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08-10-2010 04:03 AM
…is only part of the equation or finish schedule and was suggested in my previous replies because of how it works with the whole. When asked about the purpose of the cart you wrote:
“The cart is going to be in our kitchen/dining area. My wife would like to set things on it to keep the clutter factor low on the table when we have company. I guess I'm just trying to cover most bases and potentials of what could possibly be spilled on, soaked on or even dishes that may be hot/warm.”
Heat, humidity, moisture, abrasion, spills, food acids; your cart has it all. The finish you apply should provide the maximum level of protection consistent with your ability to apply it in a home shop environment. The finish schedule should also give you (your wife) the look she wants. So, repeating one of my previous replies:
“Given what you have just said, my first choice remains Waterlox varnish applied over the BLO/shellac schedule in my previous reply. This will give you a hard, highly moisture resistant finish that will stand-up well to the hazards you and your wife envision. No finish, however, eliminates the need for trivets of some sort under hot dishes…”
In addition to the red/brown color imparted by the natural dye contained in the garnet shellac, the shellac will also improve the moisture resistance of your finish. Shellac is an excellent moisture barrier. Shellac (garnet) is part of the whole. Waterlox, made from tung oil, is the hardest and most moisture resistant of the varnish types. It also resists abrasion very well. Waterlox is part of the whole. But again, let me emphasize, hot dishes should be set on trivets.
Is there another suggestion? You have many options, all of which (including the finish schedule that I suggested) involve trade-offs. The finish schedule that I suggested (I believe) is the most appropriate based on your objectives. What I will suggest is the importance of understanding the differences in finishes and why these differences are important to us. Scott, in his reply, touched on the color difference between Waterlox (phenolic resin varnish made from tung oil) and P&L #38 (alkyd resin varnish made from soya oil). The selection of varnish components is not trivial. Other important properties include, color stability, UV resistance and ease of repair. We can expand our understanding of finishes in general by considering the properties of other finish types; water-borne acrylics, nitrocellulose lacquer, oils and catalyzed finishes. Finish selection should never be made based on what is available from your local hardware store of big box. Neither should price be your primary consideration…price may be a factor, but only as it relates to functional properties. My point, then, is that we should make an effort to understand our finish options in the same way that we understand our wood choices and the use of our tools. Hopefully, this forum is a useful tool…
08-10-2010 10:15 AM
Thanks much for the info. Locally they gave me quite a "look" when I asked for 2 lb cut of shellac and was informed that they don't do that much anymore which just addded to my confusion. They also stated that with Waterlox being a brand name that there are comparable subsitiutes out there. Thanks again. Dean
08-10-2010 06:49 PM
The owner of the local paint shop. He informed me that it is difficult to find shellac in the flake form now days and said the liquid would work just as well. I really have no clue if it does or not to tell the truth (which is why I frequent these forums). When I showed him your outline of how to stain/seal my project he said the things he had there may work just as well. Is this correct?
08-10-2010 08:32 PM
There really are not products in distribution that are very similar to Waterlox. It is a varnish with phenolic resin--which is quite tough and durable but relatively dark which is manufactured using tung oil, which helps it have particularly It has characteristics that are different from any varnish which contains polyurethane or urethane (same class of resin, just different names).
Go to Jeff Jewitt's web pages to see pictures of awide varieties of flake shellac. The url is www.homesteadfinishingproducts.com . Retailers who have choosen not to carry a particular product are always quick to tell you it is "difficult to find" or "they don't make that anymore". It is as routine a lie as "the check is in the mail"
Will his products work the same--not really--though the shortfalls are usually not so apparent or immediate that it is an obvious failure. But, put the alternatives side by side and in particular follow the results over a period of years and the differents are apparent.
08-10-2010 09:15 PM
Thanks for the link ! Now one more goofy question before I give your minds and fingers a break: What is meant by "flooding the piece" with whichever product you choose (tung oil, BLO, Danish oil, etc)? I've seen it both in these forums and on the containers as well. Thanks again everyone. These fourms really make me happy to have chosen such a fun and interesting hobby!!!
08-11-2010 11:37 AM
Flooding means getting it wet so it can absorb as much oil (boiled linseed oil)as possible for 15-25 minutes. Then wipe it dry. Let it set over night.
Now seal it with shellac (Zinsser Seal coat is a 2# cut of Blond Dewaxed shellac). I bet the guy that said that it's "hard to find shellac" had a can on the shelf. Their aersol can is also dewaxed shellac but I suspect a lighter cut.
Note the items in bold. Tung oil is not as effective as BLO when it comes to poping and enhancing cherry. Tung Oil also costs more.
Finishing is an 'Art & a Science'. Actually, it is a process. You must understand the properties and tendencies of the finish you are using. You must know the proper steps and techniques, then you must execute them properly.