Knipfer Rude and Crude,
What I have Learned.

By David Knipfer

Experience #1:
Mike A:
I tried the Rude & Crude on a test piece of cherry.   The shellac went on really nicely but the stain is not staining as much as I thought it would.   I used 0000 steel wool before staining but I am wondering if the coat of shellac was too thick.   Should it be a really thin coat so it still leaves the wood exposed.   Maybe I it was too think and now I am trying to stain the shellac instead of the wood.
Any thoughts... Thanks

I believe you know the problem.

The idea behind the Rude & Crude shellac coat is to just barely seal the timbers to prevent blotching.

This requires a very thin coat of shellac and hard buffing afterwards.

I use a single coat of 1 lb cut super blonde shellac.

When I buff it out the next day, with #0000 steel wool, I buff it hard.   It's impossible to tell... but my feeling is that I actually am removing almost all the surface shellac... leaving the remaining shellac only in the more absorbant areas of the timber that would blotch.

Try another test piece with some 1lb cut shellac.


I have had luck using 1/2 cut too.   You still need to rub it down afterwards but not so much.

Original Information:

I am writing in the spirit of sharing what I have learned...

Be sure to read Part 1 of the Rude & Crude series (if you don't know what it is).

Some folks have been trying the rude & crude finish...   and some new members have been wondering just what in the heck it is...   soooo...

I'm going to take a few moments and spell out right here everything I have learned about this finish after 6 years of experimenting...   errr...   uhhmm...   playing around in the shop.

First...   you need to understand my personal bias.

I build smaller scale things from wood...   boxes and such...   some folks are kind enough to call my creations 'fine WW'...

I've always believed in using fine timbers and finishing them as natural as possible...   while still protecting them from the expected hazards of everyday living.

That said...   my R&C   (Rude & Crude)   finish is not appropriate for a kitchen table...   or anything that needs long term protection from serious hazards...   heat, alcohol, etc.

But...   if you share my passion for making smaller creations for the home...   and want to try a new way to finish them...   then you can share my joy at how well the R&C method brings life to your timbers...

In a nutshell...   the rude & crude method is a single coat of refined shellac followed by oil.

Here is what I do...   the finishing pros can cringe again about the crude method of it all.

1.   Sand everything till you are satisfied.

2.   Wipe off what dust you can...   but don't worry too much about it...

3.   Use a clean cotton rag and wipe a thin coat of 1lb cut super blonde shellac over all the surfaces.

4.   Let the project sit overnite.

5.   Next day...   your project will feel lumpy and rough...   so buff all your surfaces hard with #0000 steel wool...   buff it until its as smooth as a babys butt.

Thats the shellac coat part...

Then apply whatever oil finish you prefer.

I make my own oil finish to the recipe that   Sam Maloof   made famous...

Equal parts (1/3 each) pure tung oil, boiled linseed oil and glossy poly.

You can use whatever oil you want...   I used "Watco Natural" for a long time with good results.

Apply a heavy coat of oil...   wipe it off...   and re-apply the oil every 24 hours until you are glowing along with the glow in the timbers.

That's it...   everything I have learned about finishing...

I know you won't read about this shellac first finish in any WW book...   and please take my advice with the appropraite skepticism...   but it works for me...   my timbers glow...   and I would like to hear from anyone who has tried this method to their satisaction.



This site is maintained by:
Good-Lyddon Data Systems

Copyright © 2004-2010 Joe Lyddon,