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Discussion Starter #1
I'm working on a small table project using maple and I would like it to have an unfinished appearance (no gloss, natural color, not darkened). Since it's a table, I don't want to leave it unfinished.

I've done some reading on pure Tung Oil and it seems this might work, but I have no idea. I've also read various methods for application, from just apply and let it dry to sanding the oil into the wood. I've also read that it needs to be re-oiled once a year, which I'm not sure I'm up for...is that true?

Any other suggestions or questions for me?
 

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I would use a water based low sheen ployurethane the water based really doesn't change the look of the wood at all and still provides a durable finish.
 

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I'm working on a small table project using maple and I would like it to have an unfinished appearance (no gloss, natural color, not darkened). Since it's a table, I don't want to leave it unfinished.
Any surface coat (finish) you put on will affect the colour . Wet an offcut of the wood with water and that gives you an idea of what a totally colourless product will do .
Mineral oil/paraffin oil is as clear as water and does not gloss .
Try that on an offcut too
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'd really prefer to stay away from poly if at all possible. I want to avoid the clear film on top.

Right now, Waterlox and Rubio Monocoat are at the top of my list, but I know there are a lot of others out there.

Does anyone have experience with both Waterlox and Monocoat?
 

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The water based flat poly is as close as your going to get. It takes quite a few coats before you build a film with it. If you don't put more than two coats on it should still look pretty unfinished.
 

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I know water based poly will raise the grain of some woods, will it raise the grain on maple?
Yes the water based poly would raise the grain but if you sand it between coats and didn't put any more finish on then it took to get it smooth then it shouldn't have the film finish look normally associated with poly and offer more protection then an oil finish. If no stain is used you should be able to do a lot of sanding after the first coat because you don't have to worry about taking the color off.
 

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THe best I have ever found that changes the wood the least and offers up a flat sheen, is Formbys Tung oil ( not really tung oil) , it also seems to have pretty good durability , but be sure to test a smaple to be sur its what you want. Also be sure to let it dry fully, as the color the oil imparts when wet is different than when dry. ( less color)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the feedback. I have continued to research and have discovered a product called Monocoat. Does anyone have any experience with it? From what I can tell it seems to be the best fit for what I'm looking for. From what I understand it will resist staining, while leaving the natural wood texture largely intact. It could darken the wood some, like water would, but it's clear and with maple shouldn't change the color much.

Any feedback on this product or other thoughts?
 

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Tung Oil

I've usted Tung oil a lot on Red River Gum and I look it. Easy to use. I sand to fine grit then apply. looks great.
recently have started to sand wet (after giving a good couple of coats) from 280 grit onwards, gives a really great effect. have a play, I think you'll like it.
Regards
Brian
 
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