Please Critique My Finishing Plans


Hammer5573
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I'm in the process of building a four-drawer chest made of maple. My plans for finishing are as follows:

1. Sand surface to #320 grit

2. Spritz the surface using distilled water in order to raise the grain

3. Re-sand the surface to #320 grit

4. Seal the wood using de-waxed shellac

5. Sand surface with #400 grit paper

6. Spray it with stain (probably water based)

7. French polish the piece

Does this sound like a sound plan..?

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Define 'stain'. Sealed surfaces will be far less likely to absorb the color, and water-based stains often dissolve in alcohol as well, so may lift during the french polish process. Also, sanding that high helps the wood repel stain, so I hope you are aiming for a pretty light color!

Aside from these things that I have experienced myself with the color, your plan should produce a very silky-smooth surface, that looks and feels fantastic.

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Define 'stain'. Sealed surfaces will be far less likely to absorb the color, and water-based stains often dissolve in alcohol as well, so may lift during the French polish process. 

 I once read (can't find it now) that dewaxed shellac could be stained and that it would prevent any blotching..?

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Using diluted shellac is indeed a well-known method for minimizing blotch. That is because it reduces the absorption of the stain, especially in areas where the wood fiber ends exit / enter the face of the board. So, you must apply more coats to get the same coverage as a single coat over raw wood, but the color should be more even. When I have used shellac this way, I dilute it to about a 1/2 lb. cut. The simplest way (IMO) is to purchase Zinsser Seal Coat and mix it with alcohol.

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On 10/9/2021 at 11:38 AM, Hammer5573 said:

 

 

I dilute itto about a 1/2 lb. cut. The simplest way (IMO) is topurchase Zinsser Seal Coat and mix it with alcohol. 

I know how to make a half-pound cut using shellac crystals but how do I do it using the Zinsser (liquid form)..?

 

 

Zinsser SealCoat is a 2lb cut out of the can.

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Since most woodworkers don't venture above 220 the distinction gets forgotten.  For my turned pieces I am frequently sanding up to P1200 so it's something I pay attention to.

It's not that one scale is better than the other, but you don't want to be jumping back and forth in the high grits.  What I have found is that "P" grits are the more commonly available (even though they are "european"), so I try to stick with them.  

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