I last wrote asking you about salvaging my frozen finishes. It tunred out that depsite 4 years of freeze-thaw cycles, all the non-water based products seem to be OK. Thanks for the advice.
I would like to ask what youy might think the best finish for Tiger Maple is in your expereince. I see many varying recipes and it is rather confusing. I have complested a tiger maple Chester Co. spice box with Line-and-Berry inlay and a hunt table. Both took a lot of time and work so I am a bit paranoid about the finish. I have come up with the following plan and would like your comments. My plan is to proceed as follows:
1. Sand to 220. Some say to sand only to 150 for better results (more color in the stripes which is softer wood and absorbs more dye). Too late for that for me. I also se that Chas. Neil actaully dyes the wood before he even sand at 150 for more absorption of dye in the stripes; he then dyes again after sanding to a final 150 grit. Any comments on that?
2. Nitric acid wash which is heated to catalyze the reaction of acid with tannins to get a uniform dark background that is supposed to accentuate the stripes in the tiger maple (that’s the theory at least). I know how to be safe with this very toxic chemical. I see that others will dye the wood and then sand it to remove color from the non-stripe wood background.
3. Some use chlorox now, but I experimented with that and think I’ll omit that step (neutralizes the acid and lightens the background – it did not work well on a test piece)
4. Water based aniline dye – mix of Golden Amber from Olde Mille Cabinet Shop and some Mahogany reds plus or minus Burnt Umber – I want an antique look. Do you have any mixes that work well for you. I am not totally satisfied with the colors I got with test pieces.
5. Oil: Naptha half and half with Boiled Linseed Oil, with some Fresco colors added – burnt umber and black. This is a recipe from a woodworker friend, but I do not understand the rationale really. Not sure if I need to keep adding more color.
6. Shellac brushed on ( I do not spray yet) – maybe 3-5 coats thinned and sanded at 400 between coats. Is Zinsser Amber in the can just as good as dissolving flakes? Again, I am confused by the fact that folks seem to be adding color again in the shellac (fresco colors – pinch of Venetian Red, Burnt Umber , etc.).
7. Bowling Alley Wax with some brown/ red pigment added (same question about adding color).
Is there anything special I should do to protect the inlay before applying dye, etc. Applying shellac to all the inlay would be an awful lot of work I think.
Sorry this is so long. I really appreciate your opinions. I am ready to start, but just need some reassurance. I’ll try to send pictures if I can of the results.