Danish Oil or Shellac or BOTH?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mel Silva, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. Mel Silva

    Mel Silva Agent

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    It has been a while since I have worked on my Shiva EPS sub, but I now have some time to work on it again.
    I have searched through the archives and can't find a good answer to my issue. I want a nice and durable finish. I bought a piece of solid cherry 2x2 at the local Woodcraft for the sub legs(feet) and had enough to make some test blocks. I also bought Danish Oil (Cherry colored) and a Hock Shellac kit in Orange while I was there. Using my test blocks I have applied the Danish oil (3 coats) to one test block and the orange Shellac to another hoping to determine which finish I liked better so I could "get on with it".
    I know that Shellac is both durable and non-toxic (sub plot: I will have a new-born in 6 months and need to consider if these things would be toxic). The Shellac is a beautiful, but very light, finish. I think I like the coloring and grain pop of the Danish oil better but I like the durability and hardness of the Shellac.
    I can't seem to find anyone willing to "give away" information on how durable the Danish oil finish is, or how to protect it (who knows what may end up on top of the sub after it is finished and in the HT room). Can I (or more to the point, should I) put Shellac over Danish Oil? I have tried it on one face of my test block (put Shellac over the Danish oil) and can't see any difference in coloring or reflectivity. Should I put thinned Linseed oil over the Danish oil to protect it, or a wipe on poly?
    What to do, what to do? Can anyone give me some sage advice before I pull my hair out? See the link below for the latest update to the sub-saga
    Subwoofer Update
    Thanks,
     
  2. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Okay, I'll give away the info. You have seen the great aspect of Danish oil and described what it does to wood grain very well. What Danish oil does not do is protect the wood. It's the least protective "finish", with no protection against water/alcohol stains/spotting. You could use most any other finish over it once it has dried sufficiently. If you hadn't already bought the shellac, I'd recommend you consider polyurethane finish, which is one of the most protective finishes, and non-toxic after it dries. It is easy to apply and you can use the level of gloss you want, e.g. if you don't want a fake, ultra-shine, then use the satin poly.
    There you go, no charge [​IMG]
     
  3. Mel Silva

    Mel Silva Agent

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    Thanks Hank. I did buy the Shellac, but the Hock kit is a very small amount (9.5 oz of 2lb cut) and cost about $20. It was worth the test.
    I was reading that David Ellis (Ellis Audio) adds varnish to his Watco danish oil to get it to build up a finish. How durable would that be? David also recommends Minwax finishing wax after the final application. This sounds very nice, but I refinished an end table that my grandparents had with this method (Furniture Wax rather than Poly) and the finish is the not very durable at all. I have had to reapply the wax several times over 5 years. I probably should have mentioned this before, but, oh well...
    Thanks again
     
  4. Dan Wesnor

    Dan Wesnor Second Unit

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    Shellac is hardly durable. It will show marks easily, but it can also be easily repaired.

    You can put on the oil, seal it with the shellac, and then use spray-on lacquer to protect it. Use several (3-4) coats of shellac and buff with fine steel wool between coats. Then spray on the lacquer, also buffing with steel wool between coats.

    You can also put the poly over the shellac, if you like to make your wood look like plastic.
     
  5. DustinF

    DustinF Agent

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    Hank Frankenberg is right. A good polyurethane is what to use. I recommend Sealacell or Armrseal from General Finishes. They are inexpensive, easy to apply, very forgiving, and very durable.

    I use it on all of the furniture I make including the dining room table (which should tell you how durable it is)
     

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