Swamp Ash - staining and Tru oil/wax finishing

alexreinhold

Senior member
Messages
473
I've been trying so many combinations and almost all failed. My issues are a) that 99% of the recommendations online are US products and b) that I'm neither a chemist nor a finishing expert. Interestingly, all logical combinations of products failed while this weird India ink, sealer, lacquer combination works like a charm. The only incompatibility arises once I add the BC sealer & filler. Leaving it out and going straight to tru oil creates no problems whatsoever.

Long story short, I'll trust that my swamp ash pores are filled enough with lacquer and sealer and leave the BC sealer / filler out. It feels like this should work just fine - just wanted to make sure that I'm not missing a crucial component without realizing.
 

SquareWavv

New member
Messages
16
In the process of grain filling, doing my 4th coat now, problem with clear grain filler is that it’s kind of hard for me to tell whether I’ve sanded enough or not.

Should I throw another coat of sanding sealer/shellac after grain filling or can I go straight to wipe-on poly?
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,204
SquareWavv said:
In the process of grain filling, doing my 4th coat now, problem with clear grain filler is that it’s kind of hard for me to tell whether I’ve sanded enough or not.

Should I throw another coat of sanding sealer/shellac after grain filling or can I go straight to wipe-on poly?

See earlier in the thread for the sequence already mentioned.

With grain filler you are trying to fill grain - when sanding what are you trying to accomplish as I cannot tell if you have sanded enough. All you need to achieve is knocking off any high spots - if low spots still remain you may need to fill them again. (Hopefully you are using a sanding block)
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,204
alexreinhold said:
I've been trying so many combinations and almost all failed. My issues are a) that 99% of the recommendations online are US products and b) that I'm neither a chemist nor a finishing expert. Interestingly, all logical combinations of products failed while this weird India ink, sealer, lacquer combination works like a charm. The only incompatibility arises once I add the BC sealer & filler. Leaving it out and going straight to tru oil creates no problems whatsoever.

Long story short, I'll trust that my swamp ash pores are filled enough with lacquer and sealer and leave the BC sealer / filler out. It feels like this should work just fine - just wanted to make sure that I'm not missing a crucial component without realizing.


The products you have used so far seem to be a good base for a lacquer finish. Putting the BC Sealer & Filler on it would not be a good idea as you have discovered. You already have a sealer so in terms of pore filling you are probably fine.
 

SquareWavv

New member
Messages
16
stratamania said:
SquareWavv said:
In the process of grain filling, doing my 4th coat now, problem with clear grain filler is that it’s kind of hard for me to tell whether I’ve sanded enough or not.

Should I throw another coat of sanding sealer/shellac after grain filling or can I go straight to wipe-on poly?

See earlier in the thread for the sequence already mentioned.

With grain filler you are trying to fill grain - when sanding what are you trying to accomplish as I cannot tell if you have sanded enough. All you need to achieve is knocking off any high spots - if low spots still remain you may need to fill them again. (Hopefully you are using a sanding block)

I am, I guess I’ll go straight to Poly then!
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,204
SquareWavv said:
stratamania said:
SquareWavv said:
In the process of grain filling, doing my 4th coat now, problem with clear grain filler is that it’s kind of hard for me to tell whether I’ve sanded enough or not.

Should I throw another coat of sanding sealer/shellac after grain filling or can I go straight to wipe-on poly?

See earlier in the thread for the sequence already mentioned.

With grain filler you are trying to fill grain - when sanding what are you trying to accomplish as I cannot tell if you have sanded enough. All you need to achieve is knocking off any high spots - if low spots still remain you may need to fill them again. (Hopefully you are using a sanding block)

I am, I guess I’ll go straight to Poly then!

Yes you should be good...(of course I can not see it etc so this is offered as a reasonable suggestion only :)

 

SquareWavv

New member
Messages
16
Sitting in its(hopefully) last coat of grain filler! Gonna lightly sand shortly and then start with poly!

Can’t seem to upload photos from my iPhone but here’s a photo link

https://ibb.co/w7SPJKn
 

TBurst Std

Senior member
Messages
2,591
Photos from an iPhone are .jpeg
The forum allows .jpg

Requires a re-save with a new extension
 

SquareWavv

New member
Messages
16
On what I hope is my final coat of poly. Curious as to where I go from here? Can I sand after a final coat? What do I do after sanding to clean up the dust and/or buff for satin finish? Do I buff after letting it cure a few days?

 

teleme01

Senior member
Messages
360
i am not the one you want advice from,  but mu experience is that after a while a bunch of bumps show up,  from my being too fast at finishing,  the underlayers cure and form bumps,  again,  just my own learning curve.  i sand em down and then apply more layers ...
 

SquareWavv

New member
Messages
16
Thought I’d give you guys an update on the finish.



I wish I did a little shellac before staining, and definitely tested a piece of wood beforehand, but I’m otherwise really happy with the results!
 

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
That's one sexy axe, great work!

I think you made the right call not shellacking first, here's advice from rockler

https://www.rockler.com/learn/why-shellac-before-wood-stain
 
Top