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Chapter 11. Homebrew Wood Finishes - Pg. 381

MAKE: PROJECTS Eccentric Cubicle 11 Homebrew Wood Finishes Weird Science for Woodworkers 1 I'm gonna be completely up front with you: this line of study has the potential to be olfactorally challenging. My workshop is in my kitchen, so I have access to the stovetop and range ventilation hood, which keeps the odours (generally) under control. Most of you will likely not be fortunate enough to have a similar arrangement and will be forced outdoors, or at the very least, consigned to the garage with a hotplate. Wherever you find yourself, do ensure that there's Adequate VentilationTM. Your nose, lungs, and other internal organs will thank you later. W ood finishing is part science, part voodoo, and part compromise. Once you've properly prepared the surface, you've gotta use something to seal the pores, protect the surface, and reduce humidity uptake, but your choice of potential finishes is mind-pummellingly diverse in both aesthetic appeal and degree of difficulty. Despite the proliferation of Kwiq-N-Ezee wood finish prod- ucts available at the retail level, I've been cooking up my own finishes for years. It's assembler-language-level woodwork- ing geekiness that appeals to my inner eighteenth-century gentleman inventor. I'm a wax and oil guy. It's the easiest way to get started in brew-yer-own finishes, and there's enough room to explore just within that genre to hold your interest for years. Is this a full and comprehensive tutorial? Hell no. A full and comprehensive tutorial on DIY wood finish chemistry would be about 900 pages. Just covering wax and oil to any degree of depth would be a major tome. This is a thumb- nail how-to with enough primary data to get your personal research into the subject pointed in the right direction and hopefully instill in you enough of an interest in the subject that you'll teach yourself more about it. As with most subjects, think while reading. For best results, a (relatively) dust-free environment is recommended. Kelly LeBrock not included. Oingo Boingo soundtrack sold separately. Here's your shopping list: · Beeswax · Carnauba wax · Paraffin wax · "Boiled" linseed oil. (Not actually boiled. In reality, this is yer basic flaxseed oil that's been dosed with metallic driers to reduce the cure time from about two weeks to overnight.) · Pure tung oil. (Avoid like the plague the deceptive labels announcing a "pure tung oil­based finishing product" or the like. Read the fine-print ingredients if you have to.) ! CAUTION: Yet another caution: tung oil is derived from nuts. If you're unfortunate enough to suffer from any form of nut allergy, avoid this substance. · Turpentine · Naphtha · A variety of earth and mineral pigments. (Mine came from Lee Valley Tools, as fine a purveyor of woodworking porn as you will ever encounter. I get all sweaty just thinking about the place.) 1 370