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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Finish Question

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  • AlbionWood
    Waterlox is a commercial product, essentially a thinned spar varnish. It applies like oil but affords greater protection and cures much faster. It s not a
    Message 1 of 35 , Jan 12, 2008
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      Waterlox is a commercial product, essentially a thinned spar varnish.  It applies like oil but affords greater protection and cures much faster.  It's not a period finish, though it results in something not unlike an oil-based varnish, which is documented in Theophilus (12c) IIRC.

      If you really want to use a medieval finish on a kitchen table, you could make up your own oil varnish by dissolving resins in heated linseed oil.  I haven't tried this myself but others have.  It's not a simple procedure and cure times are long.

      The most authentic period finish for utilitarian objects like a kitchen table would be none at all.  Of course the table will quickly become stained, but it will eventually acquire a patina that is functionally equivalent to a finish.  I very much doubt that medieval kitchen tables, being intended for rough use by common folk, received much if any surface treatment.  Even dining tables in the hall probably did not get a "finish" applied to them, as the top was invariably covered by a cloth when in use, until the 16th century or perhaps the late 15th in some regions.  Of course it is hard to say for sure, because AFAIK there are no surviving kitchen tables from the MA and only a few hall tables from the very end of the period.

      So, perhaps a wax polish would be a reasonable compromise for you after all, if you don't mind the table getting stained and gradually developing a surface patina.  (Or you could accept something like Waterlox as a way to artificially accelerate the development of that patina, while providing some protection for the wood.)   One other thing to keep in mind is that thicker lumber is less susceptible to warping from spills etc., so if you opt for a period finish, you should use period thicknesses for the top. 

      Cheers,
      Tim


      Kiley Glass wrote:
      Tim,
       
      What is waterlox, and where/when was it used in period?
       

    • Kiley Glass
      When you use your smoke alarm as a kitchen timer, it s not really the same as starting a fire, is it now? That s the line I ve taken with the kids and I m
      Message 35 of 35 , Jan 13, 2008
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        When you use your smoke alarm as a kitchen timer, it's not really the same as starting a fire, is it now? That's the line I've taken with the kids and I'm sticking to it. My husband I don't have to worry about. It's highly unlikely that he'd notice, which at times is very convenient. He usually just wants to know if he needs to go pick up take out or not. Gotta love a man like that.
         
        Caileigh

        Liedtke Goetz <goetzliedtke@...> wrote:

        --- Kiley Glass <caileighsoaps@ yahoo.com> wrote:

        > Yes sir. The kids hate it when mommy starts a fire in the kitchen.

        But how can you tell if the roast goose is done without setting off
        the smoke alarm?

        Goetz

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