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Amboyna scales


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Ok, so I've put 10 coats of Tru Oil on these Amboyna scales after sanding to 800 grit. The pores weren't filling in.  I sanded it again down to 600 grit with Tru Oil to a slurry.  Some of the pores filled in with that treatment  and some not so much. Just put the 1st coat on after stel wooled the Tru Oil. Lots of pores still show.  I  realize this takes some time but after 2 weeks and not getting any better.  Am I doing something wrong with this wood? I've used Tru Oil several times before with no issues.  Driving me nuts! Any thoughts on this wood? I've never worked with it prior. 

Thanks again 

 

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Amboyna is one of those woods that isn't just finished, it has to be sealed. But you've put so much oil into the wood, I'm not sure how you should proceed. Normally, I'd tell you to soak the wood with some varnish or poly, let it dry, then a light sanding and a top coat. But I'm betting there is so much oil soaked into that wood right now that this process won't work right.

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I've completely sanded down to bare wood, from 400 grit through 3000 grit. There might be a tiny bit left in the big pores. What poly would you use? I'm not going to go the Tru Oil route again on this piece. 

Thanks again 

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Put a coat on Xmas eve.  Dunked it and wiped off excess.  Didn't look better.  Sanded down again and dunked again and wiped off excess with an old T shirt.  Hopefully with the second coat it'll take a smooth look. Minwax Helmsman.

Thoughts?

 

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Depending on the size of the pores, I've had to do 8-10 coats with poly before getting everything filled in and mirror smooth.  I guess what I'm trying to say is to not get discouraged if it doesn't fill in as quick as you want it to.  Keep at it and it'll get better with every coat!

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Seems like some of the pores are larger than the Grand Canyon!! Thanks for the advice. I'll keep putting them on in thin coats.  It'll probably take 10 coats.  But even with 1st seems better than Tru Oil. 

Thanks again 

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Wet sanding is the way to fill pores. When I get to the 600grit paper I put a few drops of blo on and wet sand so the slurry fills the pores. A couple of times and sometimes with larger pores it may need a few more but this is the way walnut has been done for well over 100 years with rifle and gunstocks and is the best way to achieve the smooth surface that you can then go to the finer grits to get a top grade finish. Using a varnish type finish and sanding it off is a slow and much more labour intensive way to get a lesser finish.

Edited by Garry Keown
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  • 4 weeks later...

After a bunch of poly coats. Here's what I've got. The metal has a yellowish color from the ploy. If I were to take this off the tang it would ruin the entire finish! How was I supposed to apply this finish. The pores are obviously filled in now. I did have a oops moment while cleaning up the front the blade where meets the scales and rubbed bairly with 800 grit paper. Now it's dull!! The wood will never be used again in my house!! Unless stabilized.

Thoughts?

 

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I think you did a great job of taking that to a piano level of polish.  It's not an easy thing to do.

 

As for how to do it more efficiently - I don't do it for knife handles.  Personally, I think it makes them too slippery.  If I am using an oily wood, it gets no finish at all other than 800 grit and maybe some wax.  If I am using a non-oily wood, I'll take it to 800 grit and then use BLO thinned down with a bit of mineral spirits to build up 3 or 4 coats.  Even these handle finishes feel a bit slippery to me, but I just can't bring myself to leave it alone at a lower grit.

 

Different strokes for different folks.  If you like that level of finish, by all means go for it.  As you have discovered, it's hard to do and keep the metal bits from getting coated.  I'm not sure how I would approach it any differently than you did.

 

Nice looking results :)

 

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Joined a bit late to give helpful advice, but two suggestions from my carpentry background for future projects:

 

If you don't mind opaque, Durham's "Rock Hard" Water Putty can be colored and fills wonderfully.

 

If you need more transparent/translucent, then shellac is great for sealing and filling voids. If you get the flakes, you can make it as thick as you need but even if not you can carefully re-apply in problem spots. It is an evaporative finish, so all you need is more denatured alcohol and you can dissolve, move around, and adjust as much as you need. Put a final coat over the whole thing and then put a more durable varnish over that.

(Shellac is also great for a base coat for oily wood that otherwise is resistant to finishing, like teak.)

 

I'd also suggest Minwax Polycrylic instead of Spar varnish. Helmsman is amazing if you plan to be in contact with salt water or are leaving things out in the rain, but otherwise it's kinda overkill. The thing to watch with Polycrylic is that while it is "dry" in a matter of hours, it takes a week to fully cure. But it cleans up with water and is so much easier to use (just be gentle with the surface for a week). 

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