finish recommendation for pen stand?

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Painfullyslow

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I wasn't sure if I should post here or in the finishing forum, but that seemed specifically dedicated to pen finishing so...here we are.

Anyway, I saw a stand that I liked here in this forum and figured that I would try my hand at it. I should add that I am very inexperienced in pen turning and working with wood in general (other than lumber).

Since this was my first attempt at a stand I wasn't expecting it to be a keeper however it came out pretty nice for a first go but I have no idea what to finish it with.

It is simple scrap lumber with a bit of zebrawood that I had. It looks pretty good when I wiped it down so I am looking for a finish that will enhance the wood grain and color.

I would appreciate any feedback on the piece and suggestions on which finish to use.

stand.jpg
 
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jttheclockman

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Any sort of oil finish would bring out the character of the woods but it would also give the white wood which I presume is maple a yellow tint. To me that is what I would do though to give it that warm look. I would either use a couple coats of Danish oil or use BLO(boiled linseed oil) and then top coat with a spray on lacquer. That would be the most simple finish. You could top coat with a poly but to me I always feel wood just has a better look with lacquer than poly. Nice work on the stand and nice combination of woods.
 

monophoto

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Agree with John - use a Danish oil. My preference is for a shop-made version that I make by combining equal parts of McCloskey's Man-0-War spar varnish, tung oil, and turpentine. That formula came from Russ Fairfield - he said it had characteristics similar to Waterlox. Some of the other commercial oils on the market are based on linseed oil and tend to have a stronger amber color.

Wipe it on, let is soak in for 30-45 minutes, and wipe it off. Rinse and repeat. I usually apply 3-4 coats, buffing lightly with a gray Scotch-brite pad between applications. Let it cure for a couple of days, then either use a three-step buffing process, or one of the abrasive waxes followed by an application of microcrystalline wax.
 

egnald

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What I do is pretty much in alignment with what John T stated. Use an oil (Boiled Linseed Oil, Danish Oil, Walnut Oil, etc.) to enhance the appearance of the wood and spray lacquer over the top for protection and/or gloss level if desired. One key to note is to make sure the oil finish has adequate time to dry/cure before applying the topcoat. I am usually in a hurry so I try to wait about 5-days; however, some oils like Boiled Linseed Oil can take a lot longer to fully cure. If I am just after protection I skip the oil and go straight to a spray on lacquer (which comes in glossy, semi-gloss, satin, etc.). The nice thing about spray lacquer is that you can spray multiple coats with only 10-15 minutes between them as each successive coat of lacquer essentially melts into the previous coat providing a good bond.

I suggest spraying some lacquer on a scrap piece before deciding to go the oil/lacquer route as it might produce an acceptable result for you without the hassle of applying an oil finish first (and the drying time that comes along with it).

Likewise, you may want to apply an oil finish to a small scrap and decide if you really need or want to use the lacquer overcoat at all. Oil finishes by themselves is a viable finish, especially on items that will not be handled very often.

Just my 2-cents worth. Good luck in whatever direction you take.

Regards,
Dave

PS I also sometimes just use a wipe-on polyurethane, or a spar varnish if it is something that I think needs UV protection, or mineral oil and mineral oil/wax for a food-safe finish.
 

Fine Engineer

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All great recommendations above, but I would take a different tack myself. I don't think I would put that much time into a stand, and would just use a couple of coats of spray on Spar Varnish and be done with it. One or two coats, then a light sanding to knock down any grain or other bumps, then one careful final coat and you're finished.
 

jttheclockman

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All great recommendations above, but I would take a different tack myself. I don't think I would put that much time into a stand, and would just use a couple of coats of spray on Spar Varnish and be done with it. One or two coats, then a light sanding to knock down any grain or other bumps, then one careful final coat and you're finished.
This is another method but I do not think you will draw out the grain pattern and nice color of the zebrawood which is the focal point on the stand. Beside any of the above methods are basically no time involved either. Many ways to get to the finish line. Again like the stand. and combo..
 

Painfullyslow

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Thanks all, I really appreciate the feedback! I ended up heading out to pick up some danish oil and have given it a couple of coats so far. It really brings out the contrast with the zebrawood which is what I was looking for.

I will give it a week or so and then figure out if I want to do some spray lacquer on it.

stand2.jpg


It is far from perfect as I made this out of scrap but I feel its a solid first attempt.
 

jttheclockman

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I am a huge fan of zebrawood. Have used it many times in my projects. The grain is striking. That stand deserves a nice pen to go with it. Something with zebrawood would surely bring it all together.
 

Painfullyslow

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Just curious - did you cut the curve from a solid blank, steam-bend a solid blank, or use the bent-lamination approach to creating the curve?

I used a 3.5" hole saw on a flat piece of stock for the inside curve and then a jigsaw to cut the outer curve and then belt/disc sanding until everything was uniform.

I know that it is weaker this way however zebrawood is fairly strong and there isn't a lot of stress on the piece anyway.

I would like to try a laminated version as well if I can find some veneer that doesn't already have adhesive on it
 
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