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Woodworking Question: Finishing Wineador Drawers/Shelves

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Howdy all! So I am in the process of building spanish cedar drawers and shelves for my wineador. I have some nice scraps of walnut I would like to use for the drawer fronts but I am worried about "stinky finishes." After doing some research on finishes, I am leaning towards garnet shellac cut with grain alcohol (everclear.) I would like to use an oil under it to bring out the figure but I am worried about the smell. Shellac is great at sealing in odors but will it seal in the smell of an oil finish?

I am open to any and all suggestions for finishes or ideas you may have.

 

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You will notice that commercial humidors are all unfinished on the inside.

From a matter of commercial viability, I WOULD GUESS, that exterior finishes are either lacquer reduced with lacquer thinner or some form of catalyzed polymer product (two part) that are mostly reduced with acetone. I would likely use one of the two part products as I would on any kitchen/bath woodwork. While I am by no means a professional wood finisher, I have used a lot of Mohawk products over the years and found them to be good products and their distributors to be good people.

There are some very nice polyurethane products available, which used to be reduced with mineral spirits (stinky stuff) but there are now waterborne products that work pretty well. As a matter of fact, some of the brush on polys are so hard that they can take a wet sanding and a buffer just like the catalyzed stuff.

Are your drawer fronts in a humidor, or exposed? To finish or not to finish to me, would be driven by that answer.

Good luck on your search! -Piggy

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Might just rub the walnut lightly with some pure mineral oil like you would use on a butcher block.  That should be pretty low odor, but you could oil a piece of scrap and toss it in a Tupperware container for a period of time to test.

 

Here's a link to a product, and the safety data sheet link is at the bottom of their page.

http://www.rockler.com/butcher-block-oil

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It would just be the drawer fronts that would need to be finished.  Integrating the drawer front into the actual drawer construction maximizes space so the backside of the drawer front will be in contact with the cigars. I was planning on just putting a piece of spanish cedar veneer on the backside of the drawer front for that reason. The other option is to construct the drawer as a box then screw on the walnut drawer face later. I would lose a bit of space but not much. (approx. 3/8")

I was thinking of butcher block oil as well. 

Denatured alcohol is normally used to dissolve the shellac flakes but DNA tends to have other chemicals in it. Pure grain alcohol does not have this. 

I have pre-cat and post-cat conversion varnish at the house but that will take a while to off gas and is some pretty toxic stuff. Not really what I want in the same container as my stogies. Oil finishes like BTO or Tung oil off-gass almost continuously. 

I can always ditch the walnut and just make the drawer fronts SS and be done with it. I was just hoping to use up the scraps. Functionality is far more important than aesthetics. 

 

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