This is not my ACTUAL wheel, but a stock photo from Susan’s Spinning Bunny, which is where I am buying my Baynes, single treadle, unfinished wheel. It hasn’t arrived yet. I am busy figuring out how I am going to finish it. I did online research (including asking on Spindlers and my Guild’s group and reading about other people’s finishing, and asking Susan about it, and my friend who knows stuff, and my husband, who has made canoe paddles by hand…) and was about to really panic (so many different ways to do it and so many opinions!) and think that I ought to have bought it finished to avoid the headaches, BUT, I really want at least part of the wheel to be purple.
Nobody else is going to finish my wheel purple without charging me a zillion dollars, I figure. So, right now I am working on three options for the staining part: procion dye in water, acrylic paint in water, artist oil paint in walnut oil. I have tried the two waters already and I think I like the COMBINATION of the two. Andrew is supposed to be picking up some artist oil paints for me today so I can try that.
I went round and round about how to do the finish (I want it fairly natural looking and not too shiny), –whether I wanted oil or polyurethane (water based, please, to avoid the fumes and stuff) or to use this “danish oil” stuff (but most of them have petroleum distillates and varnish in it. Bleah. Sheila at Journey Wheels (who is on Spindlers, so I “know” her) said they always use Tried & True finishes which have no volatiles. But then I would have to do mail order for the oil finish. I went to my local hardware store (where they are used to me coming in and asking ridiculous questions and are always nice) and got boiled linseed oil (no volatiles). Then, for good measure, I went to the grocery store and got a tin of roasted walnut oil. I did some samples (although they are not the same type of wood as the wheel will be) with different stains and then on one half of the boards I used walnut oil and the other half I used linseed. I’ve done two coats and honestly can’t tell the difference between them, but the walnut SMELLS really good.
Andrew was all for the linseed oil, as that is what he used on paddles before.
My current plan is to do a couple coats of walnut oil and then to rub the whole thing over with WoodBeams that I ordered from Sheila–that is mostly beeswax. No volatiles.