Scott Morrisons' Notes
by Scott Morrison

WoodNet forum I.D.: 10thumbs

Hi everyone.

Cross your fingers, this new piece was recently submitted to FWW magazine's gallery section (my first submission).

Take a look at the website for other items built.

There are other slideshows on some rocking chairs as well.

Comments welcome and thanks for looking.

There aren't any secrets that I'm keeping.   I'll do my best to explain and you are welcome to email me if you need further details.

The finish is:
  •   4 coats of BLO
  •   4 coats of Waterlox,
  •   sanding 1500 grit after each coat.
  •   a coat of wax
  •   buffed out.

  • Construction Details
  •   The arm-to-front leg joint is glued-up using a
  •   1/2" dowel right through the middle
  •   I use my horizontal boring machine on both pieces prior to glue-up.
  •   Provides a lot of strength and glue surface area.
  •   When I glue it up, it looks awful...
    rough and blocky.
  •   Afterward I begin the Loooong process of
  •   filing and sanding away the excess wood
  •   until my eye says it looks right.
  •   Then I pour myself a drink.

  • More on the finish...
  •   I didn't learn it from any book, that's for sure.
  •   Like most woodworkers, I experimented until I found something that works for me.
  •   I this case, the
  •   BLO is applied, allowed to sit for 15 minutes, then wiped away thoroughly.
  •   After 2 days of dry time,
  •   I sand with 1500 grit and repeat.
  •   After 4 coats,
  •   I apply 4 coats of Waterlox
    (Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish or Waterlox Original Satin Finish depending on the clients' wishes) and
  •   allow 1 day of dry time between coats,
  •   which again are sanded to 1500 grit.
  •   Lastly, I buff out with some Behlen wax.

  • There may be simpler ways to accomplish great results, but this method works for me.

    Hope this all makes sense and thanks again everyone for your kindness.

    There aren't any secrets that I'm keeping.   I'll do my best to explain and you are welcome to email me if you need further details.

    Scott Morrison Woodworker

    Questions and Answers

    1.  Do you use that procedure on all of your projects?

    Not all.   The client has the final say on what type of finish they want on their piece - be it Satin or Gloss or even Matte.   I change my formula and procedures accordingly.   I also change if the piece will be used by kids or if it's a table top.

    2.  Are all of your projects made out of the same type of wood?

    Nope.   Again, my clients request certain chairs made from certain wood.   I just build 'em.

    3.  Do you ever experience any 'blotchiness' occurring on the first coat of BLO?
    If so, how do you solve the problem?   Have you read Dave Knipfer's Rude & Crude method of sealing to prevent blotching?
    Finishing section...   just below Shellac section...  Basically, all it is is sealing with a 1# cut of Super Blonde dewaxed shellac.   When dry, sanding it all down back to the wood...  Then proceeding with your desired finish.

    Yes, sometimes the first coat of BLO can appear blotchy.  
  • This is especially true in Cherry and Maple.
  •   But, it has been my experience that given a little time (usually only a few weeks) and some ambient light,
  • it all evens out nicely.
  • Some people get all up-in-arms because their first coats of finish look terrible.   If they just relax a little and let things settle down, given time and light, it all looks great in the end.
  •   I've never had a complaint, and I've built many many rocking chairs out of all kinds of wood.
    I've never read that book or anything, but the reason
  • I don't use shellac as a sealer is that the BLO and Tung oil both soak into the wood and bring out the figure better than anything else.
  •   That is my priority, to enhance the figure of the wood.
  •   Then I seal it, protect it and bring out some shine with Waterlox.

  • 4.  Where do you get your 1500 grit sandpaper and what kind do you get?

    I get 1500 grit
  • wet/dry sandpaper (grey looking stuff) from Ace hardware.
  •   Automotive parts stores also carry smaller sheets of 2000 grit, which I sometimes use as well.

  • 5.  I have never used Waterlox...  I look it up and see various products...   Can you tell me exactly what product(s) you use most of the time?

    As I said, I use the BLO, Waterlox Satin or Original Formula and sometimes brushing laquer for table tops.   One side note about Waterlox - it smells AWFUL (to me at least).   Use it in a well ventilated area.   Also, Waterlox will eat through regular latex disposable gloves pretty quickly.   Use the blue gloves (Nitrile).  They work much better.   Some people apply Waterlox with a brush, but I just use a soft, lint free rag (like a T-shirt).  Works fine for me.

    6.  What is so special about Behlen wax?   Compared to Johnson's Paste Wax...?

    Nothing.  I use both.  It's cold up where I live so the Behlen wax seems to be easier to apply when it's nippy out.

    7.  Is it OK with you if I add your Finishing procedure to my web site;   rewritten to cover all answered questions; with a link to your site, of course?

    You betcha.  I'd be honored.

    Scott Morrison Woodworker

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