Advice on wood finish please...

Advice on wood finish please...

Post by Mike Debli » Sun, 13 Jun 2004 00:35:08



Hi,

I'm not a great woodworker - background is electronics...

I want to make a smart, modern case for a nixie (valve) clock I've made...

I've got a nice strip of 10mm x 110mm x 1000mm beech (planed) that I will
make the small box out of.

I'm looking for a finish that is almost unnoticable and matt (to show off
the nice wood, and not to refelect the glowing nixie tubes), that would be
easy to clean and be long lasting... oil? varnish?

Also, I.m in the UK, so UK-available products would be a help...

Many thanks for your advice...

Mike

 
 
 

Advice on wood finish please...

Post by Owen Low » Sun, 13 Jun 2004 02:10:14




Quote:
> I want to make a smart, modern case for a nixie (valve) clock I've made...

> I've got a nice strip of 10mm x 110mm x 1000mm beech (planed) that I will
> make the small box out of.

> I'm looking for a finish that is almost unnoticable and matt (to show off
> the nice wood, and not to refelect the glowing nixie tubes), that would be
> easy to clean and be long lasting... oil? varnish?

Please post pics when you get it finished - nixie clocks are waaaaay
coooool (neato, groooovy,spanky,cat's pajamas - bee's knees, Arch).

Since all finishes can be manipulated to a non-gloss, I'd recommend you
instead choose one which compliments your wood selection. Oils and
varnish will darken the tone of the wood somewhat. Blonde Shellac and
lacquer will maintain the "truest" wood color.

Apply several coats of finish, wait the appropriate time to allow the
finish to cure and then use steel wool or fine sand paper (800-ish) to
cut the finish sheen but not so much that you get down to the bare wood.

I'm doing this process with lacquer on several pieces but in the end I
plan on buffing the shine back up to high gloss. In this process the
finish has a beautiful smooth dull sheen.

 
 
 

Advice on wood finish please...

Post by AHilto » Thu, 17 Jun 2004 22:19:08


You might consider what's commonly called the "Sam Maloof" (the famous
woodworker) finish to give you that look.  There are all kinds of
modifications to his mixture but, basically it is composed of the
following....

1) An oil (or two) such as Boiled Linseed and/or Pure Tung, etc. which will
dry/cure and protect the material.  These will, to varying degrees, darken
and maybe yellow the wood but you can get some great depth to the colors and
patterns to the wood this way.

2) A thinner such as mineral spirits/paint thinner, etc that is compatible
with "3)" below.  The thinner...
    A) Allows the oils above to penetrate deeper into the wood
    B) Makes the finish dry quicker
    C) Lets you hand rub the finish easier

3) A film finish such as polyurethane (oil based of course).  With enough
thinner and oil, the film build is very slight with each application.  This
protects the wood and gives you the level of shine that you desire just by
how many coats you apply. 2 to 3 coats will give you a nice matte finish
depending on wood used, etc.

For a simple, one step mixture, mix the above ingredients in equal parts.
To have a little more control, start by mixing more thinner and oil compared
to the film finish.  Coat a few times and then go to the equal mixture for a
few more coats.

What you do is just rub this mixture into the wood and let sit for around
10-15 minutes.  Once the finish becomes (or just before if you can time it
right) tacky, wipe it off the surface.  Don't let it dry that way.  Do this
several times with just very light and fine sanding between coats.  The more
you coat it, the more it becomes glossy.  It won't get real glossy like in a
gloss lacquer application but that's not what you're wanting, right?

This is often what's called an "in the wood" type of finish.  Looks quite
good without being plastic-looking.  For added protection, buff very very
lightly with carnauba wax and some clear oil (mineral oil here in the USA).
Do too much buffing and you'll get more gloss so watch out.

You can buy a commercially made "Sam Maloof finish" from various places and
that's fine but I prefer to make my own.  Like I said above, there's all
kinds of variations in each of the parts.  Do an internet search on Maloof
Finish and you'll get tons of them.

- Andrew

Quote:
> I'm looking for a finish that is almost unnoticable and matt (to show off
> the nice wood, and not to refelect the glowing nixie tubes), that would be
> easy to clean and be long lasting... oil? varnish?