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Welcome to the forum Richard.

I am the odd duck in that dovetails aren't something I us in my work.  They have just never appealed to me.  Having said that I do like when that have a bit of randomness to there layout.  Nice work on your part.

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14 hours ago, Mick S said:

Really nice work, Richard. What kind of finish did you use?

I'll be glad when I can say I've had my second vaccination! I've thought so many times this year how thankful I am to have my shop. As someone much wiser than me once said, "Wood absorbs angst." Welcome to the forum!

Hi Mick. Get that 2nd shot!

BTW, the 1st one causes almost no side effects. I, and everyone I know experienced significant symptoms after the 2nd - body pain, fatigue, malaise. It started about 8 hours after the shot, lasted about 16 hours then suddenly was completely gone. No way I could have worked the day after the 2nd shot, but while I still felt bad at 3pm that day, at 4pm and after, it was like it had never happened.

The finish on this piece is MinWax Wipe on Poly.

I usually spray lacquer or shellac. I never use dye or stain and don't want the finish to darken light woods. My go-to is Sherwin Williams CAB acrylic lacquer and its companion high solids sanding sealer. It goes down water-white and stays that way. It never darkens. It handles exactly like nitrocellulose lacquer and uses the same solvent. But I can only buy it in large quantities and don't have any right now and didn't want to stock up.

I use ultra blonde shellac (which I mix from flakes) or Zinser's clear shellac spray (which is blonde but not ultra blonde) right out of the (crude nozzle) push button can about as much as CAB acrylic lacquer. The ultra blonde imparts a slight amber hue, the Zinser's a bit more.

I've also been using Hydrocote Resisthane water based lacquer from Highland Hardware. This stuff is great. I spray it, but it also can be brushed. I tried that with poor results but that was probably my fault. Water white going down. No yellowing. Soap and water cleanup. It dries very hard. Rubs out beautifully to any degree from soft matte to high gloss.

I tried the Minwax Wipe on Poly (high gloss) on a whim. It is the best wipe on poly I have ever used. I would not use any other brand. I have never found any other wipe on poly any where near as good as this stuff. Nada! And I have tried many other brands. Nothing else compares! This has to be the most fool-proof stuff I have ever used. It fulfills the promise that every wipe-on product makes that it is easy to wipe on. It is. It doesn't get gummy. It has a long "open" time. It levels out like a dream. It imparts a very slight amber hue, about the same as blonde shellac. Applied with a rag, it leaves a soft, lustrous, semi-gloss surface. After it's hard, it can be buffed down with 4-0 steel wool to a matte surface. Several coats and it is very hard and very durable as far as I can tell. It's really beautiful. Did I say it's fool-proof?

I have absolutely no connection to the product. Just a happy customer.

The only limitation I know is I can't use it on oily tropical hardwoods. That's still the purview of shellac and lacquer.

Rich

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Thanks, Rich. 

Here in NM they're doing a great job of getting shots into the arms of folks given what they have to work with. I'm probably still two weeks away from the first shot.

My brother has used Minwax Wipe as his go-to for years. I do like the lack of coloring it offers.

 

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Rich, if you like the Minwax Wipe On poly, try their "Tung Oil finish". Goes on much the same, but has a slightly different formulation. Seems to amber slightly less, and achieves a gloss with less build. At least, the projects I have used it on look a lot less plastic coated, but still glossy. Dries a bit faster, too. Less wait time between coats. I can't speak to its durability, the items I used it on are decorative.

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19 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

Rich, if you like the Minwax Wipe On poly, try their "Tung Oil finish". Goes on much the same, but has a slightly different formulation. Seems to amber slightly less, and achieves a gloss with less build. At least, the projects I have used it on look a lot less plastic coated, but still glossy. Dries a bit faster, too. Less wait time between coats. I can't speak to its durability, the items I used it on are decorative.

Thanks. I'll give it a try.

Rich

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17 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Rich, if you like the Minwax Wipe On poly, try their "Tung Oil finish". Goes on much the same, but has a slightly different formulation. Seems to amber slightly less, and achieves a gloss with less build. At least, the projects I have used it on look a lot less plastic coated, but still glossy. Dries a bit faster, too. Less wait time between coats. I can't speak to its durability, the items I used it on are decorative.

Well,

Got a can of Minwax "Tung Oil Finish."

Like almost every other similarly-named finishing product there is no way to know if there is any tung oil actually in this stuff. Every finish manufacturer over the last 100 years or so has used the words "Tung Oil Finish" to mean some wipe-on formula that leaves a "close-to-the-wood" finish. They are shameless about selling a soup labeled as Tung oil when there may be none at all in the mix.

Most, if not all of these mystery finishes have Linseed oil as the drying oil. Some also have a varnish. Some do have some tung oil in addition to Linseed.

Minwax Tung Oil Finish certainly has Linseed oil as part of its proprietary secrets. No surprise. Does it have Tung oil? I don't know. Does it also have a varnish component? I don't know, but it probably does. Most likely a "long" varnish. Maybe a polyurethane. (shrug)

In any case, in my shop, it imparts more of an amber tone to maple and ash than does their Wipe On Poly. For me, that's not good. At least with Wipe On Poly I know it's got varnish and I know that varnish is polyurethane. I don't think it has Linseed oil. It works very well and that's enough.

I don't like using Linseed oil finishes. Linseed oil never completely polymerizes.

I have used (real) Tung oil that contained a "drying accelerator." And it worked well. But to me a "real finish" is shellac, lacquer or varnish. I can spray shellac or lacquer very thin so that it is indistinguishable from a rubbed oil finish.

As I've indicated my favorite finishes are ultra-blonde shellac, CAB acrylic lacquer and Hydrocote water-based lacquer. All sprayed. All as water-white as I can find.

I'll continue to use the Minwax Wipe On Poly. I like it a lot. But I think I'm going to put the Minwax Tung Oil Finish on the shelf (in the back).

Rich

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Nice table and great pictures. I would like to see the jigs in action if there are any pictures. Have you tried Waterlox original sealer? that is also very easy. Your description of the minwax wipe on has me thinking I must try that. Thanks for your ideas. And welcome!

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2 hours ago, curlyoak said:

Nice table and great pictures. I would like to see the jigs in action if there are any pictures. Have you tried Waterlox original sealer? that is also very easy. Your description of the minwax wipe on has me thinking I must try that. Thanks for your ideas. And welcome!

Thanks.

I don't have any images of the jig. It's essentially a dedicated/modified Moxxon type of apparatus made specifically for the large sizes of the sides and top.

I'm going to do another table. I have a request for it in white oak which I really like to work with. I'll fully document that effort.

So many people are intimidated by dovetails. They are just a straight forward exercise of making a line and cutting to the line. They really don't require any special talent. None.

I hope I can show that it can be done without any stress. It's really a relaxing process. Very satisfying. There are a few important steps that are very easy to carry out that make all the difference whether working with "ordinary" size dovetails or these big boys. For some reason, these steps often don't get taught up front which results in a lot of frustration and poor results. Some people learn them eventually by trial and error. When you learn them right from the start, the task is really very simple.

The construction technique is a modification of one I ran across in the August 2011 edition of Popular Woodworking by Jameel Abraham (benchcrafted.com).

He says these tails are too big to be called dovetails. He calls them Condor Tails!  Which I think is a great name. They go together with a piston fit and they look like the wood just grew that way. I love his caption of the last picture in the article - "The rest of the world's dovetails will be jealous when you plane the finished joint!" 

His project is a Frank Klaus type tail vise. Just two Condor Tails. Heck, my table has ten and the smallest is bigger than either of his! Condor tails? These are Pterodactyl tails! :D

I've never used Waterlox although I have heard only good things about it (except the price!). I'm mostly a shellac and lacquer kind of guy. But I read several reviews about the Minwax Wipe On Poly. I forget the issue of Fine Woodworking (at least 15 years ago), but the Minwax was rated the best of all the wipe-ons they tested. Also, it imparted the least amber toning. That's what really caught my eye. And it was among the lowest priced. What's not to like? So I tried it. As I said, I really like it.

Rich

 

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