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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings Gents, I've been out of the hobby for a few years due to a divorce and the loss of most of my tools. Working on a jewelry box for Christmas. It is Bubinga and Maple. For a finish I was thinking of sanding to 240 and using a semi gloss or gloss polyurethane from Woodcraft that is water based. General Finishes HP they call it.

In looking at some of the examples of finished projects here I see some maple that is almost gold in color and has a really nice shine to it. Can someone share how you are getting that color and shine? I see discussions of using steel wool and wax. I appologize I don't have a lot of experience with fine finishes.

Thank you, Mike
Jacksonville, FL
 

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Some finishes have colouring, which is what you are seeing in the "gold" coloured maple.

Oil based finish normally gives the wood a light amber tone.

If you want a glossy finish then purchase one which states glossy. If you get semi-glossy it will not shine as much as you want.

Semi-gloss and satin contain silica particles to reflect the light in different directions to make the surface appear to not reflect the light.

If the glossy finish is not as glossy as you want, you can buff this after it has cured to a greater shine.

Wax can be applied and easily buffs to a greater shine, but just be aware once you apply wax you cannot easily apply future coats of finish e.g., if you want to fix a scratch. The wax will not allow the finish to adhere.

Bubinga and maple look good together.

For wipe on finish I like to use either Minwax Wipe on Polyurethane or General Finish Salad Bowl Finish. The former goes on in thin coats so needs more coats. The latter goes on with thicker coat, so fewer coats, but longer cure time.

Both will take buffing well once cured and will add some amber tone to the wood.

For a water based finish I like General Finish Enduro-Var. I have not tried to buff this, but I expect it will buff to a good shine, but it will take a number of days before hard enough to be buffed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info. I will experiment with the glossy General Finish and see how it looks buffed out, several coats, etc and try different variations. I'm guessing it's like a car finish, the more clear coats and buffing you do the deeper it looks.

This is some beautiful wood so I really didn't want to add any stain or tint to it, though the gold color of the maple appealed to me. I see what you are saying perhaps multiple coats and buffing will give it better coloring. I will experiment with it a bit.

Thanks again. Mike
 

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Here's an example with some gold color. The center of the table top is bubinga, and the surround is soft maple. I built this to learn French polishing, so the only finish applied was the garnet shellac I used. The garnet provides the gold color (go figure). French polish is best for large flat fields, but you could still pad (or spray) the box with it. Be aware, most waterborne finishes are crystal clear (if that's the GF you intend to use), so the color you get will be the look of wet wood, and that may be what you want. But if it's the oil based varnish, you will get the amber cast that most oil based finishes provide (and that will get deeper over time).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's beautiful. I'll look into shelac and oil based finishes. I like the gold tint better than the natural maple. I found a book on all types of finishes so I will give that a read so I'm not taking up everyone's time with newb questions.

Understood on the clear finishes. I'll try some test pieces with serveral layers of clear gloss and buff them out and see what it looks like as well.

Thank you, Mike
 
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