Forum Archive : Equipment

Woodworking--Finishing a board

From:   M Moore
Date:   6 January 2008
Subject:   Finishing a Backgammon Board?


I have a backgammon board which I've made and am just about to the
finishing stage. The board itself is made of wenge and zebrawood, made
of solid wood with the pattern from the 1982 woodworking magazine.
There's also a frame around it made of walnut to hold the pieces,
dice, and to fold up into a case.

My question is what's the best way to finish it? I read one thread
about doing a multi-step process involving oil, pore-filler and
shellac ... I believe I've read elsewhere someone suggested spray-on
Minwax ... does anyone have any experience and ideas on the matter?
This is the first real woodworking project I've taken on so it's all
new to me.

professorpaul  writes:

I like to keep things simple. I've had the best general results with
things like Formby's tung oil -- gloss or matte. Thin coats, smooth
things out with 0000 steel wool, use a tack cloth, etc. Gun stocks,
some furniture projects, etc. For stuff like tables,  I go for the
urethane varnishes myself, especially if they are going to be subject
to water, glasses, heat, etc.

I think the only problem I can see is the fact that you have 3
different kinds of wood that might behave slightly differently.

Let us know what you end up doing. For an experiment, to test things,
could you work on the back??

Bonehenge  writes:

> What's the best way to finish it?

What look are you wanting to achieve?  There's no wrong answer ... Glass
smooth, like a gym floor?  Shiny with a bit of grain texture?  Matte with a
bit of texture?

Do you own spray gear, or would you like a hand applied solution.

> I read one thread about doing a multi-step process involving oil,
> pore-filler and shellac ...

GREAT for a glass smooth look, with a tick of a French Polish look ...

> I believe I've read elsewhere someone suggested spray-on Minwax ...

This can also work perfectly, if your desired result isn't a gym floor
and you don't mind waiting longer, protecting the wet finish from
dust, and possibly rubbing out some dust nibs.

> This is the first real woodworking project I've taken on so it's all
> new to me.

1. Set aside as much scrap from the project as you can.
2. Decide on the final look you'd like.
3. Post the desired look from #2  here
4. Practice the suggested solutions on the scrap from #1.
5. Finish your project confidently and stress free, and show off your
   fantastic work.

Sanoma Products  writes:

I would suggest a wipe-on-poly. Poly is the toughest finish and wipe-
on is pretty much fool proof and you can build it up to the gloss
you want but still leave some feel of the wood. Put some oil on the
item first to bring out the color.

1. Sand to 320.
2. Saturate with a mixture (1 to1) of Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO) and
   mineral spirits.
3. Wipe down excess after 30 minutes.
4. Let dry at least 24 hrs.
5. Wipe on first coat of ploy. (I suggest buying pre-mixed wipe-on-poy
   and follow their directions) basically saturate and ring out a smooth
   rag and wipe it down, careful to just wet the surface with very, very
   thin coat, almost not a coat but no dry spots. Dry about 8 hours (or
   as the can says) then steel wool it to smooth out any dust nibs. Coat
   again. Repeat as many times as you need to get the look you want. The
   first few coats will hardley even look like you did anything (if you
   are doing it right) but then it will start to build up. Once it's done
   let it dry a week and use steel wool and apply a good furniture wax
   and buff that baby out per the can direction.

Careful with the wax, too much is a pain to deal with.

The biggest thing is to try this entire process on a scrap, or even a
2x4, just make sure you experience all of the setps and the finish
looks like you want it to (you can wax the sample after a day rather
than waiting a week). Remember, one reason they call it finish is that
once you put it on you are finished and you aint gonna get it back
off. Not the time to make a mistake.
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



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