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Wood Snob
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virginiamommy07 said:
I just bought this table on clearance: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/big-sur-natural-65-dining-table/s450898

It's a "European Oak" and unfinished. The manufacturer suggests finishing it with a Wax Paste.

I've found many different types of Wax Pastes and was wondering which one is LEAST likely to a) change the color, b) be stinky (oy, tung oil is the worst) and c) be "chemically"--I had a surgery gone awry that left me with skin and breathing issues.

Some brands I've seen pop up online include Liberon Beeswax (wax+carnuba+turpentine), Liberon Wax Polish Black Bison (not sure how this is different from other Liberon product) and Daddy Van's (wax+carnuba+olive oil). I've also seen recs online to just mix 6 parts mineral oil and 1 part beeswax.

What do you think?
Don't let the poly/ water base guys dis your desire to put a really great finish on your piece. Your wax+carnuba+turpentine would be my pick. Even the turp is going to add body and hardness to the finish. Unlike mineral spirits when it evaporates it leaves behind solids that increase strength. I set a sweaty ice filled drink on a test piece finished with shellac and wax. it did not leave a white ring after 24 hrs. If you go one line and search out finishes like these you will get the answers you are looking for and not just another opinion of what you "should" use. Give the dining table a proper fine finish. And if it does get damaged it will repair in minutes without a major overhaul. Google it.

Al B Thayer.

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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Wood Snob
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Wow I just looked at your link to the table. Please do it justice and finish with anything but poly. It should really look like a million bucks.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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Wood Snob
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BTW shellac and lacquer dry non toxic and can be eaten. Shellac is found in many of our foods. (Reese's Pieces)Both have zero oder when dry.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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Wood Snob
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So the OP has asked for advice on a wax type finish. Didn't ask for our opinion on what to use. Didn't ask for what we thought was best. All these posts and not a single answer to their question about wax finishes.

My point is, if I asked which plane to use for flattening out a table top. I wouldn't want 10 posts on the speed and merits of a belt sander. Or why it's better or why I shouldn't use a plane that's hard to adjust and sharpen.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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Wood Snob
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No the OP was asking WHICH wax finish. Everyone just dissed the idea which in my opinion is being very short sided. I know it's very difficult for some to understand but this happens all the time. Like the thread on height gauges for the table saw. See one response the OP gave when the merits of using such took over the thread.

The majority is wrong here many times.

I would also point out the level the OP indicated they were at in woodworking. Not everyone is a pro with experience. Would be best if we used a more considerate approach to the responses.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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Wood Snob
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virginiamommy07 said:
Wow, thank you all for your thoughtful replies. Like most things worthwhile, it seems like this is as much art as science. I only wish I had this depth of knowledge on something besides handling toddler temper tantrums. :)

If I try something like poly or shellac, will it be shiny? I like the way the wood looks and feels now.

Alternatively, I was wondering if I could just try the wax. If it doesn't work out, could I hire a pro later to sand it down and seal it using poly or shellac? (I probably wouldn't dare poly or shellac it myself. Seems a lot more irreversible than wax, and harder to do correctly.)

Also, turp sounds "chemically." Could I do the wax+carnuba+turp thing every year or so, then do something more natural like the wax+carnuba+oil paste for touch-ups every few weeks or whenever it loses its water-beading abilities?

----------------------------------------
By the way, I am very much interested in reading both what kinds of wax you like and alternatives like poly. I didn't ask about the latter because the manufacturer recommended wax. It didn't occur to me that there could be something better! So glad you all volunteered your thoughts. And Al, I also appreciate you keeping things on point, too. :) If I were smarter, I would have been more specific in my post.
Good to see we still have your attention and didn't scare you off. If the discussion is open to other methods I'm ready to chime in. Let me start by asking, do you know why wax was recommended? Did it have something to do with your input about " chemical" aversions? Was it touted as easy to apply? Is seeing the beauty of the wood grain important? Will you consider this a fine piece or will the kids be doing finger painting on it from time to time?

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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Steve Neul said:
If you put wax directly on the wood it will make it difficult to put a poly finish on it but not impossible. There was a antique dealer next door to me that put bri-wax on everything they sold. Occasionally a customer would buy a piece and bring it to me to have a more conventional finish put on it. It just takes a lot of elbow grease with a wax and grease remover frequently changing rags. Eventually enough of the wax is cleaned off a finish will bond. I usually had one of my people cleaning a piece like that for about two hours.

As far as putting a poly or shellac on as an alternative the poly is readily available in sheens to dead flat. Shellac on the other hand it only glossy. There is an additive you can get called shellac flat that will dull the gloss to what ever sheen you desire.

Another alternative to the wax would be an oil finish such as Watco oil finish. It would give a more natural look and would be easier to put poly or shellac on at a later date if you wish.

Turps is just short for turpentine. All you would be doing with that is thinning the wax so it would penetrate more. I don't think you can expect water beading qualities out of carnuba wax. It's not like wax on a car. The car finish is already waterproof and the wax makes the water bead. On wood the water will penetrate through the wax into the wood and eventually mix with the wax causing a white spot.
Steve,
A very good post. I would like to add a small note to the turp use. It does stink to high heaven and probably not needed in this project due to the OPs aversion to chems. But it does unlike min sprts aid in the hardness of the finish because it does leave solids behind. When I can I use it in my own personal "mix".

Also everything bonds to shellac waxed or unwaxed except polycrapoline.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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cabinetman said:
I don't agree with that.

I don't agree with that either. I had no problem coating an amber shellac finish with waterbase polyurethane. The furniture is in my own home and done about 8 years ago. Still looks great.:yes:






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"I don't agree with that."

It would seem your posting with out doing your homework. Or is this just another attempt at picking a fight with me?

Simply reading the can of shellac would inform you that the manufactures don't recommend polycrapoline over shellac unless it's dewaxed.

Your out of your league.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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Wood Snob
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I'm unsubscribing for this thread. It's just too painful to read the amount of misinformation dished out here.It amazes me how so many can pontificate and bloviate and not ask the OP a single question.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 
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