Turning Archive 2005

minwax antique oil finish

>Within a couple of the many, many threads on finishing techniques during the past few months, somebody (a regular, but I can't remember who) gave favorable mention to the minwax antique oil finish. Well, I happened to have a can of the stuff in the basement, so I decided to exeriment.

First at bat was a very small box elder bowl (more like a soapdish, since that is apparently how the in-laws are using it). This one required sanding between coats. I think the oil raised the grain a bit, but also, it almost felt like a poly-coat on this wood. It ended up with a reasonable sheen once I put some paste-wax on it.

Second at bat is (still in finish process on the lathe) a cottonwood burl. The burl came from a Rocklers store off a gift certificate, and was one of a handful of bowl blanks there that didn't have a giant crack in it. This wood is so unbelievably dry I think you could use it as a paper towel. But it has turned a very pretty bowl. Anyway, the stuff is very thirsty. It has absorbed the minwax antique oil finish like crazy, and I will probably put on a bunch of coats. I'm a little disappointed, however, because I really like the look of it when the coats of oil are still wet (not buffed yet), and of course, when I buff it down, it takes a duller finish. Maybe when I get to the wax coat it will shine up a bit. Also, this wood was really light in color when I turned it - very light - not anymore! When it got hold of the oil, it was like a different bowl, almost black walnut kind of dark. Looks much better dark.

This is my first experience with cottonwood. My take is that I like it. Turns pretty easily, fairly forgiving stuff that allows you to "erase" sins, and a nice looking piece of wood all around.

Anyway, the big question is, what is your take on the minwax antique oil? Like it? Hate it?

David B.

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