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    My tricks: How to colorize and polish wood

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    JoergS
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    My tricks: How to colorize and polish wood

    Post by JoergS on Thu May 10, 2012 4:00 am

    In his great Harlequin Crossbow thread, AboMickey asked me this:

    AboMickey wrote:Joerg, how do you get your wood so shiny and beautiful? You say you polish it but what does that entail?

    Well, here are some of my tricks.

    I guess you all know how to rasp, file, and sand a piece of wood. I go up to 1000 or 1200 grid.

    Here is where my tricks start.

    First - use car chrome polish. The stuff that you can buy in tubes, like Autosol.

    Rub it onto the sanded surface and polish away. You simply won't believe what a difference it makes. It removes the dust from all of the pores and brings out the beauty of the wood.

    Second - don't skip the wetting and resanding.

    When you work on the wooden surface with tools and sand paper, you flatten the wood fibres. So after the last sanding round, when you think everything is perfectly smooth, just briefly put your hand under water and stroke the wood with your wet hand. You will immediately experience that the wood gets furry again! The fibres are standing up. That is what you want. Let the piece dry out completely.

    Then, resand with the finest grit you have.

    You can repeat this a few times to make sure you have done a thorough enough job. The "furry" effect will be less and less prominent.

    Finally, re-polish with the car chrome paste. You now have a piece of wood that will stay in this polished condition even if it gets a bit wet, from humidity or a sweaty palm. And it simply gets more shiny as a total.

    Third - try ink!

    I use ink to bring out the grain. Inking will show grain even in otherwise pale and bland wood. It also comes in many colors.

    Document grade ink is made to stain wooden fibres (paper is made out of wood, too), and to withstand time, humidity and sunlight. It is soaked up by the wood, but not uniformly. The softer parts of the wood soak up more ink, and the direction of the fibres is also important.

    Ink therefore is ideal to bring out the differences in the wooden structure.

    What you need to do is to find out the right concentration of the ink. Pure ink usually is too much, you need to add some water to it. Take a piece
    of the wood you want to make your weapon from, polish it and apply various solutions, then choose the one you like the most.

    Then apply the ink and let it dry completely. Resand with fine grit sand paper. Then use car chrome polish and a soft rag. This will remove the dust and also unsoaked ink.

    Afterwards, you can apply clear oil (linseed works but it adds a bit of yellow) or coat the whole thing with polyurethane for protection against the elements.

    So, enough for starters! Hope you will find this useful.


    Last edited by JoergS on Thu May 10, 2012 11:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Gnome
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    Re: My tricks: How to colorize and polish wood

    Post by Gnome on Thu May 10, 2012 4:19 am

    Great info, Jeorg! I work with various kinds of inks every day in the printing business, it never occured to my to try them to stain wood. Thanks.

    JoergS
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    Re: My tricks: How to colorize and polish wood

    Post by JoergS on Thu May 10, 2012 4:43 am

    Here are some pics of inked wood - the first one is especially cool as I used different ink types for one handle.








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    mac
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    Re: My tricks: How to colorize and polish wood

    Post by mac on Thu May 10, 2012 8:49 am

    Jeorg,

    Autosol!?!? ....really!?

    I'll have to give that a try. Thanks!

    Mac
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    jds6
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    Re: My tricks: How to colorize and polish wood

    Post by jds6 on Thu May 10, 2012 10:24 am

    Wow, that is very interesting! Would never have thought chrome polish on wood. How would it work with wood stain, or have you ever tried???

    jds6

    JoergS
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    Re: My tricks: How to colorize and polish wood

    Post by JoergS on Thu May 10, 2012 11:34 am

    I tried wood stain and wasn't impressed. The stuff is mostly cheap, made for fences and not for little pieces of art.

    Car chrome polish works on all kinds of surfaces. I even use it on polyurethane coatings, to achieve glass like effects. It works on oiled wood, stained wood and even on wood that is left natural, just sanded.

    Try it. I have never seen anything else that achieves a comparable effect.
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    AboMickey
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    Re: My tricks: How to colorize and polish wood

    Post by AboMickey on Thu May 10, 2012 1:57 pm

    Brilliant:cheers: cheers

    Thank you very much sir, this will help out a lot when it comes time to get my baby all nice and pretty.

    Now to track down some ink and some of that crazy grit sand paper.
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    Basilisk120
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    Re: My tricks: How to colorize and polish wood

    Post by Basilisk120 on Fri May 11, 2012 11:19 pm

    Thanks for woodworking tips. I would have never thought to use polish on wood. Learn something new everyday.



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