11 votes

How can I achieve a raw, unfinished look to my project while protecting it from water and physical abuse?

To keep the surface appearing as raw as possible and protect against water, I would suggest mineral oil. It will not prevent any mechanical abrasion, but will look natural and non-glossy without ...
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  • 1,772
9 votes

How can I protect a desk top made from softer wood?

Most finishes, even the "penetrating oil" ones, don't penetrate very deep (maybe 0.020", 0.5 mm). The soft fibers below the cured finish fail, leaving a dent. Having a thicker, hard surface will ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Protective disc between moving pieces of wood

You can use the plastic from many common food packages to make little washers for this purpose. I've used the softer plastic from the flexible lids to a few food canisters, e.g. Cadbury's cocoa, in ...
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8 votes

How can I achieve a raw, unfinished look to my project while protecting it from water and physical abuse?

Based on your comment (i.e., you're more interested in the look than the feel), it'd suggest using a matte finish. Rich Lawrence suggested a water-based poly, but I'd actually go for an oil-based poly ...
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  • 4,156
8 votes

How can I achieve a raw, unfinished look to my project while protecting it from water and physical abuse?

Another option to consider is wax. In this case, butcher block paste wax would be a traditional option (which is edible/non-toxic, like the wax on apples). It has similar constraints as the ...
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7 votes

Does burning wood increase any mechanical proprieties?

Not burning or charring the wood, but heating it to a high temperature. In this article dealing with the "Strength properties of thermally modified softwoods..." that deals specifically with three ...
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  • 3,668
7 votes

Unobtrusive ways to protect plywood corners?

Perhaps the most common solution is to build hardwood face frames for your cabinets. The face frame conceals and protects the edge of the plywood. If your cabinets are already built, a film finish ...
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7 votes

How to finish a branch to keep the bark (partially) on?

Use epoxy resin, thinned with acetone, and brush it on. Use a very thin mix for the first coat, then if necessary, come back with a second coat. Acetone will allow the epoxy to flow and penetrate deep ...
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6 votes

How to finish a branch to keep the bark (partially) on?

One thing to keep in mind is the season in which the branch was cut. If the wood is of a decidous variety the bark will be very easy to remove in the spring and very hard to remove in the fall. Keep ...
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  • 694
6 votes

How to finish a branch to keep the bark (partially) on?

I think the short answer here is: Bark is never permanent, unless it's alive. One the one hand, imagine bark as your skin. The surface of your skin today is not made up of the same cells today as it ...
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  • 1,772
6 votes

How can I achieve a raw, unfinished look to my project while protecting it from water and physical abuse?

While Tung, Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO), and other hardening oils will provide some protection, non-hardening oils like mineral, olive, or vegetable oil do not provide any significant protection. ...
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5 votes

How can I achieve a raw, unfinished look to my project while protecting it from water and physical abuse?

Let me shortly explain my background on this topic. I completely sympathize with your desire to keep the natural wood look and color in wood projects. In my experience most woodworkers love the ...
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5 votes

Unobtrusive ways to protect plywood corners?

By beveled, do you actually mean mitered? You could use a little cleat of hardwood, which is something you can even do after you've already assembled the cabinets. (with plywood, biscuits are ...
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5 votes
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What are the precautions to take when working with Desert Ironwood

Cut slowly. Watch out for kickback. Be aware that blades/bits will dull faster than they would on a softer wood. I'm not sure what family "desert ironwood" belongs to, but Ipe (the most common "...
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  • 9,121
5 votes

Preserving a Dead Branch AS IS for a Staff

The branch was very dead when I found it, so I think it's pretty dry, There are various levels of 'dry' for wood. Sitting exposed outdoors, especially if lying on the ground, the wood won't be quite ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Does burning wood increase any mechanical proprieties?

It's not the burning of wood, it's the heating of it. By heating it one of the things that happens is you remove the moisture from the wood. This makes it more physically stable. Letting a stick ...
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4 votes
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How can I protect a desk top made from softer wood?

You have several options. A good reference is Bob Flexner's books where he compares all in terms of hardness (which is what you're looking for), reversibility, transparency, dent proofness, water ...
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  • 4,156
4 votes

How can I protect a desk top made from softer wood?

what options do I have to protect the surface from physical damage? "Physical damage" is really too broad a category to answer simply. It needs to be broken down a little in order better define what ...
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  • 59.2k
4 votes
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How to finish a branch to keep the bark (partially) on?

I did a walking stick in exactly the above manner. Several thick coats of polyurethane. My big mistake was using a high gloss, so that it has that sort of 'fake' look, but its the inside bark of a ...
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4 votes

How can I achieve a raw, unfinished look to my project while protecting it from water and physical abuse?

I used a water based polyurethane matte finish on an oak table recently. It gives a slight amber tint but is protective against water and alcohol.
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4 votes

How can I achieve a raw, unfinished look to my project while protecting it from water and physical abuse?

I have use Clark's Cutting Board Finish which leaves the wood looking more unfinished that anything else I've ever used. Even so, it does darken the wood slightly (all finishes do). Like any wax, ...
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3 votes

How can I achieve a raw, unfinished look to my project while protecting it from water and physical abuse?

A matte or flat water based poly will give the closest look to no finish and provide a lot of protection. I recommend Target EM9000. It may leave the wood with a little bit of a wet look. I've not ...
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  • 1,176
3 votes

How can I achieve a raw, unfinished look to my project while protecting it from water and physical abuse?

I've used Tung oil with good results. It is mildly protective. Keeps moisture out for the most part. If the wood is inherently soft, it doesn't do much to prevent marring though. It darkens the wood ...
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3 votes

Unobtrusive ways to protect plywood corners?

One way that I have used for this is to just use overlap corner joints for the plywood. This type of joint covers one raw edge of the plywood. On the other piece that is left with the raw edge showing ...
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3 votes

What are the precautions to take when working with Desert Ironwood

As said above make sure you are cutting slowly. I do have other things to say on that along with his answer on the blade dulls fast. My neighbors have worked with it and have talked about how it even ...
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  • 3,058
3 votes

Unobtrusive ways to protect plywood corners?

Another solution is to design real-wood edging into the piece, to cover the plywood edge. This can range from veneer tape (edgebanding) to a piece of hardwood chosen to match the color and thickness ...
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  • 9,121
3 votes
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Is it possible make the surface of wood harder?

The comments have a lot of good discussion about wood choice, but to directly answer your question, yes. You can use epoxy to make a surface harder. However, you need to be careful about your choice ...
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2 votes

Protect wood furniture legs from damage

It looks like the damage is being done by impact rather than abrasion. The teflon tape might help, but I don't think it will eliminate future damage. You might get the protection you want by using ...
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  • 1,064
2 votes

What is damaging this finished oak surface?

To me it looks like damage to the finish from sunlight. Red oak seems to do this more often. Not sure why. Maybe sunlight interacts with the tannin's or the pits don't let the finish cure evenly ...
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2 votes

Reinforcing fragile wooden pendant?

I didn't read all the comments to your post, however, I was thinking just putting a backing on it. even something as simple as black construction paper glued to the whole thing then use a scalpel or ...
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