Finish on Iroko? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-31-2016, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Finish on Iroko?

Hi all, I've built a desk top of 3/4" Iroko and I'm trying to decide on a finish. I'm leaning toward Tung oil or a light coat of satin varnish. Anybody have experience with this?
Thanks...
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-31-2016, 04:05 PM
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I've never heard of Iroko however I know how to finish teak. If you plan to put enough tung oil on it to make a film finish you need to prepare the wood like you would with a varnish. Since the wood has a high natural oil content it should be wiped down several times with acetone frequently changing rags. This removes much of the oil from the surface which can cause adhesion problems.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-31-2016, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Steve - Iroko looks kinda like teak and machines very much like it, but it isn't as oily. I just checked some of the scraps I put oil and varnish on earlier and it seems like the varnish left a more even finish. Probably because it's thicker than the oil - the density of the grain varies greatly in each piece. I'm gonna keep experimenting...
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-01-2016, 08:41 AM
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The top picture is of Iroko that I finished with Teak Oil. The Iroko wood is the two drawer units that I added to my boat.

The second picture is of the helm station. As this was outside (under a hard top) I probably put a finish on it. However, I cannot remember from several years ago.

I do remember that I had to do nothing special.

George
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-02-2016, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Nice work George. I'm looking forward to a boat project with this stuff...

After trying Tung, Formby's, varnish, etc on scraps, I finally decided on straight varnish to give it a little harder finish. I was a little concerned about using oil on a desktop anyway. I rubbed a coat on yesterday with a rag and it looks good. I was surprised that it didn't even raise the grain noticeably. A little fine sandpaper or steel wool and it'll be ready for another wipe or two.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-02-2016, 08:42 AM
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Can you please, show a top down picture of the grain.
From this angle, the end grain and top, it looks like a good piece of pine.
For all the concerns you're having about how to finish it, what makes Iroko worth it?
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-03-2016, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Iroko looks like a combination of teak and mahogany to me (I'm a fan of both). It's very dense and when quarter-sawn has a golden sheen. This website shrinks my 1mb pic down to 47kb - doesn't do it justice, but maybe you can see the grain.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-03-2016, 04:09 PM
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I can see it just fine, thank you. It does have good grain and color. I hope you get it finished satisfactorily.
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