Using Seal-a-Cell "clear" finishing oil

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Using Seal-a-Cell "clear" finishing oil

Postby » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:57 am

A few people have asked me during guild meetings how I finish my pieces. Over the years, and actually from way back to my early days at Arrowmont in the early 1990's, I found many professional turners were using Seal-a-Cell natural clear penetrating oil made by General Finishes. After experimenting for a year or two with the red label and blue label clear oil, which you can buy in various sizes, I found the clear Red Label oil was great and provided the natural satin finish I was looking for. Here is a snippet from something I wrote to a member recently on my opinion of how it works for me. Try it and experiment to see what works for you. Good luck!

"The oil I use is Seal-a-Cell by General Finishes. I only use the oil in the red label can. It comes in gallons, quarts or smaller pints and I believe you can purchase it locally at Klingspor or Woodcraft.

Saturate the clean wood surface thoroughly over about a 15-20 min period until the oil stops penetrating. Essentially you want to soak the surface with oil by repeatedly applying it. Wear rubber gloves for safety. It's not good to get directly on your hands. Then let the piece sit for another 15 minutes or so until you can still wipe off the excess oil fairly easily without it being too sticky. Then keep rubbing the surface over the course of the next few hours or so with a paper towel, blue shop towel, or clean cotton shop cloth until the oil stops seeping out of the pores.

24 hours later I usually hand-buff the surface aggressively with 0000 steel wool, blowing out lingering steel wool particles with an air compressor. Then I hold the piece securely and firmly against a spinning clean cloth buffing wheel spinning at 1750 rpm to get a nice satin finish. Let the heat build up a little as the wheel spins against the surface to get a nice subtle shine. Good luck! And feel free to ask me any questions along the way!

Chris Boermer
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Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:43 pm

Re: Using Seal-a-Cell "clear" finishing oil

Postby stephanmoll » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:50 pm

Great, practical advice. Thank you very much.

Stephan Moll
Stephan Moll
Chapel Hill
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