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Thread: Finish for shaker oval boxes?

  1. #1

    Finish for shaker oval boxes?

    I am about to start making some shaker oval boxes. I've read that Shakers painted their boxes. I just can't paint cherry or maple. How would you finish cherry or maple shaker oval boxes?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    BLO and wax for me...or shellac...or a wipe on oil based finish.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Columbus, OH
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    I remember an episode of Classic Woodworking where Tom Mclaughlin had a guest on to make oval shaker boxes. I think they used shellac but it's been a while since I saw the episode. You can watch that episode on Amazon Prime if you have it.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  4. #4
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    Mar 2015
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    For something simple, just Howard’s Feed N Wax is nice. Or as Jim suggests, shellac and wax. For a more durable finish a few applications of General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Sometimes you need to put yourself in the mind of the originator of the design and production. While many of us who are woodworkers today get ill about the idea of painting or even staining/dying species like cherry, folks "back in the day" often simply used available material that was functionally appropriate for the task. Maple and cherry have the right "spingy-bendy" properties while staying strong in such thin material I'm thinking, and I would hazard a guess that those properties were most important for the form. So while I personally don't color cherry in particular, it's' conceivable that painting a small piece like this may have happened more than we might suspect. I don't know that for sure, but it's certainly plausible.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Crozet, VA
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    332
    I use shellac on mine (usually the rattle-can variety) although you can wipe-on as well.

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