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Wood Base Finish

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Helder22

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So I finally got around to making a wooden base for my Olds Hit Miss. Im not exactly what kind of wood it is but i\Im guessing some kind of mahogany.

Now I need to apply some kind of finish to it to seal it. What do you guys use to protect your wooden bases? It has to look good but it also has to be able to withstand an occasional gasoline or oil spill.

Any ideas?
 

Heffalump

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I wonder if a good waxing would hold up to oil/fuel spills?
 

barnesrickw

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Enough coats of boiled linseed oil can be very durable when dried. It's also easy to repair if damaged. Rifle stocks used this, and gun oil never seemed to bother it. I use it exclusively on my furniture. The end grain is the real problem, especially with woods like mahogany. Soaks up liquids like a sponge. Most people sell luan as mahogany these days, and luan is a poor quality wood. (I would use hard maple or cherry). Get the end grain very smooth. Planing with a hand plane is better than sanding.
 

Helder22

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Thanks for all the info guys. Ill take a look to see which of the products you guys mentioned is available locally (Grenada).
 

Swifty

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I have used a good few coats of wax, but have found out that it is not good for fuel based engines.

Paul.
 

Goldflash

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When I used to build Model Aeroplanes using Diesel and Glo Plug Fuel the best paint/ varnish for the Engine bay was Polyurethane.
These engines always leave an oily residue all over the place.
This can be applied over wood stains etc. It does take a while to dry hard and it polishes up nice if you build up a few layers of varnish and then cut it back with a bit of 1000 wet and dry emery paper and then use automotive cutting compound wax to give it a nice shine .
 

Lisa_Clark

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First of all, you need to prep the wooden base. The first step goes with sanding to make the base even removing debris and other build-outs. Secondly, we need to remove the large defects such as dents, glue spots, and splits. In this step, you can use a filler such as putties and waxes. Whereas, glue spots can be removed using scrubbing. If any further stains remain you can bleach.
Here comes the staining part. Here it is important to remove the difference between sapwood and heartwood. Afterward, coat it with some boiled linseed oil or you can also use tung oil. Let them dry. And there you go with an awesome wooden base.
 

tornitore45

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I second the polyurethane suggestion. Easy to apply dries, fast (compared to linseed oil which takes months)
At least 5 coats with wet sanding in between.
 

williejohnc

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I have been working with wood and steel for some time (about 50+ years) and have found that the following never lets me down:
1. Finish your preparation well with emery paper and steel wool, to the best surface feel you can achieve.
2. Next apply a coat of a mixture made of 1/3 Mineral Turps and 2/3 Boiled Linseed Oil (Must be Boiled.) Natural Linseed takes forever to dry and is perpetually sticky. This mixture because it is so thin, penetrates into the wood. Keep giving it coat or so. It will disappear. You will find that this really brings the grain out and will give you the base for a very superior finish
3. Wait about 24 hours or so, until it dries off,(the boiled Linseed will dry in this time) and then give it a light brush over with steel wool, to de-nib.
4. Then apply your polyurethane.
5. I like to apply polyurethane, (thinned about 5% with Turps), by way of a rubber (a small amount of old T shirt formed into a ball and tied off with a cable tie). This allows me to wipe on about 5 very thin coats of 'thane. A few brushes with steel wool in between if required. The final result is quite magnificent.
6. Final touch is a rubbing of wax (either furniture or automotive).
7. Bingo! You would swear it was bought in a shop. 😊
 

BigBore

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I have been a woodworker for 35 years. For protecting projects for my own shop I use Watco Danish Oil. It is a blend of a penetrating oil and varnish. What makes it a very effective finish is it hardens IN the wood, not on it. It also gives that hand-rubbed, professional appearance.

It is thin (like water) so one applies a liberal coat of it. It really soaks into the wood fast and after a half an hour or so you can 'slop' on another coat. Then I leave it over night. The next day I'll give it a wet sand with 600 grit and apply the 3rd coat. I let it dry over night (2 days is even better). You now have a finish that is deep INTO the wood. It is durable because of the penetration into the wood and the relative hardness of the varnish. It will stand up to water or oil. Of course I never spill anything. (🤔 "That's not what I remember")

Whatever wood you use, it not only protects but brings out the grain and patterns in the wood. It may take 3 days to finish the wood but the ease of application (can't really mess it up) and the visual results are worth the extra day or so. Poly is also great but one can leave brush marks or mess it up in other ways.

I have bench legs, storage cabinets, and wall storage that are 10-15 years old and still look great. Personally I like a gloss finish. I put a coat of Johnson Floor Wax on those items and buff it when it hazes over. I re-wax it every couple of years. Easy-peasy and cutey-patooty! Poly is a great finish also but one can mess it up if not applied correctly. Plus it is only a surface finish where Watco is a deep, penetrating finish. You can get it anywhere stains and finishes are sold.

Ed
 

Doug Burkart

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I use Minwax's Helmsman Spar Urethane on wood that is in contact with oils and chemicals. I have used it on three workbenches and the skids for hit-n-miss engines with very good results. The oils and stuff just wipe right off. I usually apply three coats with light sanding in between and then apply paste wax with some 0000 steel wool.

Doug
 

bigal2749

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Strongly agree with BigBore


"I have been a woodworker for 35 years. For protecting projects for my own shop I use Watco Danish Oil. It is a blend of a penetrating oil and varnish. What makes it a very effective finish is it hardens IN the wood, not on it. It also gives that hand-rubbed, professional appearance."

Finished my cabinet and wood skids on a Carlisle Fitch 1/2 hp 12-13 years ago with that technique. I did add Minway stain to alter the color.
Wish I still had the Carlisle Fitch but fuel or oil did nothing to it.
I put no other finish on them.
Instructions were to reapply every 6 months or so but never found the need.
Couldn't get an image to really show it off.

IMG_0442.JPG
IMG_0420.JPG
 

Richard Hed

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Strongly agree with BigBore


"I have been a woodworker for 35 years. For protecting projects for my own shop I use Watco Danish Oil. It is a blend of a penetrating oil and varnish. What makes it a very effective finish is it hardens IN the wood, not on it. It also gives that hand-rubbed, professional appearance."

Finished my cabinet and wood skids on a Carlisle Fitch 1/2 hp 12-13 years ago with that technique. I did add Minway stain to alter the color.
Wish I still had the Carlisle Fitch but fuel or oil did nothing to it.
I put no other finish on them.
Instructions were to reapply every 6 months or so but never found the need.
Couldn't get an image to really show it off.

View attachment 118883View attachment 118884
You better make a new cabinet next.
 

rmd55

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I make my own "Danish" oil the base mix is 1/3 boiled linseed oil 1/3 poly, I like Minwax, 1/3 thinner. This works great for penetrating the wood and can be over coated with poly or built up with 6 or 8 coats by itself. To keep brush marks out of poly use the highest quality natural brushes and thin. I sometimes thin the poly up to 25%. Some people like spar varnish I have found the only real difference is what makes spar varnish "spar" is the UV inhibitors so if the item is not for stored in sun light I have found no advantage in using it. One real disadvantage of using any poly verses an oil finish is damage occurs. Oil is easily repairable poly is not. Once poly has fully hardened new coats will no longer adhere to the old poly. I have had failure of poly when working on a project and I could not get back to it for a week to put the next coat on.
Richard
 

dnalot

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I like to use a wipe-on poly. Apply a first heavy coat and let it dry till its gummy, then use a card scraper to remove the excess leaving the pores and grain filled. follow that up with several coats that are wiped on and wiped off. I like to use the scraper because the Polly doesn't sand that well until its hardened.

Mark T
 

awake

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Mark, that's an interesting technique - I'll have to give that a try.

For larger pieces, I usually spray the polyurethane - less efficient in terms of wasting some of the poly to the air, but way more efficient in terms of time.
 

Anatol

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There's waxes and oils, and there's varnishes, there's oil based varnishes.
Then there's plastic resins that set hard when the water evaporates off.
It depends on your goal. To treat the wood, if you care about strength and durability,
I'd use to old shipwright's recipe - gum turpentine and linseed oil, in three coats, at least 24 hrs apart.
1. 25% oil, 75% turps
2. 50/50
3. 75%oil, 25% turps.
The logic of this - the turps penetrates deep, taking some oil with it. Mosturises the wood, keeps it flexible.
The later coats with more oil produce a seal at the surface. Painters (picture painters) call it 'fat over lean'.

Homemade furniture polish - old school. Warm linseed oil. Melt beeswax in it.
Let cool, then mix in gum turps to make a paste. very nice. keeps forever.
Old school varnishes were basically turps, oil and a (tree) resin dissolved in. Gave a harder surface.

Of course, any of this would be (somewhat) susceptible to VOC solvents. like gasoline.
If you want a sealed surface, just epoxy the thing. :) Its tough, only problem is its not UV resistant.
Not a problem indoors.
 
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davidyat

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I'm finishing a wooden chess board. I heard about Rubio Monocoat and I think I'll get a sample and try it out. Here's their website:
Grasshopper
 

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