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How do you have your students finish their project Options
Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2015 8:34:28 AM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 3/17/2006
Posts: 0
Location: Mission Viejo, California
I’m experimenting with different ways for my students to finish their projects and was wondering what stain or finish you have your students use. I’ve been using Boiled Linseed Oil but I have more and more students complain of the smell so I’m looking into alternatives. I’m looking for something that is easy to apply, wipe on with a rag, and has a fast drying time. Thanks for your help.

Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2015 3:10:59 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 8/8/2012
Posts: 0
Location: West Linn, OR
I use a mixture of 1/3 odorless mineral spirits, 1/3 boiled linseed oil, and 1/3 polyurethane. Wipe on, wipe off. No brushes hardening up. I have them put on at least 2 coats; 4 if they have a really nice project. Some sanding between coats may be necessary.

Only problems are: 1. still kind of stinks and 2. making sure the dispose of the rags properly.
Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 1:35:48 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 5/20/2012
Posts: 0
Location: hillsboro
Shellac is your friend! It dries quickly, can be repaired easily, and best of all, imparts much of the warmth and glow that can be found using boiled linseed oil. The trouble with blo as a finish by itself is that it does not impart much protection to the piece over time. Dust and dirt still make their way into the wood causing discoloration. One way that shellac is different is that after applying a few coats, you are building up a film finish on the piece, which offers more protection than a penetrating oil. The worst part about using shellac for students is that it gets on their fingers, and will only come off using denatured alcohol. The benefit is that it is a nontoxic finish, and the fumes are from the alcohol used to dissolve the shellac. You can buy it at your local home improvement center, usually in a clear or amber tint.

Minwax stains are okay, especially if you having students make things out of oak, but in my opinion do not look very nice on much else. Also, the stain is essentially a powder pigment suspended in a very thinned out varnish. This means that unless you top coat the stain with either shellac, varnish, polyurethane, etc. you have basically the same lack of long term protection that you have with a penetrating oil. Also, the darker pigments have been known to rub off over time and stain things they come into contact with.

I believe you will find over time that there are different finishes that will work for different scenarios taking into account the size, project type and wood species you are working with. I know for our classroom, I like to have the students put on a shellac or linseed oil base coat, then I spray a water poly top coat to give it a flawless, lasting finish. If students are advanced enough, I will let them spray their own finish, which motivates them to prep the surface even better!
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