Monday, March 15, 2010

Oak bench finished (well, just about)

Here is my new bench in all its glory. It is patterned after numerous 16th century examples of benches. It is made from flatsawn white oak (because I couldn't find quartersawn of sufficient width where I live), fumed with ammonia, shellacked with 3 coats blonde and 3 coats orange shellac. I may put a final coat of varnish, or just wax it, I haven't decided.

The color isn't what my original goal was, but I like it well enough. I didn't think to use linseed oil before shellac, but tried it after on another project and it really made a difference. I think all future projects will have linseed oil before shellac. The shellac went on so smoothly and beautifully, it hardly needed any smoothing when I was done. I enjoyed using the shellac and the easy cleanup, I can see myself using this almost exclusively in the future.

The use of shellac is not period so it is not a true medieval finish, but I will be using this piece in my house and I wanted something that didn't have much upkeep. Also I am a novice woodworker and finisher and every project I plan is to build up my skill set so I can make furniture for my home.


Peter said...

Great job! It is light years better than my freaking chests...

Marijn van der Gaag said...

Very nice bench!
Lineseed oil will give a nice finish - no fuming needed. A similar bench I made was finished with three layers lineseed oil only. It gives good protection from weather when using it outside. See

Kathy Storm said...

Thank you!

Peter: I think you are too hard on yourself, your stuff is beautiful.

Marjin: I looked at your website, and hopefully when I have made as many things as you have I will have made some that are just as nice.

jgreywolf said...

Question - can you explain why you say shellac is not a period finish? Which period specifically do you mean, since I have it it was used at least in the 1600's :)