Best finish for Big Leaf Maple

larry C

Member
Full Member
Messages
713
Reaction score
1,007
Location
Elberta, Alabama
First name
Larry
Guys, I'm turning a bowl from a fantastic BLM burl that I bought about a year ago.....I've never turned BLM, or worked with it in the past. I have used a lot of soft maple over the years, and usually finished it with lacquer, either brushed on or sprayed.

I don't want to stain or dye this burl, and at this point, I don't want to screw it up.....any advice on the best finish to use will be appreciated.

Thanks,
Larry
 

barry richardson

Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator
Full Member
Messages
8,774
Reaction score
13,351
Location
Buckeye AZ
First name
Barry
I've turned a couple of pieces from it and used lacquer, I was very happy with the results. If the wood is soft or punky, an oil finish can tend to really darken those areas...
 

larry C

Member
Full Member
Messages
713
Reaction score
1,007
Location
Elberta, Alabama
First name
Larry
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Pictures or what burl??? :lol2::thanx2::unknown::impatient:
When I get this one a bit further long, I'll post pictures...
I've turned a couple of pieces from it and used lacquer, I was very happy with the results. If the wood is soft or punky, an oil finish can tend to really darken those areas...

I agree with the statement that oil finishes will darken the punky and end grain areas.......I don't use oil much anymore....When I had my shop in Indiana, I sprayed a lot of lacquer, both regular and catalyzed. Its hard to beat, and easy to repair when damaged..
 

rocky1

Creator of Shavings and Sawdust!
Full Member
Messages
8,998
Reaction score
16,524
Location
Way North Florida
First name
Rocky
MinWax Polycrylic would be my "Go To" if I didn't want to darken it, it typically does not darken anything. Applied it to small Redwood Burl bowl I was working on recently and had to go back and wet sand with BLO to bring the figure out.

Have found it to be an excellent finish otherwise, very tough when completely cured.
 

larry C

Member
Full Member
Messages
713
Reaction score
1,007
Location
Elberta, Alabama
First name
Larry
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
MinWax Polycrylic would be my "Go To" if I didn't want to darken it, it typically does not darken anything. Applied it to small Redwood Burl

I use bowl I was working on recently and had to go back and wet sand with BLO to bring the figure out.

Have found it to be an excellent finish otherwise, very tough when completely cured.
I use Polycrylic on a lot of the furniture I build, especially, the tops......it's the first waterbased finish I've ever been sold on....it't nearly as hard as a catalyzed lacquer.....
17 years ago, I built a dining table, with a rosewood top. I finished it with Polycrylic, brushed on, and applied 12 coats, I used the satin.....then wet sanded to 600 grit,
then rubbed that out with dry newspaper......it turned out beautiful! I told Jacquie not to "baby" this finish, but use it......we've spill water, soup, you name it, and other
than an occasional newspaper rub out, no problems.
The only thing that messes it up will be from laying a leaking flashlight battery on it.....I'm speaking from experience! It can be repaired, but it can be a challenge...
 

Mike1950

Founding Member
Founding Member
Full Member
Messages
22,828
Reaction score
28,129
Location
Eastern Washington
First name
Mike
Beautiful!
Thanks, I am a one trick pony when it comes to finish anymore. General WOP. biggest mistake with bigleaf is not sand enough in beginning to get the little-pits-chip out Or ? sanded out. do that on coarse grits and it is easy to get nice finish.
 

larry C

Member
Full Member
Messages
713
Reaction score
1,007
Location
Elberta, Alabama
First name
Larry
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
Thanks, I am a one trick pony when it comes to finish anymore. General WOP. biggest mistake with bigleaf is not sand enough in beginning to get the little-pits-chip out Or ? sanded out. do that on coarse grits and it is easy to get nice finish.
I started at 80 grit Abralon, and went through the grits all the way up to 1000.....mirror finish, and look's good with gloss lacquer on the outside......will be starting to hollow the inside
today or tomorrow.....the little pits are a challenge, but then so is life sometimes :givebeer:
 

Mike1950

Founding Member
Founding Member
Full Member
Messages
22,828
Reaction score
28,129
Location
Eastern Washington
First name
Mike
I started at 80 grit Abralon, and went through the grits all the way up to 1000.....mirror finish, and look's good with gloss lacquer on the outside......will be starting to hollow the inside
today or tomorrow.....the little pits are a challenge, but then so is life sometimes :givebeer:
On burl I cheat on the little pits- eye holes. I sand with finish and throw fine sanding dust to fill pits.
 

larry C

Member
Full Member
Messages
713
Reaction score
1,007
Location
Elberta, Alabama
First name
Larry
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
On burl I cheat on the little pits- eye holes. I sand with finish and throw fine sanding dust to fill pits.
That'll work fine, I do it also sometimes......it just depends on the effect I'm trying to achieve with the final finish...
 

Mike1950

Founding Member
Founding Member
Full Member
Messages
22,828
Reaction score
28,129
Location
Eastern Washington
First name
Mike
That'll work fine, I do it also sometimes......it just depends on the effect I'm trying to achieve with the final finish...
But on boxes above I did none of that- sanded to 220 used gloss finish and very fine steel wool to make satin with a antique wax. I like the wax for the soft silky feel.
 

ironwood man

Member
Full Member
Messages
16
Reaction score
18
Location
Cortez Colorado
First name
Doug
When working with burl I agree it needs to be sanded quite fine. We made thousands of boxes sanding to 400 to 600 grit using kingsport paper for final finishing. It was yellow and was designed for stainless steel. After that we buffed with green Tripoli about 1600 grit and then oiled our boxes in a thin citrus based oil that did not have the petroleum smell of Watco. Final top coat was buffed on carnauba wax. Maintenance can be polish with a soft cloth or rebuffed.
Good luck
Doug
 

ironwood man

Member
Full Member
Messages
16
Reaction score
18
Location
Cortez Colorado
First name
Doug
The oil use to be made by Livos. I think it was boiled linseed. The unique part of their blend was the thinner made from extracts of citrus fruits that made it smell good and gave it a nice thin consistency for great penetration.
 
Top