hi, I'm hoping you can help, I have a loom, that's been stored in a slightly
damp shed. It gets quite a bit of use, but is now starting to look as if
it's rain speckled. When being delivered, it did get a little damp. I
don't know what the finish on it is, some of the wood is completely
unfinished, other bits may have been oiled. What can I do to protect the
wood? Should I oil it will danish oil and finish with wax or does it need
more dramatic treatment? Here's hoping you can help. I hope to post on my
wood turnings in future, but I just recently got started.
I should preface my answer with the following: It's been many years
since the loom was sold, we lived in a much dryer climate than we do
today, and my memory isn't what is used to be... Therefore, you may
take this as a grain of salt if you prefer...
However, If I remember correctly, some parts of the loom we had were
finished with either lacquer or shellac, where there was any finish at
all. Much of it did not have any real finish, though a few places were
waxed for one reason or another. I'd go easy with any finish, and stay
away from oils, as they might transfer to the article you're making...
Never mind how I found this out, but I did get really good at making
exact and functional replicas of various parts of that loom....
Safest in my mind would be shellac, because it protects reasonably,
doesn't transfer like oils might (even a hardenend oil will transfer
something from time to time, particularly to an item like thread on the
typical loom... Shellac is easy to deal with, leaves a reasonably hard
finish, and is food safe (though it really shouldn't matter with a loom
anyway). Next on my list is laquer (intended as a wood finish) which
makes an even harder finish once it has outgassed all of the volatiles
from the thinner, and if you can get it where you live, automotive
lacquers are even harder and more moisture resistant.
Of course, the air quality gestapos have pretty much killed the
availability of automotive lacquers, even if they didn't really put
that much into the atmosphere. Funny that you can still buy lacquer
thinner at the hardware store in gallons, along with a bunch of other
volatile spirits, but noooo, you can't get a nice useful and damn near
impervious acrylic lacquer any more... Sorry, didn't mean to get on the
soap box, but I really miss being able to get acrylic lacquers for a
number of projects I'm working on. The "replacements" water based
enamels and such really suck, particularly in their open time (the time
until they are tack free) and they just don't have the utility that a
decent lacquer does. [stepping back off the soap box...]
Anyway, I'd probably just use a decent shellac. It's easy to get, easy
to apply (you can either brush or spray it), protects decently, and
won't contaminate the item your're making with the loom....
Good luck, no matter what you choose !!