This last week I was able to spend a little time out in the shop each evening finishing up the boxes. The heaters and I were working overtime!After some final hand sanding I gave everything a light wipe down with mineral spirits and let them sit overnight to dry. The next morning the pieces were ready for a finish. I decided to go with several, hand wiped, applications of Waterlox Original.
Just the first pass reveals how a clear finish warms the tones of the wood and really sets the grain off.
For the first application I needed a separate cloth for the Padauk lids. Even after a cleaning with the mineral spirits you can still see the red residue on the finish cloth. Padauk is notorious for staining…hands, clothes, even other woods if they’re sanded together. Try getting that reddish hue out of Bird’s Eye Maple!
I ended up doing five layers of finish to really deepen the color and grain.
Here they are…all dressed up for Christmas.
The two Padauk lidded boxes.
And the two Walnut lids.
Here's the whole gang, all stacked up.
I’m pretty pleased with the grain orientation. The grain pattern flows in-line around three corners on each box. I’ve got a couple ideas to work with wider stock, or book matched pieces at the start of the project to give myself a little more leeway in matching the grain around all four corners. For these boxes, that fourth corner will just have to be the one placed toward the wall…much like that dead spot on every Christmas tree.
Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy some time in your workshop, but enjoy the time with your family and friends even more.Pete