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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once the stick/cane is ready for the finish coats I really need to keep a close eye on the process. Many of these canes have that hard Maple knob as the handle. Too many times I've discovered the high gloss hand applied polyurethane has flowed to the bottom, formed a nice bubble, thank you very much and then hardened.

RATZ!

I then have to sand it off and start over.

I normally put one of the eye bolts/crews into the narrow end and let it hang while I apply the stain and then polyurethane - (am now using Tung oil). I do my best to work one end at a time overlapping even at the middle making certain there's a good even coverage.

So, I'm setting a timer, as a reminder to go check that cane every 20 mins or so to make certain there's no runs or streaks.

Most of my canes are 36" long but you guys that are making walking sticks, much longer, how do you apply the finish coats and avoid those runs and streaks?

Thanks
-neb
 

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you don't have that problem if you use Danish oil just a wipe with the cloth

We all have different ways of finishing the shank of .my shanks are usually made to armpit height and don't do many walking sticks or canes as you call them.

Think all of us here have our own preferred way of finishing the shank

I am not a fan of varnish I think it chips to easy allowing water ingress and as I leave the bark on most of mine the oil lifts the bark colour very well .The toppers however I do varnish but prefer a satin finish

I never use a high gloss on them as it causes to much reflection in the sun. I do this mainly as I carve puppets and it distracts the performance if its to glossy and a professor of punch and judy will not have them
 

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Finishing often takes longer than making the stick, it is something that takes great patience and care. The temptation is to think one or two thick coats and it will be done. Thick coats run, the finish must be built up evenly and gradually. Poly is so slow to dry making time in between coats painfully slow. As they say, patience is a virtue.
 

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If you ask 10 stick makers about finishes you will probably get 10 different answers, all good I might add.

I am a fan of spar polyurethane. I quit using the oil based stuff as it is a pain in the rear to apply and clean up. I now use a water based spar ( TX to CV3 for recommending it) made by Varethane in a satin finish and it dries quickly and if applied properly, with no runs. Spar is an exterior grade varnish that is UV and weather resistant. Originally designed as a finish for wooden ships, hence the name spar, it is designed for heavy use areas like doors, railings etc.

Regarding Tung Oil, unless the product U are using says its 100% Tung oil than it is more than likely a product that is blended with boiled linseed oil, varnish and drying agents with very little if any Tung oil at all. Don't get me wrong it makes a vey beautiful finish and is easy to use, I just think its over priced. Back in my early days of sticking I mixed my own wiping varnish from BLO, mineral spirits and oil based poly for a fraction of the cost.

I would like to try the True oil Gloops is using. As it was designed to be used on gunstocks I would think it would be a great product to withstand the heavy use of a walking stick.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ATTN!!!! I see I have reached my limit of "LIKES" for today :cool: so let me simply say THANK YOU for all your great input.

Hey! I'm 82 and still learning good stuff. How about them apples?

:cool:

-neb
 

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I learn something new every day whether I want to (or even like it) or not.

I use what I have at hand. I prefer traditional finishes over poly these days. Poly is durable but once it's damaged it's more work to repair.

I like oil finishes like BLO and real Tung oil but it takes several coats and takes a long time to dry especially in winter. Oil is good because it penetrates into the wood instead of just sitting on the surface. It's also easy to touch up if needed. I just don't have the patience to wait a day or more between coats.

I prefer shellac for most things. It's easy to use and dries quickly. It's alcohol based so nothing harsher than denatured alcohol is needed for clean up. It also has the advantage that each coat blends into the prior coat so you don't need to sand between coats.

The disadvantage is it's not as durable as other finishes.

Regardless of which finish you use several thin coats are far better than one or two thick ones. I prefer to apply my finishes with a rag instead of a brush for the most part.

I also prefer a satin sheen over a high gloss. After the finish is dry I go over it with 0000 steel wool and a decent past wax. It cuts any dust or drips down and leaves a smooth satin finish that feels good in the hand.

We all have our own ways of doing things, this is just what works for me.

Rodney
 

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Everytime i apply with a brush or sponge I had trouble with runs and drip balls in places along with a streak. Tung oil or Danish oil finishes say to apply with a cloth and then wipe off after 30 minutes. This will ensure you don't have runs. I wipe off with a paper bag at a high rate of speed and it burnishes a nice shine that I'm looking for on most sticks. When done that way I've found that even at this time of year it's drying within
half a day.

sean
 
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