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Non-darkening natural finish?

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  • #493567
    GfB
    Participant

    These are from my Miller’s Falls #5. I think the tote is Chocolobo (or whatever the name is), but it certainly looks like the knob is a different wood (Walnut?). Both were stained red when I got the tool, so I think they’re original.

    The first time I refinished the knob with BLO, the grain completely disappeared.

    I’ve stripped them again for refinishing. I’d like not to lose the grain. Is there a better natural finish that won’t darken the wood?

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    #493599
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    clear shellac will work. Several coats with #0000 steel wool between them.

    If you are using canned stuff, I prefer Sealcoat, which is dewaxed and a lighter cut ( thinner).

    Work in some paste wax or beeswax at the end with more #0000. For a high shine use a carnauba wax blend of some sort.

    BLO is known for darkening woods. It will darken more over time.

    Your totes may be some combination of rosewood and Gonçalo Alves, which they moved to in later years.

    http://www.wood-database.com/goncalo-alves/

    This type study says that was when they started the red stain.

    http://oldtoolheaven.com/bench/benchtypes.htm

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Larry Geib.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Larry Geib.
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    #493777
    Ed
    Participant

    It’s common for oils of various kinds to react with and darken wood. The degree of darkening depends upon the type of wood and the grain. Wiping a clear oil onto cherry, for example, often leads to darkening. Since cherry has complicated grain and since oils readily move into the grain, the result can be heavy blotching even though no color was applied at all. It’s frustrating when you know about the blotchiness of cherry, choose to play it safe with a clear finish, and get a big blotchy mess anyway.

    So, you need to choose something that won’t react with the wood. That’s a matter of experimentation, but as Larry suggested, shellac or a water based finish are both good candidates for an experiment.

    I never use BLO for anything. Ever. It takes forever to dry. Other finishes are better and dry thoroughly. It’s all the rage on the web, I know, but I don’t understand why people do it to themselves. It’s only utility is for use under shellac to deepen the grain, but I can do that with better products that work faster, so even then I don’t use it.

    #493820
    GfB
    Participant

    Yeah, I’m thinking about moving from BLO, because it has been my experience that it darkens. There’s also a small chance I’ll go home to … no home. (just kidding, I take necessary precautions.)
    I don’t mind the mixed woods. My plane will be somewhat unique.

    I went out and bought some clear shellac, and I’ll give it a shot tonight!

    #494703
    GfB
    Participant

    I am impressed! Very much improved, and I can see the grains on the knob. I am happy!

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    #494743
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Looks great.if you want a bit silkier feel, you can overcoat with a coat or two of wiping varnish and it won’t darken. I use Minwax tung oil finish or Antique oil finish

    These totes and knobs are beech that were given a thin wash of Jacobean to bring out the grain and Ray flecks. it’s three coats of shellac followed by wiping varnish. Then carnauba wax.

    They were pretty beat up black paint when I got them.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Larry Geib.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Larry Geib.
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