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Thread: Ready for Finish

  1. #1
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    Ready for Finish

    My hall table is ready for finish and the more I read and research the more confused I get. Most of the techniques for Stickley/Craftsman finish use products that are not easily available locally.
    I don't have to match anything and it doesn't have to be a Perfect Stickley match.
    I'm just looking for a process that will enhance this QSWO.
    Any suggestions on a finishing process that would do this ?
    Wide open question I know, just trying to chose a couple to try.
    I chickened out and didn't do DT for the drawers. Just not good enough yet so I did this....
    Drawers.jpg
    Hall Table.jpg
    Last edited by Mike Burke; 06-21-2021 at 10:10 AM.

  2. #2
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    That's a nice looking table, Mike. You can reproduce many of the Stickley finishes by following the recipes from Jeff Jewitt at Homestead Finishing. Here's a link to the page that will take you to the Stickley finishes article: https://homesteadfinishingproducts.c...rces/articles/ Those products are all available for purchase on the web if you don't have a local source. If you'd rather not order anything then I might suggest you try walnut Danish Oil followed by your favorite wiping varnish. You can make your own wiping varnish by thinning any OB varnish with mineral spirits or Naptha.

    Whatever you do, take some scrap and practice on that first.

    John

  3. #3
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    Nice work Mike. Judging from your pictures I don't think you'll have trouble getting into making dovetails.

    I'm not a big fan of the typical dark Mission finish, so I generally do the following on all my QSWO pieces:
    Varathane Dark Walnut gel stain, sanded to 320;
    2 coats of Amber Zinnser Shellac,
    scuffed between coast with purple 3M pad,
    1 coat of 1lb dewaxed blonde shellac (Wellermart), scuffed,
    then about 6 to 10 coats of wipe on poly scuffed with purple pads between coats. Everything is put on with pads - no brushes.

    20200906_160923.jpg _MG_5409.jpg
    Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the comments on my work and thanks for the suggestions. I have used Watco danish oil a lot on my project. And I have been using some wipe on poly..Minwax and Arm R Seal..I like both.
    So I have a couple questions....
    What grit do I sand the bare wood to before applying stain/dye ? I've read 150 grit so it soaks in but also 220 so it's smooth. I don't want to polish the wood to fine so stain/dye doesn't soak in.

    So what grit for final sanding ?

    Bill does the Gel stain soak in or is mostly coloring the surface ? I have read your other thread about finding your system so there is a reason you chose the Gel Stain.

    Should I wipe the bare wood with Distilled water to raise the grain and then knock off the fuss with 220 grit ?
    I always blow the dust out of the grain when working with oak.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Burke View Post
    Thanks for the comments on my work and thanks for the suggestions. I have used Watco danish oil a lot on my project. And I have been using some wipe on poly..Minwax and Arm R Seal..I like both.
    So I have a couple questions....
    What grit do I sand the bare wood to before applying stain/dye ? I've read 150 grit so it soaks in but also 220 so it's smooth. I don't want to polish the wood to fine so stain/dye doesn't soak in.
    I go to 220 with the sanding

    So what grit for final sanding ?

    Bill does the Gel stain soak in or is mostly coloring the surface ? I have read your other thread about finding your system so there is a reason you chose the Gel Stain.
    Gel is a surface stain, I think. I hate finishing so I found something that I like and quit asking questions.

    Should I wipe the bare wood with Distilled water to raise the grain and then knock off the fuss with 220 grit ?
    I never do.

    I always blow the dust out of the grain when working with oak.
    Same here - blow the dust out and off.

    I've used the Jewitt methods a number of time and it works - down load his pdf.
    Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.

  6. #6
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    If you use solvent and/or OB products there's no need or benefit to raising the grain. 150 grit is good for film finishes but with wipe on finishes I would sand it to at least 220 grit. At the very least, make sure you can't see any scratches. Wipe it with DNA or mineral spirits to confirm.

    I vacuum, blow out the pores, then vacuum, then vacuum again.

    Here's a cabinet I made with QSQO following Jeff Jewitt's process but with my own dye mix. The finish was ARS satin.





    John

  7. #7
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    I started my samples the other day with what I have on hand. Some stains and watco oil...

    Bill....with the gel stain I got the darkest of them all...maybe I did something wrong ? This is only after the first coat with all of them.

    I did try some Amber bull eye shellac...it dried way faster than I anticipated. It didn't perform like a Wiping product for me...maybe I did something wrong with it. I'm used to a Oil poly wipe on that dries slower....
    Should I thin it down with DNA ?

    I have used Watco oil a lot over the years...it's so simple , can't really mess it up. A couple of them don't look to bad for the first coat. I will continue through the process on all of them and see what I end up with. I was hoping to avoid this stage of finishing but I suppose we all go through this experimental stage. Too many options...

    IMG_1528.jpg

  8. #8
    Can't wait to see the finised project, that is a classy piece!

  9. #9
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    I struggle with Oak, it absorbs stain in a bold and uncorrectable pattern.

    Sealing it can prevent that but then you are just painting stain on top.

    Shellac makes a good sealer to keep stain out of the wood. It is usually best to thin it about 50/50 so it can penetrate. It dries in minutes.

  10. #10
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    I'm another advocate for the Homestead method. It really works well. Your table will look great.





    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Burke View Post
    I started my samples the other day with what I have on hand. Some stains and watco oil...

    Bill....with the gel stain I got the darkest of them all...maybe I did something wrong ? This is only after the first coat with all of them.

    I did try some Amber bull eye shellac...it dried way faster than I anticipated. It didn't perform like a Wiping product for me...maybe I did something wrong with it. I'm used to a Oil poly wipe on that dries slower....
    Should I thin it down with DNA ?

    I have used Watco oil a lot over the years...it's so simple , can't really mess it up. A couple of them don't look to bad for the first coat. I will continue through the process on all of them and see what I end up with. I was hoping to avoid this stage of finishing but I suppose we all go through this experimental stage. Too many options...

    IMG_1528.jpg
    Hey Mike - sorry, just got back to this. Ya, yours looks a bit darker than what I get. But I put it on and wipe it off right away, and then sand it. I like the one in the upper left corner - what did you use there? Gonna be a fabulous table.
    Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post

    Whatever you do, take some scrap and practice on that first.

    John
    Please be sure to follow this gentleman's advice. It would be tragic to apply finish to a good looking project like that and find yourself disappointed. Take your time.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for kind words.

    Whatever you do, take some scrap and practice on that first.
    I have made way too many samples...but it's interesting what all the different finishing process's look like.
    Even my customer (my wife) said it looks like a "Science Project"

    Bill I probably left the stain on too long- I am going to try Another sample..

    The Top Left sample is a combination of Watco Danish Oil. I like that one too.

    1st coat Cherry not to heavy...it does give it a reddish tint but does something to the fleck...makes it pop a little..
    2nd coat Med Walnut
    3coat Dark Walnut
    The walnut oils fill in the grain and give that brownish tint
    then wipe on Arm R Seal or Blonde shellac looks good too.

    I like the Danish oils...there easy to use. Just make sure to give them a couple days to cure.

    Getting a couple favorites so I'm getting closer to starting.

    I also like some of the natural or Blonde ones...they look good. That will be for my next project.

    All these samples and I haven’t tried the Homestead process yet. I did find everything I need for Jeff’s system locally though…The Woodsmith Store has TT and general products.
    Last edited by Mike Burke; 07-09-2021 at 12:19 PM.

  14. #14
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    Hey Mike - I made a small frame this weekend and stained it with the Varathane Dark Walnut gel stain.

    20210712_112812.jpg 20210712_112950.jpg

    I put it on and wipe it right off.
    Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.

  15. #15
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    Hey Bill...good timing. Thanks for posting

    My Varathane Gel stain is a different color can, I wonder if there's any difference ? I'll check the No. on the can
    I am going to try my Dark Walnut gel again tonight...with just a wipe on wipe off coat and see what I get.
    I like the lighter color of that finish....

    Here is the table after the first coat of Light Walnut stain. Second coat will be Dark Walnut Watco Oil. Then wipe on Poly

    I have a question while I'm here

    Do you finish the drawers ?

    I'm thinking about a couple wipe on coats of Shellac and waxing the dado for the slides.

    base.jpgdrawers.jpg

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