SSS (sycamore slab score)


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Taken with my DLSR and got color as accurate as my limited skills will allow. Left is Minwax wipe-on satin poly and right is super blonde shellac with waterborne satin poly. In person my eyes can't tell them apart and I like both finishes. 

1707_wood_001.thumb.jpg.f5197bdee04550b6002f1803e2b060b8.jpg

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I can't see a difference either.  Which means I'd just go ARS for ease of application and extra durability.

Or maybe I won't.  We'll see how much I like spraying shellac.

That sycamore looks wicked.  Has me pumped to use mine.

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Both boards look 3D when moving in the light - they have incredible depth. 

You can spray shellac and waterborne topcoats all in a day and touch that evening. I used to be a Waterlox wiper but once I started spraying I've never gone back :D

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I've never seen a waterborne finish I've loved.  They're always a little too plasticky for me.  If there's a reason that I can't use shellac all the way through a finish, I'll just use varnish.

 

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I was apprehensive with the shellac and water bourne recipe that Mike speaks of,  but I tried it on some scraps and it convinced me enough to use it on my barrister bookcase.  I think it is one of the best looking finishes that I have done... which may or may not be saying much. :D

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In all fairness I've never used it.  But all the pics I've seen...it just doesn't do it for me all the way.  And IMO kind of defeats the purpose of using shellac at all.  I mean why both?

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When I was first playing around with waterbornes I was like puke, especially with darker woods as they leave the finish cold looking. I tried water-based dye and thinned oil poly to warm the wood under it and they worked, but the best by far was shellac. Shellac gives depth and clarity to the finish plus comes in a range to colors to control how much warmth you want to have. I generally prefer garnet on darker woods and super blonde on lighter woods and you can mix them to get somewhere in between.

With my test boards with different woods, the shellac + satin water poly doesn't look anything like plastic. I think the plastic look is more from the sheen and amount of coats rather than water vs. oil. Even Waterlox original which uses phenolic instead of poly resin will look plasticky because of the sheen. Throw a coat of satin on top of it and it goes away. 

Shellac can be a fine finish by itself for something that won't take a lot of abuse. The reason for putting a topcoat on top of it is for more protection and to also knock down the gloss sheen. Shellac is also a great barrier coat between dye or stain and oil or water topcoats. Dewaxed shellac sticks to almost anything and almost anything sticks to it. 

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  • 1 month later...

Eric, any progress on the JK project with that sycamore?

The only use I've found for sycamore is drawer sides.  QS is quite stable when dry and a clear finish shows the chatoyance nicely.  You'll see it from time to time in 1940s/1950s manufactured furniture as well--again, as a secondary wood.  It's harder than poplar at about the same cost here in Virginia. Sycamore grows big with high first limbs in the damp forest areas near rivers and marshes. Have a few big ones on the property here.  You don't see poplar as drawer sides because it's a little soft (drawer sides wear against the runners) so maple has been the preferred wood. sycamore is a less expensive replacement for maple. 

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Not yet.  The JK cabinet is a few projects down the queue.  But at this point I'm still planning to use the sycamore for that.  I did take the jigsaw to the yard and ripped it in half, and finally hauled that heavy bastard home and got it stacked up in the basement.  So it's officially mine. :D

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