Doctor's Woodshop produces specialty wood finishes, primarily for the woodturner. A few years ago, I realized I didn’t like the finishing products that were available commercially. Over time, these commercial finishes dulled and hid the figure and grain of the wood. The products were unnecessarily high in organic solvents and they were too expensive.
Biochemistry Background...Better, Safer and More Economical Wood Finishing Products
As a Professor of Biochemistry, I knew something about the chemistry of finishes. As a specialist in Biochemical Toxicology, I understood the risks of solvent exposure. I began making finishes for myself, then for my woodworking friends. Retail outlets began selling the Doctor’s Woodshop products and here we are today, offering the product line to a much wider audience. As they say, if you want it done right, do it yourself. I resolved to do it better and make it safer. The third part of the mission statement is to sell the products for a better price.
The Essentials of Wood Finishes
The Doctor’s Woodshop line of finishes is based on two essential principles:
First, wood should look like wood, not plastic. These products will produce finishes ranging from a satin oil or wax/oil finish to a high luster shellac-based shine. We have liquid finishes and paste waxes tailored for different finishing conditions and needs. We have one-step finishes. We have completely food safe finishes.
Second, all of our finishes are based on Walnut Oil. The three most common polymerizing oils (oils that will harden to form a solid material without chemical drying agents) are Tung oil, Linseed oil and Walnut oil. Only Walnut oil will harden without darkening, yellowing or clouding. This means a clear vision of the grain and figure in your project. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the subtle contrast of chatoyance and spalting (coloration of the wood by fungi) in our native woods is everything. Big Leaf Maple, Madrone, Myrtle wood and Black Walnut rely on figure for much of their beauty. Clouding these features by the choice of finish diminishes the result significantly.
As you look through these products, you will find products containing the natural wax, Carnauba wax, as well as some with the synthetic microcrystal wax, Cosmolloid 80H. Some contain shellac and Walnut oil, some just Walnut oil. There are different finishes for different applications. You will see that I have tried to explain the best uses and methods for these products. Consult the Media & Videos page for more information.
NO FINISH IS ANY BETTER THAN THE SURFACE TO WHICH IT IS APPLIED
What I know for sure is that no finish is any better than the surface to which it is applied. Do whatever you can do to perfect the surface. These are just my thoughts and what I have learned about how to use these products.
Who knows how you will use these finishes with your projects.