The Blog for GW Pens

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My Own Magic Revealed

steel-wool

After yesterday’s post about magic and my dislike for being tricked, I thought I’d share a bit of my own magic with you all.

The Question: How do I get a silky smooth finish on my oiled pieces of wood?

The Answer: Steel Wool.

Steel wool comes in a variety of grades, similar to sand paper. Once I get the wood sanded down nice and smooth (typically 320 grit), I apply the first coat of Tung Oil. As that dries, the ends of the wood grain curl ever so slightly, sticking up and giving the wood a rougher finish than before the Tung Oil was applied.

‘0000’ steel wool is the finest grade level you can get. A piece of that rubbed on the wood removes those little curls and then some. You need to really be careful not to scratch the wood with it, especially in tight areas where you just can’t rub with the grain.

Now the next tricky part is getting the loose bits of steel wool that were left behind completely off of the wood before the next coat of Tung Oil. I prefer to start with a tack cloth, and then use my air compressor to make sure it’s all nice and clean.

Apply. Let dry (12 hours). Steel wool. Clean. Repeat.

Depending on how the wood is taking the oil, I do anywhere from 3-5 coats. I find if I use a brush to put it on, it is more likely to need 5 coats (but the brush may be necessary if there are small areas a rag has trouble getting into). If I use a rag to rub it in, 3 coats seems to do the trick.

And there you have it! A little bit of my own magic revealed đŸ™‚

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This entry was posted on January 7, 2009 by and tagged , , , .
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