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post #1 of 4 Old 12-12-2011, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Finishing question

I'd like to achieve a smooth high gloss finish on this walnut piece but can't seem to fill in the open grain enough to loose this dimpled appearance. I'm using a prepared "tung oil" finish and have at least 10 coats, sanded inbetween. Should I just keep going or there something else I should try?
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-12-2011, 11:27 AM
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short answer, more finish. here is what I do. You apply the finish and let it dry. then you hit is with 4/0 steel wool or 600 grit paper and sand away all the finish except what is in the pores. then you apply more and do the same thing the next day. Eventually you will notice the shiny dots (which are the pores with finish in them) will get smaller and fewer. that means your close. Depending on the finish it will take anywhere from 4 to possibly 20 coats to get a glass smooth finish. Once you get a sanded finish that doesn't show any more spots apply one or two more coats. After the last coat use a white rubbing compound to smooth out any sanding marks. then use a final rubbing with swirl remover. Or you can buff it with the Beal system but it's very easy to burn through a finish with the Beal.
For Walnut I prefer to use Birchwood-Casey True oil. It's a gunstock finish you can buy at sporting good stores and even Walmart. It builds faster.
Here is a vessel I did for an article on how to photograph really glossy pieces.
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-12-2011, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john lucas
Here is a vessel I did for an article on how to photograph really glossy pieces.
That's exactly what I'm looking for. I'll just keep at it. I'm glad to hear your comment about the Beal system too. I've learned that it smears lacquer very quickly but the wax wheel alone helps smooth out spray marks pretty well. Any other tips there?
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-12-2011, 01:01 PM
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I did forget to mention that there are commercial fillers that fill the grain faster but you have to mix colorant with them if you don't want to change the color of the pores. They are somewhat expensive.
Back when I did furniture I would fill the pores by sanding the wood with the finish. This formed a slurry and the sanding dust mixed with finish would fill the pores a little faster. It was a little finicky. If you wiped off the slurry too soon it pulled it out of the pores, too late and it left streaks that were hard to sand out.
The wax wheel really won't remove marks from the finish. If you let the finish dry for several days and then use a slower rpm and lighter touch the Beal system works pretty well. The brown stick is for leveling the finish and getting rid of uneven finishing. The white is to remove the lines from the brown and bring it up to a gloss. I often don't use the wax. Mostly what it does it remove any of the white stick residue and leave a wax behind. The wax however seems to show fingerprints. I do use it because it's quicker.
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