Clear Finish on Rosewood?

TEST ON SCRAP FIRST! If your question is about repair work, either regluing or refinishing, please post it in our Repair Section.

Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:39 am

I found a beautiful piece of rosewood at my local store. I am not certain of the nationality of the wood but I should be able to find out, as this is a reputable store, and it is rosewood bound by all the CITES rules.
I am assuming Honduran, but it could be Indian also.

Regardless, I'm using it for the top of an electric guitar and I want to do a clear finish on it. I have done some research on this topic, but the information is all over the place.
Some say simply use a poly finish, others say do not use an oil base, others say different things.

So, I am here at the place where I get reliable info, asking about others experience.

I use strictly water-based lacquers, so that must be factored into the equation also.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Bob Gramann » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:10 am

On rosewood, I usually pad on two coats of shellac, then pore fill, then another coat of shellac. I use Target EM6000, a water-based lacquer, 10-12 coats, levelled about halfway through, after that.
User avatar
Bob Gramann
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:08 am
Location: Fredericksburg, VA

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:03 pm

What do you use for a filler Bob?
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Bob Gramann » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:16 pm

It depends on my whim of the day. Most often, I use pumice and alcohol in the traditional french polishing method. I have used oil-based paste filler, the Aqua Coat from LMI, and Timbermate (Ihave also tried CA glue and epoxy exactly once each—never again). All work. None fill totally on the first coat. The pumice and alcohol (it picks up shellac from the previous coats to hold the pumice in the pores) doesn’t require sanding back, so I most often go with that. But, when I consider how much work it is, I try one of the others before I go back to the pumice on the next instrument.
User avatar
Bob Gramann
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:08 am
Location: Fredericksburg, VA

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Barry Daniels » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:04 pm

Oil based filler works good. So does epoxy. Lots of options.
MIMF Staff
Barry Daniels
 
Posts: 2002
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby David King » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:48 pm

A harder alternative would be Seagraves rosewood sealer and Seagraves or equivalent polyester. That's been the factory finish for decades but it's going to require a spray booth and a good organic volatiles filter mask or supplied air respirator.

Oil finishes directly on oily rosewoods like cocobolo are potentially a disaster because the wood's oil can interfere with the finish's drying chemistry (Japan dryers). Less oily rosewoods seem to go fine.
David King
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:14 pm

I went to the aforementioned store and found that the wood is indeed Brazilian Rosewood.
It is marketed as Santos Rosewood.

It is very dense and hard.
There was a piece in the showroom that is to be used as a fireplace mantle. About 4 inches thick x 9 inches wide x 5 ft long.
They had sanded and buffed the wood without any fillers, and is shone like it had finish.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Bill Raymond » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:31 am

Santos Rosewood is not Brazilian Rosewood; it's another name for Pau Ferro which is not a true Rosewood (Dalbergia genus) and would not be listed under CITES.
Bill Raymond
 
Posts: 327
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:37 pm
Location: Red Bluff California

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Mark Swanson » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:50 am

The dust of that wood is absolutely dangerous, poison to me and to many others here. if I get it on my skin I get a nasty rash, if I breathe it in I have a terrible reaction. Take precautions.
    Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff
User avatar
Mark Swanson
 
Posts: 1962
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:11 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan USA

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:01 am

Thanks for the warning Mark. I will indeed take precautions.
Yes. After dojng some more reading, I agree that it is Pau Ferro.

Does that change anything regarding my original post?
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:11 am

Pau ferro finishes like a dream. It is fairly close grained so requires little to no pore filling. It is not particularly oily when compared to true rosewoods. As others have stated some people have an allergic reaction to the dust, so limit your exposure to it. Since people call it "rosewood" and it grows in Brazil some erroneously call it Brazilian rosewood. It is used for fingerboards by some manufacturers .
Clay Schaeffer
 
Posts: 1176
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby David King » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:36 pm

Pau-Ferro/Morado finishes just fine with any regime. Don't sand past 220-320 once all the scratches are gone.
David King
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Leon Purdy » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:26 am

Mark Swanson wrote:The dust of that wood is absolutely dangerous, poison to me and to many others here. if I get it on my skin I get a nasty rash, if I breathe it in I have a terrible reaction. Take precautions.


Thanks for the heads up, Mark. I never knew that the dust of Santos Rosewood is so dangerous. I was also planning to use it, but now I won't.
Leon Purdy
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:09 am

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:00 pm

Pau Ferro is a wood that some have a bad reaction to, and others of us less so. Although I haven't experienced problems with it, when milling it I try to minimize my exposure to the dust, just as I do for cocobolo - a wood I have reacted too. Both make very beautiful instruments, and I will - carefully - continue to use them.
Clay Schaeffer
 
Posts: 1176
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:27 pm

I finished this guitar a while ago, and the Pau Ferro finished beautifully. I simply sprayed lacquer on it.
I did not have any reaction whatsoever to the dust.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Randolph Rhett » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:48 pm

If you want a deep, glossy, flawless finish you will want to do some kind of pore fill and some kind of high gloss finish like nitro, shellac, or polyurethane. Generally, for high gloss you want to spray a finish and then buff/rub it out. You can get high gloss from French Polishing, but that is a skill in an of itself that can take several guitars worth of practice to get reasonable results. Oil finishes over raw wood can be beautiful, but they are not the same thing. They are, however, MUCH easier to apply and do well. The reason you get many suggestions is that there are many ways to skin the cat depending on your desired outcome, equipment, and skill.

If you do not have any reactions to epoxy, and most people don't, that is a relatively easy and effective way to pore fill. Virtually any finish you are likely to apply will apply over epoxy. Nitrocellular lacquer is available as a rattle can from several vendors and can be applied that way with relative ease. It is flammable, so some minimal precautions are in order. You can level sand nitro between days of spraying and buff out with sandpaper and automotive cutting compound after a couple of weeks of cure time. This is probably the easiest and first approach to high gloss finishes most people attempt. If high gloss is your goal, and you are new to this, this is where I would recommend you start.

If you are happy with a satin or semi-gloss finish that shows pores and wood surface, TruOil is probably the place to start. Dead simply to apply, quick, and good results.
User avatar
Randolph Rhett
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:19 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Alan Carruth » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:55 am

As always with finishes, try on scrap first! I have found that some varnishes, such as the old 'Rock Hard' varnish, would harden up fine while others, like the Murdoch's Ure-alkyd 500 I'm using now, don't like it at all. With that varnish the only thing I've found that will stop it out adequately so that the varnish will dry is CA.

You don't really need a filler with Morado.

I have not had any allergy issues with Morado so far. Allergies can roar from nothing into full bloom suddenly, so that's provisional. I had a student who broke out badly if I was working on any when he came by; he didn't even need to touch it.
Alan Carruth
 
Posts: 843
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:11 pm

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Rodger Knox » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:07 pm

TruOil does not dry on Pao Ferro without it being sealed with shellac. I've also become sensitized to Pao Ferro, and don't use it anymore.
A man hears what he wants to hear, and disreguards the rest. Paul Simon
Rodger Knox
 
Posts: 492
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:02 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:23 pm

I finished the Pau Ferro by simply spraying water based lacquer on it. No pore filling needed.
Again, I did not experience any untoward physical reaction to the wood, or dust.
I was careful, using gloves, and a dust mask EVERY time I worked with it.

Pau Ferro Top.jpg
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Clear Finish on Rosewood?

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:45 am

Here is a pic that shows how the finish ended up.

Pau Ferro close up 1.jpg
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada


Return to Glues and Finishes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Your purchase from these sites helps support the MIMForum, but only if you start at the links below!!!
Amazon music     Amazon books     Amazon tools     Rockler tools     Office Depot    

The MIMF is a member-supported forum, please consider supporting us with a donation, thanks!
 • Book store • Tool store • Links •