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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cherry Jewelry Box - Episode Four

This is the fourth and final episode of the cherry jewelry box project.  I introduce an interesting new finishing technique, and also do another shop test with some surprising results.  Many of you may have heard me extolling the virtues of a simple oil and wax finish, but I believe I've taken it to the next level on this project.  As always, I'd love to hear your comments, questions, and feedback.


15 comments:

Kenneth said...

Great work, Rob. That cherry looks awesome under that finish; I'll try it some day when I can spread out. I have to go catch up on the previous episodes now.

I'm sure that your niece is going to love it.

Rob Bois said...

The other thing I meant to mention is that it doesn't cost much to start using the hot oil treatment. I paid $10 for the slow cooker (Target) and $8 for the thermometer (also Target), and $3.50 for the plastic squeeze bottle (Rockler). If you have any of that stuff already around the house, even better - just don't use your wife's slow cooker without asking first!

TheWoodWhisperer said...

I love finishing experiments! Great post Rob.

Gabe said...

Rob, excellent post and great project! I would like to know if you've considered continuing your experiment with heating finishes to other finishing products, namely shellac. As it's a common finish for cherry, I think that if you were to make a thin cut of a shellac mixture you would end up with, after some evaporation, with a heated version of the cut of shellac you originally wanted, only heated to penetrate deeper, bringing out more grain... I'm not really sure if it would work, but I'm interested to see what you think.

Rob Bois said...

The difference with shellac is two-fold. First, shellac is a film finish rather than a penetrating oil, so it doesn't need to soak in like oil does. Secondly, shellac is alcohol-based, and heating it would at best cause it to dry very quickly and at worst flash. So I don't think I'm going to go down that road. However, I could certainly see experimenting with other oils like tongue oil or danish oil. I'd just want to verify that flash points of anything I heat to make sure I'm going nowhere near it!

Fred Blotnic said...

and after you are done with the oil you can whip up a pot of chili! :)

Michael said...

Beautiful finish. One question if I may, what would be the longer term care instructions that would go with a piece finished in this way?

Rob Bois said...

Michael, one of the benefits of oil & wax I forgot to mention is that maintenance is easy. Just periodic applications of wax should keep the piece looking great, but if the finish were to become scratched or scuffed, you could just remove the wax and add another coat of oil. The finish is completely renewable unlike varnishes. You could even seal the finish with a few coats of shellac, which would also be reversible if you ever needed to repair the finish.

Matt R said...

I am curious if a finish like this would work on wood floors? I like the natural finish and would like to stay away from the modern, chemical-laden finishes. I'm just not sure what impact shoe-treads would have on the nice wax finish.

Rob Bois said...

As much as I'm a fan of this finish, it's not high on the durability spectrum. Because there is no film finish, the wood has no protection against scratches and dings. Great for a jewelry box, but not so good for a floor. It would look really cool though...

Anonymous said...

Rob, I just found your site today and really enjoyed it. Thank you for the great tips! One question regarding the finish you used on the jewlery box, would you recommend this finish on kitchen cabinets? I have oak cabinets that have not had a finish applied to them yet (mainly because I'm not sure which method would be best). I love the finish on the jewlery box and would like the same on my cabinets, if you think it would be suitable.

JimC said...

Rob, great job on the jewelry box - I'm sure your niece will love it. Perhaps next time you do a blog on box building, you could spend a little time on the installation of hardware - hinges and lock assembly. This is where I always seem to run into problems.

Thanks for the very informative blogs.

Rob Bois said...

First, with regard to the oak cabinet question, I would suggest that heated oil may not be necessary on an open-pore wood like oak. And for a kitchen application, a film finish like a varnish might add more protection over the oil. As for the question about hardware, I will definitely do that next time. I expected most people would find the hardware installation boring, but apparently I was wrong. My next project is a six-leg sideboard with two cabinets, so I will plan to record the hinge mortising operation for that.

mattswoodshop said...

Thank you for posting I enjoyed your video... The way you set up the grain pattern on this box is amazing!!

Morton said...

Rob - love the experiment. Awesome. I'm definitely going to look into that for a future project. I typically like a home-made danish oil and may do some experimenting of my own on that and see the results. Thanks for the tips.