Finish for Bed Wood???

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:47 pm
A buddy of mine has a very nice 56 Ford F100 truck that we are going to redo the bed with Wenge wood and hidden fasteners.

* Will regular automotive clear work or should I stick to a product specifically made for wood?

He would like a high gloss finish.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:29 pm
Okay, so first make sure and tell him if someone asks about his wood to call it by it's official name..... Millettia laurentii If he does that then we don't say Wenge which is officially on the worldwide endangered tropical woods list. Ha, ha, minor joke but it is true.....
Okay, so what you run into with a lot of tropicals is their natural oil/moisture content. The work around for that is to make sure you do a raw wood wipe down after sanding prep. with acetone. Make sure that all flashes off and you are good to go.... Speaking of sanding wear more than a dust mask. That wood is not really toxic however it can spike respiratory problems and asthma attacks. As far as coatings I still like automotive clears for bed floors like this. I'd over reduce the first coat or so to get it to drop and plug the pore structure, do a sanding/leveling of that then move into the upper gloss coats. Personally, I'd do a few sprayouts on samples of the woods to develop my "look." A good premium clear with known excellent UV would allow the wood color to remain stable longer.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:37 pm
I was wondering when Dr. Furniture was going to reply!!

Thanks for the info, that helps me a lot. My plan is to use Tamco 2104

* What grit do you suggest to sand to?

And if I call the Wenge out by "Millettia Laurentii", my counter guy would just look up over his glasses at me and (slowly) say "what?"

Thanks again for the help!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:16 pm
Well, grit range is up to you but I think I would stay around 180 to no more than 220. These tropicals want to try and kind of "burnish" themselves shut in the pores which sounds like a good thing....uhhhhh, not so much. You want your clear to get some penetration/lock "in" the wood. I've seen guys sand wood so smooth the clear just ended up peeling back off. Again, good charcoal respirators are the mask of the day for doing any sanding with it....
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:53 pm
Darrel,

Thanks again. I was really wondering as it has been a few years since the last time that I built any furniture but I was pretty sure that the Cherry kitchen table that I made was taken up to 220 at the most, prior to applying the old original Waterlox sealer.

I will definitely try out some test pieces.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:53 am
Hey, when you get the look you want and end up coating those boards flip some pic.s up here. I would think 2104 would be a very good choice for doing this.....
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:49 am
OldFatBald wrote:I was wondering when Dr. Furniture was going to reply!!

Thanks for the info, that helps me a lot. My plan is to use Tamco 2104

* What grit do you suggest to sand to?

And if I call the Wenge out by "Millettia Laurentii", my counter guy would just look up over his glasses at me and (slowly) say "what?"

Thanks again for the help!


Yeah, I wasn't about to recommend anything without hearing from the master woodworker first.

Now that Wenge, Milletia Laurentii, piece of a tree has a whole new meaning to it. :rotfl:
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 4:05 pm
It's so funny.... years ago I had a 7 foot tall giraffe which was a single carving out of that stuff. I mean this thing was heavy, probably 300 pounds. So the family is on a photo trip/safari thing see this in the local town and love it, have it air freighted home. They own it for two years and they call me because, get this...... it is developing cracks in it's butt..... :rotfl: Seriously, seems the cleaning staff had move it from one area to another and set it right over a heating register. Too much heat= butt shrinkage. I had to do deep epoxy fills, then do cosmetics to blend all of that over top...... man, you have to do some strange things in the name of work sometimes.....
And, back to truck beds.....
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 9:07 am
As long as we are on subject of woods.
What about the use of Stains before Clear? Types to use and not use? How to do it right?
I to have a Truck bed coming up.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 9:48 pm
Hi, Dennis, staining for outdoor usage can be a sticky wicket. The problem is that most consumers have kind of grown up with heavily dye based stains like Minwax. Yes, they do look great on antiques and older woods because they color yet have transparency. Kind of like Kool-Aid in a glass. You see right through the glass of Kool-Aid however it is transparently colored blue, red, whatever completely through the water. When woods are inside the home and not being exposed to UV and the collection of everything else that makes up sunlight that is fine. When you go outdoors the dye stains don't stand a chance. Sunlight immediately starts breaking them down and color shifting them. So the logic with outdoor staining is to derive color from heavy pigmentation. Formulate the stain improperly with oversized particles and things look like Mississippi mud. If done correctly with micro particles and some synthetic dyes you can get a good look and still bury it in something like the Tamco 2104.
Make sure your wood is clear and free of dirt, oil, etc. before you sand. About 180 to 220 grit is the top sweet spot for sanding. We use Mirka psa on a random orbit air sander for almost all of our flat prep. After sanding we blow out the pores real well with shop air. Right now I have one preferred stain system that I prefer for outdoor woods....
https://myoldmasters.com/product/gel-stain
They have a nice wide assortment of colors and they are all intermixable. Directions are right on that web page. Only thing I would observe with their stains though....they say 8 hours dry time for most of them but I think that should read "overnight" just to be safe. I like to slightly over reduce the first coat of urethane so it sinks in and locks. When I start seeing the wood looking wet I back off and keep that coat kind of fast and dusty. If you don't see the urethane dropping anymore then I go to full wet coats. If for any reason you start getting fisheye I'd recommend Smoothie II for urethanes. Use as little as possible.
Hope that helps some.....
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