Wednesday 18 January 2012

Hand finishing DVD

Here are the two cameramen, they don't like the tables turned! I thought I'd get this one in before they subject me to a days filming.

Here are just some of the props I need for the film, I could fill this table twice over with the rest of them!

Here are two consecutive boards of highly figured Madrone, the one on the left is finished with shellac and the one on the right has been oiled. The shellac board has a much more even colour and there is real shimmer to the finish. The shellac has sealed the pores of the undulating grain whereas the oil has just sunk in leaving a much more blotchy finish.

Here is a set of sample woods to show the difference between water based finish (front), shellac (middle) and oil at the back. Different woods react in different ways and one finish is more pleasing than another depending on the wood and your taste!

The birds eye maple showed the most marked difference, the oil on the left was the darkest and was a bit blotchy around the 'eyes' (I know how that feels!), the shellac was darkened but really popped the figure and the water based acrylic was almost unchanged in colour but left a flat surface.


  1. Hi David,

    Thank you for this beautifully executed and photographed demonstration. I wondered why we had been selling so much shellac this week - now I know!

    All the best,


  2. Hi Matthew,thanks for your comments. Shellac is wonderful stuff and should be in every woodworkers finishing arsenal. All the best, David.

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