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Thread: Finish for gavel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Vancouver, B.C
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    58

    Finish for gavel

    What's the best finish for a contemporary type gavel turned from figured maple?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Deep South
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    Nitrocellulose lacquer is what I would use.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Mills View Post
    What's the best finish for a contemporary type gavel turned from figured maple?
    Is it going to be used and abused or just for show? I like an oil/varnish finish that soaks some into the wood. I generally use "Danish" oil. Oil can help show the figure too.

    I used that on a number of walnut gavels. I prefer the softer look of several coats of the danish than a glossy film finish.

    gavels.jpg

    JKJ

  4. #4
    I suspect a 'hard' finish will be a disaster on the ends of the head if it is struck on any hard surface. I too would recommend a softer finish which soaks into the wood.
    Pete


    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  5. #5
    Having spent 40 years in close proximity to courtroom gavels, my experience is that nearly all of them do have a glossy film finish. The end grain of the head will soak up quite a bit of finish and wear quite well. They are not struck that hard in use as the environment is rarely loud. In fact, their use is really quite limited. I made a gavel for a local judge 2-3 years ago and used WOP.
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  6. #6
    Thanks John this clears up the finishing question for me. A local fellow is planning on making one in my shop and now I can tell hime with confidence what to use for a finish.
    Pete


    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, B.C
    Posts
    58
    Thanks everyone. I mostly turn bowls and my finish is usually a simple walnut oil or sometimes a polymerized tung oil for platters. The client specifically said he doesn't want a typical gavel but something simple and more modern. I turned a design he liked and from the responses here, it sounds like I have options, so I'll experiment with a couple of them.

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