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Making My Own Finishing Product – The Theory

Untitled-1All turners have their own personal favourite finishes to use on their work. My favourite is Danish Oil. I love the stuff, but I also like a slightly shinier finish on my items. So, I’ve decided to have a go at making my own finish.

Danish oil produces a warm lustre which is wonderful on most pieces I’ve ever made. It dries hard and seems to hold it glow long after it has been applied, which is why I love it so much. It accentuates the grain and figure in the wood too…and it smells devine!

My other favourite finish is the turner’s lathe polish made by Liberon. It produces a glorious shine which looks good on pens and bowls alike. However, I find the shine produced to be a bit too bright and not overly hard wearing.

Carnauba wax is very hard and produces a wonderful shine which is more of a bright lustre using the method I use to apply it. Applied in the traditional way, it produces a very hard gloss which looks glasslike and is hard wearing. Plus, it doesn’t go sticky when used on a pen finish as it has a melting point in the region of 85°C.  Beeswax on the other hand, melts at around 38° which is similar to body temperature and therefore no good for a pen finish.

But this post is not entirely about pen finishes – it is about a good all-round finish that produces a lasting, hard, but not overly glossy finish.

So, somewhere in between the warm lustre of a Danish oil finish, a lathe polish finish and a carnauba wax is the finish I desire and what I have set-out to try and achieve.

I’m not going to go into the weights and measures of my finish, save to say that it has danish oil, carnauba wax, micro-crystalline wax, and (at the moment) beeswax in it.

waxI made the first batch on 26th August and let it set overnight before applying it to a small test piece. I have a suspicion that this combination will produce a fairly soft paste, which is fine with me. However, the beeswax could make the paste a little too soft for what I am looking for in my finish which is a hard lustre. We’ll have to wait and see on that front.

Should I be lucky enough with my happy-go-lucky chemistry hat on, I intend to make the finish available to turners and make a go of selling it…but before I can do that, I’m going to need some willing testers to evaluate it when I get my recipe right!

More details about becoming a tester will appear in a forthcoming newsletter update – so if you are interested, fill out your details in the form on the right. Thanks.

Thanks for reading and watching,

2 thoughts on “Making My Own Finishing Product – The Theory

  1. Hi Saban i have just got my first Lathe i haven’t turned anything since i was at school about 50 years ago. since then i have turned a mallet, a finial and two lidded boxes i have tried a couple of finishes but they were not very good. I tried bees wax with some spirits in it what i bout from my local store it made my boxes smell not very nice so i tried spry lacquer i didn’t like that finish i also used a red wood stain but not happy with any of them. so i would love to win some of your wood finish it will make my projects look great i am shore because i don’t think they have turned out to bad apart from the finish.
    Thank you

  2. 01887829512 I have tried making my own polish with bees wax, pure turpentine and polyurethane varnish, with reasonable result. I would be happy to try out your mixture. Good luck.

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