Zebrawood - finishing ideas for christmas - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-17-2018, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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Zebrawood - finishing ideas for christmas

Here is a basic jewelry box made from zebrawood. I have 8 days to christmas to add finishing. Any ideas? Will those black stripes do a grain pop?

I have used in the past on walnut, Arm R Seal (ars) gloss, Formsby Tung Oil finish, and Pure Tung Oil.

Will a zinnsler sealcoat muddy the grain, if I were to add ARS after?
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-17-2018, 07:25 AM
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You don't want to use tung oil. It's the slowest drying finish there is. This time of year it would be after Christmas before a single coat would dry.

What I would recommend is put a natural stain on the wood and allow to dry 24 hours. Then use a water based polyurethane. Any other finish will smell like paint from a week to a month where the waterborne finish will quit offgassing when it dries. The natural stain will make the grain pop but the linseed oil contained in it is incompatible with a waterborne finish so be sure to allow it to dry before topcoating. If you need to rush the finish after a couple hours you could put a single coat of sealcoat on as a barrier coat and then topcoat with the waterborne finish.

Last edited by Steve Neul; 12-17-2018 at 07:28 AM.
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-17-2018, 11:44 AM
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Hereís a box I just made. Itís sanded to 180, then 4 coats of rattle can Minwax clear gloss & 1 coat of rattle can Minwax clear semi-gloss.


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post #4 of 14 Old 12-17-2018, 01:59 PM
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oil based wipe on poly works well straight onto 320 grit zebrawood. Each coat will dry within 24 hours if its kept warm. A couple coats and then leave it in the fresh air till the day you need to wrap it.
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-17-2018, 06:43 PM
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We should keep in mind that @sanvito lives in Los Angeles. Some of the products that he/she mentioned are restricted in California (CARB), and additional products are restricted in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

Oil-based poly finishes are nearly impossible to buy here. Certain solvents commonly used in woodworking are also banned. Paint thinner used to be mineral spirits. You can still buy containers labelled "paint thinner" here, but it isn't the same stuff any more. Need I say that it isn't as effective? MEK is gone. They sell something here called "terpatine." Yeah, that's how it is spelled. Who came up with that? The regulations are all about "volatile organic compounds" (VOCs).

Note: Oil-based finishes like boiled linseed oil (BLO), tung oil, walnut oil, etc. are readily available here. I suppose that they aren't volatile enough, or perhaps CARB/SCAQMD has not had enough time to ban them yet. :-(

Some local retailers sell Arm-R-Seal in small containers. I was told that they get away with it by taking advantage of a loophole, by claiming that the Arm-R-Seal will be used or applied in a way that is permitted. The small size of the containers has something to do with it, too. The retailers know full well that their customers are violating the regulations.

One less concern: the climate. Even though it is December, BLO and tung oil finishes dry in a reasonable time here. It is too late for the tung oil because Christmas is upon us. A BLO finish could be done in time for Christmas, especially if done in warm, dry indoor location with good air circulation.

Around here, people use oil-based stains with the water-based poly, but they must be sure the oil stain is fully dry before applying the water-based poly. The best test is to rub a clean cloth on the surface. If oil appears on the cloth, it isn't dry. If it does not, then smell it to confirm that it is really dry. Nobody thinks it is superior to oil-based poly, but it works.

If it were my zebrawood box and I were facing a Christmas deadline, I would do the following:

* Sand a piece of scrap zebrawood to match the box.
* Wipe some BLO on the scrap to see how it looks.
* If you are satisfied, finish the box with the BLO.

* If not, then try some stains on the scrap.
* If the stain is an oil-based stain, give it a couple days to dry. Test it to make sure it is dry.
* Protect it with a few light coats of water-based poly. You can apply at least two ultra thin coats in a day. Don't shake the can, and use only one or two brush strokes to apply.
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Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 12-17-2018 at 06:46 PM.
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-17-2018, 07:02 PM
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Not only is oil based finishes hard to get in California they tend to yellow as they age and would not look good on a light colored wood like zebrawood.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-17-2018, 11:05 PM
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My 2Ę

I have not had the issue that others speak of with oils in regards to either yellowing or challenge with shipping to any state (???) but I do use a traditional "food grade" blend and perhaps that has something to do with it.

I have used it for over 30 years now and the blend itself is know to be well over 1000 years old. The formulation and alchemy (heating, mixing etc) is proprietary, but it has flax, tung, citrus oil in it and is further blended with beeswax and pine rosin. Additional augmentations of traditional materials to this blend is also done by some practitioners to good effect (aka French Polishing modalities, etc)

In a warm room/shop its drying time is about 24 to 48 hours depending on humidity and U.V. light or sunlight can expedite polymerization of the blend.

The reason I only used traditional finishes and recommend them for most wood working projects large or small interior or exterior is there durability, ease of use and the fact that they are the only finishes capable of actually developing the patinas we find on traditional furniture. Modern "plastics" whether blends or not, are incapable of developing the historic patinas we know furniture can develop over centuries. This is not important to many, to others it is...

Either way, the box looks grand!!!

Regards,

j
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-18-2018, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post

If it were my zebrawood box and I were facing a Christmas deadline, I would do the following:

* Sand a piece of scrap zebrawood to match the box.
* Wipe some BLO on the scrap to see how it looks.
* If you are satisfied, finish the box with the BLO.

* If not, then try some stains on the scrap.
* If the stain is an oil-based stain, give it a couple days to dry. Test it to make sure it is dry.
* Protect it with a few light coats of water-based poly. You can apply at least two ultra thin coats in a day. Don't shake the can, and use only one or two brush strokes to apply.
Thank you. I ended up just using leftover Formby's Tung Oil finish from Lowes. It's basically BLO and other resins thrown in. I used this stuff on walnut a year ago and I found a table shelf I made, and the satin oil looks amazing still.
I put some on a scrap piece, next to Arm R Seal, and pure tung oil. All look amazing but the Formby was lighter colored which is what I'm going for.

Next time, I want to try that Old Master's Tung Oil Varnish.
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-18-2018, 12:36 AM
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100% Food Grade

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanvito View Post
Thank you. I ended up just using leftover Formby's Tung Oil finish from Lowes. It's basically BLO and other resins thrown in. I used this stuff on walnut a year ago and I found a table shelf I made, and the satin oil looks amazing still.
I put some on a scrap piece, next to Arm R Seal, and pure tung oil. All look amazing but the Formby was lighter colored which is what I'm going for.

Next time, I want to try that Old Master's Tung Oil Varnish.
Get some "food grade" pure and try some of your own blends...You won't be disappointed at all!!!

Enjoy and the box looks beautiful...
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-19-2018, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanvito View Post
Thank you. I ended up just using leftover Formby's Tung Oil finish from Lowes. It's basically BLO and other resins thrown in. I used this stuff on walnut a year ago and I found a table shelf I made, and the satin oil looks amazing still.
I put some on a scrap piece, next to Arm R Seal, and pure tung oil. All look amazing but the Formby was lighter colored which is what I'm going for.

Next time, I want to try that Old Master's Tung Oil Varnish.
I would like to see a photo of the finished box. How about it?
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post #11 of 14 Old 12-19-2018, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay C. White Cloud View Post
Get some "food grade" pure and try some of your own blends...You won't be disappointed at all!!!
I'm making a cutting board out of zebra wood also. I found some Walrus Oil, that is FDA food safe.....is any good? I failed chemistry in school so I just stick with out of box stuff.
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post #12 of 14 Old 12-19-2018, 11:26 PM
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Cutting Boards

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Originally Posted by sanvito View Post
I'm making a cutting board out of zebra wood also. I found some Walrus Oil, that is FDA food safe.....is any good? I failed chemistry in school so I just stick with out of box stuff.

I love making these, and have written a far amount here about them and my views on them should you wish to search for those posts.

I don't usually recommend exotic woods for food contact, as some people have a reaction to them. As for oils I believe in simple easy access oils like Coconut and I have never had bad luck with Olive Oil either. Neither are true "drying oils" but they really don't need to be for cutting boards or butcher-blocks. Walnut Oil is another fantastic oil. It is a "semi-drying" oil and for that reason has great favor with many professional woodworkers that design and build butcher block, cutting boards and the related for the professional kitchens, restaurants and Abattoir industry...

Good luck, let me know if I can expand on anything...

j
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post #13 of 14 Old 12-20-2018, 09:46 AM
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Mineral oil? Just a thought.

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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post #14 of 14 Old 12-20-2018, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineknot_86 View Post
Mineral oil? Just a thought.
Walrus Oil is a brand, and I have the mineral oil type. It's all they had at Rockler.
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