How to finish black walnut - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-11-2012, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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How to finish black walnut

I am making a case for a Knights of Columbus sword for my dad. The sword was his dad's. I've already gotten started and am prograssing well. It is black walnut. I am wondering if I should stain it or just poly? I want it to really say "Hey, this is a showpiece".

Bud

"Veggie burgers aren't bad if you put enough meat on them"
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-11-2012, 10:43 AM
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Why would you want to put stain on walnut? Let the natural beauty show!

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-11-2012, 10:58 AM
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Second no stain

Most people stain other woods to look like black walnut.

This is normally dark, and so the only options would be to dye or stain to be even darker.

Personally I would not change the colour. Let the grain show as is.

You may want to use shellac to accentuate the grain before applying poly, especially if it is water based poly.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-11-2012, 11:00 AM
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Traditionally walnut should have the grain filled with a pastewood filler because of the open grain. Then lightly sand with 220 paper to get the excess off and finish with a clear coat. Polyurethane would work fine. If you use a walnut woodfiller it will darken the wood a little but not as much as stain.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-11-2012, 11:18 AM
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I like the look of Black Walnut when wiped with BLO (50/50 with naptha). When dry apply film finish.






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post #6 of 11 Old 06-11-2012, 12:01 PM
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Im with cabby on this one. I also would use BLO, or even Danish oil on walnut works well. Let dry and finish with a clear coat.

When it's rustic......it's rustic
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-11-2012, 02:03 PM
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For a walnut piece that doesn't need the abrasion or stain resistance of a table top, many would choose a more subtle finish than polyurethane plastic. Also, IMO, fillers, unless required for some other reason, mask the natural beauty of the wood. Likewise, stains or other artificial coloring shouldn't be necessary.

For just a little more, you can do it yourself.
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-11-2012, 02:20 PM
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im no finishing expert. with that said , i have done MANY MANY walnut pieces . i always use minwax antique oil.

its an easy way to go. and looks great !!!!!!!!!!

build it right or not at all
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-11-2012, 03:13 PM
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I would check with some "expert" and be sure that your finish does not end up affecting the metal in sword. Oil based finishes particularly off-gas for quite a while and the gas becomes concentrated in an enclosed container.

Howie..........
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-12-2012, 05:02 PM
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Just my buffalo nickles worth, but I stained the highly figured burled walnut gun stock on my Thompson Center .50 cal. Hawken rifle with a purely homegrown stain. It was made from disolving the juice from a plug of chewing tobacco ("Days Work" brand to be exact but I believe "Mules Ear" would work as well) and some dry snuff my brother gave me. I let the concoction fester in a Mason jar with turpentine, linseed oil, and rubbing alcohol for a couple weeks, with an ever so often stirring and mashing to extract the juice and stain. After I strained the mess through the leg of an old panty hose (I rinsed out the panty hose before giving it back to Ma) I tested it on an area of the stock that would not show. Once I applied it to the stock with an old Argile sock, it highlighted the grain and subtle features of the wood nicely. I allowed it to dry on the stock for a day, then wiped the stock down with alcohol, then sprayed satin polyurethane in one heavy cote, then steeled wooled for smoothness. It was a thing to behold. I will post a photo of the gun that I just presented to my son for safe keeping. I learned the secret formula from the owner of Dixie Gun Works in Union City, Tn. about 30 years ago while visiting his business and buying a percussion handgun.

The finish didn't smell or give off any other foul odors. Thought about trying coffee grounds as well, but never got around to it. Walnut husks work well but you better wear rubber gloves as it will take 50 years and a tub of lye soap to get it off your fangers and a wire brush to remove it from under them fangernails....Like I said, just my buffalo nickles worth...Stan

Design by CAD, measure with calipers, cut with axe, whittle to fit...

Last edited by oleStanman; 06-12-2012 at 05:06 PM.
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-12-2012, 07:11 PM
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Im gonna have to try that one out OleStan!

" The second mouse, always get's the Cheese! "
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