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  • Finishing red oak

    If you were going to make electrical outlet covers and switchplates out of oak, how would you finish them so they look as good as store bought ones? Would it work to just put a couple coats of Danish oil on them and then spray on a couple coats of Deft satin finish? The reason I mention these products is because that is what I have on hand.

    Thanks in advance for the replies. Now I must watch 24.
    Mike

    Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
    www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

  • #2
    Hay Mike , I think any or both of those 2 finishs. would work fine. the one thing would be ,,,,, handaling. something to keep the hand oil or dirt off. from switching them off an on. maybe even some poly. or even some fiber glass. not the fiber. but just the laquer. can't go rough with the oil. rubbed in good. Evie Edit. be aware of the danish. flamibale. ask Mac, He is the one to know.
    Last edited by minowevie; 01-15-2007, 07:36 PM.

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    • #3
      Mike, I would have to agree with Evie that you want something for the lack of a better word Washable. A good seal as to not let the oils and dirt from the hands sink in and dis-color them. BTW I think that you have been doing a wonderful job on those covers. Steve
      If This HillBilly Can't Fix it Then it Ain't Broke!!!
      My Gallery
      [email protected]

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      • #4
        one dip in Danish oil, followed by 5 or so coats of deft sprayed on with proper drying times will produce a pretty durable finish. Actually, use gloss deft to build your finish, and topcoat that with the satin, sanding in between of course.Dale
        Dale w/ yella saws

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        • #5
          Dale's recommendation in right on the money for what you want. You can also achieve some really nice color variations by staining red oak with Red Oak or Red Mahogany stain before the final finish. Just depends on the color of the other trim in the house in which the covers will be used. Try it first on a piece of scrap to see if you like the color though.
          If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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          • #6
            Actually, they are going to be for resale. Therefore, I am attempting to match as close as possible to the oak ones you see in stores. Our local home and hardware store sells common oak single covers for $9.99. I believe I can make nicer ones for the same price.
            Mike

            Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
            www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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            • #7
              I would think you could make a really decent profit at that price. I buy 1/4" x 5 1/2" red oak for about $1.13 per running foot and it's finished on both sides. Stack cutting two covers at a time would make your production time profitable and the investment in raw materials isn't real great. Hope you do well with it!!!
              If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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              • #8
                Thanks Neal. I just ordered some 6" X 1/4" oak for close to the same price from Sloan's. The only problem is, 1/4" is a bit too thick, I've found. However, 1/8" would be too thin. I couldn't find 3/16" anywhere so I ordered a handheld electric planer that will plane 3 1/4" wide. A single cover is 2 3/4" wide so I can rip these 6" boards in half and plane them down 1/16". That's my plan anyhow.

                Thanks Steve, for the compliment and everyone else for the advice.
                Mike

                Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
                www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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                • #9
                  how are your making the recess in the back of the cover plates, so the edges sit flat on the wall? is your 6" oak board actually six wide or is it 5 1/2 inches wide as would be normal at a lumber store for a 6" wide board? I'm just bringing this up in hopes you checked, because a normal 1x6 board will only rip in half to 2 7/16 wide, which is not wide enough to make a 2 3/4 plate.
                  Jeff Powell

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                  • #10
                    Good thinking Jeff. The recess hasn't been figured out yet. Any ideas? The one I put on my wall and the one I put on my mother's look fine without the recess. You really can't tell, but it has been bothering me a bit. If anybody has an idea, it'll be you.

                    I checked with Sloan's and they guaranteed they were either 6" or at least close enough to end up with two 2 3/4" pieces after ripping them. I plan on ripping them with my scroll saw. Weird, huh? It's too danged cold outside to use my table saw or band saw so I'll scroll them in half. I've got used to scrolling straight lines. This is how I cut all my portraits to size. I may get off 1/32" occasionally but that is still a lot less than the 1/8" I'd lose with my table saw.
                    Last edited by Minnesota scroller; 01-16-2007, 05:09 PM.
                    Mike

                    Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
                    www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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                    • #11
                      Recess and edges........ I'd use my r-o-u-t-e-r... It'd be an easy jig to make for the recess, and a small ball bearing roundover bit in a table would make short work of the edges.......course you may have to buy more tools, but I've never been bothered by that Justify it by how much it will speed up your finished product.....
                      ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

                      D. Platt

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                      • #12
                        Actually, I'm just going to angle the edges 30 degrees with the scroll saw. I think they look good this way. Like my uncle said, it's just a different look.I do have a plunge router on order but have no room for a table.

                        Please explain in detail what you mean by making a jig. Remeber, I am a wood ignoramous, but thanks to you and Jeff and Dale, and others too numerous to mention, I am slowly learning a few things.
                        Mike

                        Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
                        www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Minnesota scroller
                          I do have a plunge router on order but have no room for a table. Please explain in detail what you mean by making a jig. Remeber, I am a wood ignoramous, but thanks to you and Jeff and Dale, and others too numerous to mention, I am slowly learning a few things.
                          A basic, inexpensive router table is not very big, it'd fit nicely alongside your spray glue box!

                          A jig is simply a template or pattern that the router bit follows. it allows you to duplicate a cut over, and over, and over. Do a google search for router jogs....ton's of examples.
                          ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

                          D. Platt

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                          • #14
                            recess time? well, now that your wood is well on its way, its a little late for this thought, but something to consider in the future. Make them out of 1/8th inch thick wood. cut it in two layers. the first layer being just an open rectangle. its hard to explain for me, but like a frame, a rectangle with the center cut out. then glue that to the backside of the other piece, with your figure cut out of it. If you fear the thin wood will be to weak, cut the recess out of the bottom layer, then face glue to the backside of another 1/8th thick layer, then procede with the detail cutting and the outside edge cutting. Did that make ANY sense at all? You are welcome to come over, and I'll show you what I cant explain, but Im tryin! dale
                            Dale w/ yella saws

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                            • #15
                              Surprisingly, I understand. I can visualize it. It would be a good idea except that the problem is, 1/4" is too thick. The 2 I cut were cut from 1/4" and I had to take my belt sander to the back of them to thin them down a little or the outlet appeared recessed. This could cause problems when plugging in an adapter. The prongs may not make connection.

                              I believe I can do the recess with a router and a 3/4" diameter hinge mortise bit. The only part that needs to be recessed is where the oulet itself is screwed to the wall, and at that, 1/16" depth would be plenty. I just need to figure out how to make a jig. The only hinge mortise jig plans for a router I can find are for a 1/2" router bit. My router only takes 1/4".
                              Mike

                              Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
                              www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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