May 21, 2009

Furniture Finishing at the Eliot School: Class 3 &4

More Repairs

After stripping, I had to fill the holes I made taking the chair apart. This involved sanding down some commercial wood pegs/caps, as my chairs are metric! I used a belt sander to carefully sand off about a 1/16 of an inch, then gently hammered them in, and sanded. The fills are oak - but I don't mind.

Filling Small Holes

There were a few small holes and a knot that had fallen out to fill. I used a shellac stick, and a small hot iron - like a woodburning tool, but wide and flat. This is like melting wax - use the iron to get the shellac to drip into the hole, smooth as best as you can. Finish by using a SHARP chisel to smooth, and sandpaper to finish. This was addictively fun, and much better that wood filler.


First pass with medium and second with fine grit paper. There wasn't too much finish with these, so I got off easy.


To finish the chair in a traditional manner and to learn how to use oil, I decided to use Tung Oil. This is the first coat, and it was fantastic! It immediately brings out the walnut's richness and grain - unbelievably satisfying. The first coat is a flood - goop it on, wait 15 minutes and wipe off excess with a rag. Next class I will learn to wet sand in the next coat. The oil smells like peanut oil - but it can be overwhlming.

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