Author Topic: Walnut finish for William & Mary piece  (Read 1618 times)

bbrown

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Walnut finish for William & Mary piece
« on: December 03, 2014, 08:51:24 AM »

   I am about to finish a walnut William and Mary spice box on frame.  Could any of the experts share their recipes for finishing walnut?  As always, I tend to belabour these decisions   :)

I am considering the following:

Sand to 150
Boiled linseed oil applied with 400 grit wet/dry to help fill pores (at least that's the theory)
Dry 2 weeks (whilst I'm working out of town)
Shellac "warmed" with Transtint "Redidsh Brown' (few drops to each pint or so)
4-5 coats amber or clear shellac to taste
Rub out with 0000 steel wool and wax

The leg assembly will be ebonised separately with a descanted solution of vinegar and steel followed by India ink

Thanks,

--Bill
William Brown

Reproduction Furniture hobbyist
Forest, VA & Camden, ME
website:  www.LineAndBerry.com
SAPFM member #32
Instagram:   https://www.instagram.com/williamfrancisbrown/

Peter Storey Pentz

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Re: Walnut finish for William & Mary piece
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2014, 12:31:29 AM »
Bill,

Before you even start to finish your piece please go to the topic in the Finishing section: Boiled linseed oil over shellac and read R.Bohn's answer along with the other posts there.

The first question I have is:  How long do you want the finish to last?  As laid out, your plan might make it for your lifetime, but afterward all bets are off.  Whenever two chemically disparate finishes are applied to wood, one over the other, eventually they will separate.  How long this takes depends on the chemistry of the finishes and the extremes of the environment (temperature, humidity, UV exposure, etc.)  Boiled linseed oil is not compatible with any film finish I know and, in spite of feeling dry it usually isn't.  I think its drying time should be described as between fifty years and never.   But, an oil finish does look good on walnut (think gunstocks).  You might try BLO followed by multiple applications of colored wax.  If you want to live dangerously you could wipe on an ultra-thin (1/2 lb. ?) coat of shellac in order to cut down on the number of wax applications. Or, perhaps use a different oil or part oil finish.
 If you want to go with shellac then I suggest you forget the oil.

Moving on to the shellac, depending on how you cut it, it seems to me that you might wind up with a finish that has a lot of actual thickness.  In my experience, the thinner the finish, the longer it lasts.  (Within reason)  This is because a thinner finish seems to be able to adjust to the seasonal changes in the wood better than a thicker one.

There is a lot of information on this subject in past posts in the Forum, most of it put up by people who know more than I do.  Take advantage of that knowledge and do lots of samples before committing all your hard work.   PSP

bbrown

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Re: Walnut finish for William & Mary piece
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2014, 11:06:37 AM »

  Thanks for the reply Peter.  You made some interesting points. 

        Am I to understand that BLO is always a bad idea under shellac? I just have heard of other reproduction makers doing that.  Some will even shellac after only a day or two of applying BLO. 
 It would certainly be interesting to have a poll of who thinks BLO is a good idea for enhancing the grain and also how many think it is incompatible with a shellac top coat.

  This has come up before:  some argue that BLO does nothing to "pop" the grain, yet many swear that it produces a significant change, especially with figured wood such as tiger maple, curly cherry, figured walnut, etc.

  I'll go back and look at the walnut recipes.  If anyone has any new ideas, I'd welcome them just for interest sake and to add to the discussion.  BTW, I should not have asked for "experts", as that probably would hold most folks from commenting, as it certainly would have myself.
William Brown

Reproduction Furniture hobbyist
Forest, VA & Camden, ME
website:  www.LineAndBerry.com
SAPFM member #32
Instagram:   https://www.instagram.com/williamfrancisbrown/