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A Simple Wood Finish…Takes Time

Polished Work. - Joinery with its surface polished, by rubbing on shell-lac dissolved in spirit. George Ellis, Modern Practical Joinery , 1902  Yesterday  afternoon, while I was level sanding the pore filler on the back and sides of my latest classical guitar, I had lots of time to think on the simple wood finishes that are being touted these days for those amateurs making stick chairs, staked stools and tables and any other form of home/workshop furniture that might be found in the old Foxfire books or a folk museum. You know what I am talking about: rub pure soap into that freshly adzed and scraped chair seat; buy some real linseed oil paint or milk paint; get real unadulterated linseed and use the heel of your hand to rub into the surface (I remember doing that on some very early wood working projects); and I am sure I have forgotten many more folksy, vernacular style finishes. These finishes are touted as being easy to apply, easy to repair and “good enough”, I admit that if the pe

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