How should I finish a red cedar bowl

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Good Day Folks

    I'm getting ready to finish a red cedar bowl. I usually have a
few rounds of sanding sealer on by this stage but when I applied the
first coat it was blotchy. I resanded to remove the blotchs but how
should I finish it. Varnish?? Danish oil? What would you suggest?



rdeforge at optonline dot net

Re: How should I finish a red cedar bowl
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ave a

Randy I assume we are talking Juniper,  AKA eastern red
Cedar,................... and not not Thuja plicata AKA western red
The oil in Juniper plays havoc with the oils you put on it, I wouldn't
use any oil on it, and it being a soft kind of wood, a not easily
fixed finish would be a pain if/when the soft wood would be dented and
the finish damaged.
I think either no finish or shellac would be your best bet,, you could
try a beeswax finish, yes soft but easily renewed.
Have fun and take care
Leo Van Der Loo

Re: How should I finish a red cedar bowl
You didn't say if this bowl is functional or purely decorative.  I think  
cedar (juniper) is too soft for functional bowls, but if that is what you  
are up to, any penetrating oil is your best bet.  It won't get shiny, but  
you generally don't want surface build on functional pieces, anyway.  For  
decorative pieces I have had consistent good results by sealing the wood  
with a few coats of shellac.  You can put pretty much whatever you want on  
top of that for your final finish.  My personal favorite on juniper is  
spray can satin Deft.
    -mike paulson, fort collins, co

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Re: How should I finish a red cedar bowl
Mike Paulson wrote:
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I've read quite a few times not to use satin or flat finishes because
the flatting agents can block the look of the grain.  It's recommended
to use gloss and then steel wool it to the desired appearance.  I use
gloss for most of my projects so I don't know how the two methods
compare.  Can anyone comment?

Re: How should I finish a red cedar bowl
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nt on

My understanding is that glossy coatings has nothing in the finishing
material, and so makes for being able to look through the finish, even
scratching the surface doesn't take that away.
A satin finish has stuff in the finishing material so it looks dull,
this prevent you from looking through the finish and your ability to
see through the finish is taken away by the stuff in the finishing
material, clear as mud ;-))

Re: How should I finish a red cedar bowl
Don't knock it until you've tried it.  Satin lacquer (Deft) is a wonderful  
finish.  I have used probably 100 cans of the stuff on turnings alone.  
It's durable, non-yellowing, easy to apply, quick drying, and easy to  
repair if that is ever needed.  It doesn't hide the grain that I can tell,  
it's just not as shiny as a gloss finish.  A gloss finish dulled by  
abrading it with steel wool, sandpaper, or whatever, is a delicate finish  
that can become blotchy when the micro-abrasions become clogged with skin  
oil from handling, and wax will just make the piece more shiny all over.  
You can control the degree of gloss/satin effect by applying clear  
undercoats of gloss lacquer or shellac if you wish, and you can apply wax  
to the final finish without altering the satin appearance.  I rarely see  
the need for waxing a lacquer finish on the kind of turnings I do, but  
other kinds of things - guitars, etc. - often get waxed.  A finish should  
be appropriate to the style of the turning, and not everything should be  
glossy.  Natural, rustic, or organic styled turnings seem to me to be more  
appropriately finished somewhere in the range of a dull to a satin sheen,  
and satin lacquer is a great option to have in your repertoire of  
finishing techniques.  I like it a lot.
       -mike paulson, fort collins, co

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Re: How should I finish a red cedar bowl
I work almost exclusively now with Juniper for both small carvings and an a
ssortment of wood turning projects. After getting a lot of conflicting info
rmation on finishing I did some experiments on both green and seasoned Juni
per and here is what I find works best for me. I tried several oils and whi
le boiled linseed oil brings the colour out the best, mineral oil is a clos
e 2nd place. So I simply brush on a coat of oil and then wipe it down and l
eave for 24 hours. Then do a 2nd coat the same way and leave for 24 hours.  
Then I apply 3 coats of water base gloss varathane and inspect for any roug
hness that may need re sanding. Then wipe clean after sanding touch ups and
 apply 3 more coats and inspect again. Then apply 2 more finish coats and I
 have a product with very rich natural colour, good grain definition, and a
 nice smooth finish. The varathane seals the oil and there is no after odou
r from even the linseed oil.  If any of the turning projects have bark or v
oids on them after shaping, I stay with mineral oil. Sounds like a lot of w
ork, but each coat takes less than 2 minutes to apply with a brush.

Re: How should I finish a red cedar bowl
On Sun, 8 Jun 2014 19:38:57 -0700 (PDT), wrote:

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Why don't you post a picture on

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