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Thread: suggested finish for mahogany plinth

  1. #1
    Join Date: Dec 2014

    Location: Surrey, UK

    Posts: 291
    I'm Phil.

    Default suggested finish for mahogany plinth

    I have a solid mahogany plinth for my Thorens TD160 which is currently unfinished. Does anyone have any suggestions for a finishing method? I would like something that brings out the natural grain of the wood without it becoming too dark or shiny.

    Thanks
    Phil

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 46,192
    I'm Grant.

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    maybe a satin varnish, or just wax it ....
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
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  3. #3
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 544
    I'm Svend.

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    Hi Phil,

    I can make a few suggestions here:

    Spray lacquer -- available in a spray can, this is a clear product and will not alter the colour of the wood; durable and maintenance free so no re-application needed. Drawback is that you have to be very uniform in applying your coats otherwise you may have unevenness. And you have to have the spray distance just right or else it will either dry before it hits the wood (too far away) or may have overlapping passes (too close). This could be tricky to apply and get pro results. You may have to buff with ultra-fine pumice or similar to remove dust and dimples.

    Danish oil -- this is the easiest to apply as it is rubbed in by hand. It can look really beautiful on the right wood...mahogany should look great. It will be amber coloured so will darken the wood slightly. Will require several initial coats to build up a good finish. Polymerizes to a durable finish, but may require reapplication every few years, but this is quick and easy to do (lemon oil or teak oil refreshes these finishes nicely). If you use fine wet-dry sandpaper to apply, you can get a nice hand-rubbed smooth finish which will get rid of any wood fibres sticking up. Do not over-apply or you will get a gummy mess! Rub off all excess. There are similar products that have varnish blended in for an even more durable finish, but these can be tricky to apply smoothly as they start to get sticky very quickly and you can get streaks from your applicator pad. True Danish oil is easier in that it has a longer working time -- pretty much impossible to screw this up, unless you put on too much (don't say I didn't warn you )

    Urethane rubbing varnish -- this is also easy to apply, as it's all done by hand rubbing. It's also amber coloured so will darken the wood, but less so than Danish oil. Very durable finish, does not need any maintenance. As with Danish oil, do not over-apply or you will get a gummy mess! Do very thin coats and immediately rub off all excess. Can be tricky to apply smoothly as it starts to cure very quickly and you can get streaks from your applicator pad. This is good stuff -- I have used it for several fine furniture projects where a tough finish was needed.

    I wouldn't suggest using traditional brush-on varnishes as you may have a hard time getting a perfectly uniform coat -- use the wrong brush or the wrong product, or both, and you will see all the brush streaks....pretty amateur looking. OTOH, if you get a good self-levelling varnish and a high quality brush, it can look great. As Grant suggested, satin finish would be best as it will hide imperfections better. Whichever you decide on, I'd suggest practising on some scrap wood to see if it suits the look you're after, and to practise your technique and get used to working with the stuff.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you need more insight.

    Best,
    Svend
    Last edited by Svend N; 14-02-2018 at 13:23.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Dec 2014

    Location: Surrey, UK

    Posts: 291
    I'm Phil.

    Default

    Thanks for the advice. I think perhaps oil might be the best option as i have limited experience in this area. I think have some osmo top oil left over from when i put in some oak worktops. Is it safe to assume that this would also be OK on mahogany?

  5. #5
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 46,192
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    just remember oil is a lot of work and many coats with drying time inbetween.
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    OPPO BDP-103D DARBEE - JBE SERIES 3/B&O SP1/EMOTIVA XPS1/12V BATTERY - TWIN PRO MONOBLOCK AMPLIFIERS - XIANG SHENG DAC\PRE\HEADPHONE AMP\WE TUBED - TWIN AVANTREE OASIS CLASS 1 BLUETOOTHS - AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-MSR7 & OPPO PM-3 PLANAR HEADPHONES - WIN10 JRIVER24, SPOTIFY - SMSL M6 MINIDAC - RPI/AUDIOPHONICS/VOLUMIO/5V BATTERY - FULL RANGE TWIN TELEFUNKEN/Q ACOUSTIC BT3/CANTON SUB - P.INSPIRED MAINS REGENERATED.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Oct 2017

    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Posts: 544
    I'm Svend.

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    The Osmo Top Oil is an oil-wax mixture, made for butcher blocks, cutting boards, bar tops, etc. It will certainly work, but whether it will give you a fine furniture type finish I can't say, as I've not used it. You may want to try it on a piece of scrap mahogany and see how you like it. If it looks too utilitarian, you could do a final coat with, say, teak oil or lemon oil to give it more sheen. Those are available in small amounts, so should be pretty cheap to come by.

    Just a general comment - you've got a nice piece in that turntable, and have taken the time to make a new plinth out of beautiful wood. I wouldn't cut corners just to save a few pennies by using some leftover bar finish. But if the Osmo looks great, then by all means go for it. Test it first!

  7. #7
    Join Date: Dec 2014

    Location: Surrey, UK

    Posts: 291
    I'm Phil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by struth View Post
    just remember oil is a lot of work and many coats with drying time inbetween.
    Cheers, Grant. Time is not going to be a problem. I am still waiting for the new dustcover so the Thoirns will be remaining in its original plinth for the moment.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 46,192
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    our geoff uses satin a lot and this is kinda how it looks



    stays light and fairly flat
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    OPPO BDP-103D DARBEE - JBE SERIES 3/B&O SP1/EMOTIVA XPS1/12V BATTERY - TWIN PRO MONOBLOCK AMPLIFIERS - XIANG SHENG DAC\PRE\HEADPHONE AMP\WE TUBED - TWIN AVANTREE OASIS CLASS 1 BLUETOOTHS - AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-MSR7 & OPPO PM-3 PLANAR HEADPHONES - WIN10 JRIVER24, SPOTIFY - SMSL M6 MINIDAC - RPI/AUDIOPHONICS/VOLUMIO/5V BATTERY - FULL RANGE TWIN TELEFUNKEN/Q ACOUSTIC BT3/CANTON SUB - P.INSPIRED MAINS REGENERATED.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Feb 2015

    Location: Cardiff

    Posts: 51
    I'm Richard.

    Default

    Hi Phil,

    I have had good results with Osmo Polyx 3032 clear satin. It does take a while to dry but will produce an excellent finish. It has the advantage of being very easy to make good if you get any minor marks or blemishes at a later date.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Dec 2014

    Location: Surrey, UK

    Posts: 291
    I'm Phil.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Svend N View Post
    The Osmo Top Oil is an oil-wax mixture, made for butcher blocks, cutting boards, bar tops, etc. It will certainly work, but whether it will give you a fine furniture type finish I can't say, as I've not used it. You may want to try it on a piece of scrap mahogany and see how you like it. If it looks too utilitarian, you could do a final coat with, say, teak oil or lemon oil to give it more sheen. Those are available in small amounts, so should be pretty cheap to come by.

    Just a general comment - you've got a nice piece in that turntable, and have taken the time to make a new plinth out of beautiful wood. I wouldn't cut corners just to save a few pennies by using some leftover bar finish. But if the Osmo looks great, then by all means go for it. Test it first!
    Thanks, Svend. I suppose your right - no point in fudging the job now. Perhaps the best option will be to get some danish oil and then wax afterwards

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