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-   -   Uh Oh. Need some advice about finishing cocobolo (https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f6/uh-oh-need-some-advice-about-finishing-cocobolo-37447/)

tymann09 03-28-2012 10:43 AM

Uh Oh. Need some advice about finishing cocobolo
hello folks. I got myself into a bit of trouble. I'm sure some of you remember the blank that Paul was kind enough to give me which has all kinds of exotic woods in it. Well, there's some cocobolo in there and I've never worked with cocobolo in my life, little did i know, i just decided to finish it with tung oil. I looked up on google finishes for cocobolo and realized i made a mistake due to the oily nature of the wood. But! before i googled it, I decided to just spray some gloss poly on. I put it on a tad bit heavy, after 2 days, it's still tacky. of course it's dry where it's not cocobolo. I've learned that I should likely refinish with shellac. Suggestions? how do I strip the finish?

john lucas 03-28-2012 12:32 PM

I think your main problem is the spray finish over the oil finish but I'm certainly not an expert on finishes. I use lacquer over Cocobolo. Shellac will probably also work. I would remove the other finishes. Mineral spirits might work if they aren't dry. Then I would try some spray lacquer or shellac.

JTTHECLOCKMAN 03-28-2012 12:43 PM


Not sure what type project you are talking about weather it is a pen blank or something larger. If it is a pen blank just sand it off. If it is larger you have to use a chemical stripper. http://www.ehow.com/how_4587520_remo...ne-finish.html

Not all polyurethane is the same so if you look at the back of the can and see what the ingrediants are could tell you what will disolve it. You can try mineral spirits or acetone.

As far as finishing again, you need to seal the wood which is an oily wood. Wipe down with acetone before any type of finish is put on. A dewaxed shellac is a great sealer and can be top coated with any type finish. Lacquer or poly, water base or not. Good luck.

Ledhead 03-28-2012 02:11 PM

Mineral spirits should strip the poly off. Then I've used mineral spirits or denatured alcohol or acetone to "dry" the oils from the surface of cocobolo, just before you plan on finishing it. Then shellac or lacquer would work. I use CA over cocobolo turnings.

brown down 03-28-2012 05:46 PM

denatured alcohol will strip that off. if it was me i would do a 50-50 mix of denatured alcohol and sanding sealer to seal the wood. be careful with cocobolo, it is one of the most toxic woods out there. i know longer work with it, found out the hard way my throat started to swell shut on me!

tymann09 03-28-2012 08:52 PM

Thanks for all the comments guys. looks like i will try stripping it with either mineral spirits or acetone. It is a plate, about 9" in diameter. I'm going to check what the spray can says for ingrediants/cleanup ect. I don't have a ton of money, so i'm going to finish it with lacquer i think, since i've got some of that. i think i would rather do shellac but oh well. i probably won't be able to do all this anytime soon. i've been swamped with work lately (school work) Again, thanks.

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