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  • Finishing a basswood slab

    I've got a fretwork design cut here on a 3/4 basswood slab - the kind with the bark on ..

    Can I just give it a few coats of spray polyurethane - or would that do strange things to the barK?

    Would dipping it in BLO/mineral spirits first darken it a little, as it does with oak? Or would that effect the bark?

    Any other suggestions for finishing it?
    Ian

    Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

  • #2
    finish

    Puzzled, Spraying the piece may be hard to get an evev finish if it is a large piece. BLO would work but you would need to keep it from gummong up on the inside cuts by using an air compressor. Bass wood will suck up a lot of finish, I would'nt recommend you spraying it. Just my opinion. Rain Man

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    • #3
      Ian I have sprayed basswod slabs before but only the edges where the bark is. Rainman is right on the money in that basswood really sucks up anything put on it.

      The only reason I sprayed my slabs was to help protect the fragile bark from busting off.
      Todd

      Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

      Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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      • #4
        The holes aren't particularly small - and no veining so gumming up with BLO probably won't be a problem if the BLO is thinned with mineral spirits. I was thinking along the lines of protecting the bark, as Todd mentioned, and protecting the basswood surface and making it "wipeable".
        Ian

        Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

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        • #5
          Basswood

          Just a thought, you might want to make up a sample first, as everyone knows, that basswood will eat up your coatings.

          Try using a "glue sizing" in this case, I would go with the 50% white glue and 50% clean water. I would go with at least 2 coats. I would use this as the "base" and then go with whatever clear coating you want to use to finish it off.

          Good Luck.

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          • #6
            Ian, this may or may not apply in this case but on some natural edge bowls that I have turned I would use thin CA glue where the bark meets the solid wood. This would make it a little stronger while I sanded & finished it. Just a thought.
            Troy

            Scrollin' with DeWalt DW788

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            • #7
              Ian,
              The basswood rounds that I've done I've dunked the piece in Danish oil and sprayed with about 5 coats of Deft gloss or semi-gloss. This is an example of the end result.
              Kevin
              Scrollsaw Patterns Online
              Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the responses - the slab has already had one dunk of BLO ..

                Mac: I'd already dunked when I read your message about sizing with wood glue but may try that next time..

                The bark seems pretty tight on this slab so hopefully it will stay put.

                Kevin: that's a very nice looking piece there - I was just looking at that pattern the other day on JZ's site - as you probably know he has some of T Buzelli's patterns there - looks even better cut on the slab like that though ...
                Ian

                Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

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                • #9
                  Mac I'm not sure I understand the "glue sizing" you mentioned. Is that just simply mixing the glue with water and nothing more?

                  You got something on your website about that or can you explain a bit more on that technique?

                  Thanks,
                  Todd
                  Todd

                  Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

                  Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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                  • #10
                    Glue Sizing

                    They are all good suggestions.

                    Glue sizing can brush or wipe on, it is a glue, so it will help some with the bark, its translucent, and is an excellent barrier coat, and it should save you some extra coatings.

                    Its any option that's worth saving in your finishing arsenal.

                    Think Twice, Finish Once...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rivari
                      Mac I'm not sure I understand the "glue sizing" you mentioned. Is that just simply mixing the glue with water and nothing more?

                      You got something on your website about that or can you explain a bit more on that technique?

                      Thanks,
                      Todd
                      That's what I assumed Mac meant - presumably just to seal the wood. Sounds the same principle as sizing a bare newly plastered wall with diluted wallpaper paste (or very dilute PVA adhesive) before putting up wallpaper ...
                      Ian

                      Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

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                      • #12
                        I must be living in a vacuum as I never heard the term "sizing" before as it applies to this topic. I'm all for a better way to preserve the bark edges on those basswood slabs.

                        Good thread Ian.
                        Todd

                        Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

                        Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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                        • #13
                          Sizing is basically another way of priming something. Sizing is typically used on wallpaper. It's applied to the wall before applying the wallpaper. It fills small holes in the drywall while preparing the surface to be bonded so the wallpaper glue sticks better. Drywall will suck up the wallpaper glue causing it to not adhere evenly and potentially come loose.

                          I'd guess using a glue sizing before finishing a piece will also prepare the basswood for finishing so the finish doesn't get sucked up by the wood as well as help it adhere better. Hope this helps.
                          Mia

                          We are the music makers.
                          We are the dreamers of dreams.


                          Easy scrollin' with a DW788

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                          • #14
                            Mia thanks for the further explaination, seems to make pretty good sense to me now, once more the sizing term was new to me.

                            I learnt sumthang new tuday. lol
                            Todd

                            Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

                            Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Like I said, sizing was typically used for wallpaper. However, if you have applied wallpaper in the past five years, you probably still never heard of sizing since newer wallpapers boast that they have new glues that don't require wall preparation.

                              I actually was confused too when I started reading this thread but the idea lightbulb went on when I saw the 50/50 glue/water mix. I haven't used sizing in about 18 years and it's not a term you hear normally.

                              I would definitely give it a shot on the basswood to see if it helps with the finish not being absorbed by the wood. Let us know how you fare.
                              Mia

                              We are the music makers.
                              We are the dreamers of dreams.


                              Easy scrollin' with a DW788

                              Comment

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