"Hand-Rubbed" Oil Finish

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Additional tricks

Checkering or Carving: When finishing wood that is carved or checkered, do not use sand paper to apply the finish. Use a soft or medium bristle toothbrush, and rub the finish in with that. This will keep your lines and shapes nice and deep but will seal them and leave a nice finish on them. Wipe off any excess and give it at least 24 hours to cure.

Gouges: Holes, gouges, and chips that are too deep to fill can be fixed by using two types of filler. First, use any commercially available filler BUT DO NOT FILL THE HOLE ENTIRELY!  Fill only to approximately 1/32 of an inch from the top and let it cure. No filler ever looks exactly like the wood around it, so we want to hide that putty or filler. Using an area on the same wood that you are repairing, sand and collect the sanding dust. A good area to get this dust would be under the butt plate on a firearm, or underneath the table top you are repairing, etc. Take this dust and add a drop of Elmers glue to it to make a mud. Pack this mud over the wood filler until it is slightly higher than the surrounding wood and let it cure. Now gently sand this area flush with the surrounding wood. The glue dries clear so all you see is the wood dust, which is the same color as the rest of the piece. Some Arrow Wood Finish on top of it and it becomes extremely hard to see the repair.

If the area you have filled is large enough to show an interruption in the grain pattern of the wood - BEFORE you put on any finish ... Take a "Sharpie" indelible marking pen in black or brown and trim the point (which is slightly rounded) to a wedge shape. By using a razor you can shape the point to look like the cutting edge of an axe. The reason for this is you can now draw lines that are very narrow, or by turning the pen in your hand you can widen the lines. Carefully connect the grain lines from one side of the repair to the other with narrower lines than you want. Let that dry. Then wipe a very light coat of wood finish on top. This will fluff out the lines and take away the drawn, sharp edged look they have. Let that cure for a couple days. Now you can apply more finish and rub it dry by hand to build your gloss.

If the wood dust is lighter than the area you are trying to blend in, you can put a drop of stain into the dust, let it dry. Then crumble the dust back into powder form, add your glue and continue as above.

Large Areas: When finishing table tops, cabinet doors and other larger flat areas, Arrow can be applied with a cloth, and rubbed in with an orbital or palm sander rather than by hand. Gentle pressure prevents machine caused damage.

Waterproof Poly Required: Polyurethane  tends to remain mostly on top of the wood, and so it can chip or peel. To anchor it into the wood, on projects that absolutely require the poly finish ... First apply several coats of Arrow to bond INTO the wood and create a smooth surface. Now apply the poly according to their directions. It bonds to the Arrow, which is anchored inside the wood. Your results are more durable and you can achieve a shinier look in less time.

Spindles and Turnings: Spindles can be finished by rubbing the wood finish in with a cloth. Apply some Arrow to a cloth strip, wrap the strip around the spindle and rub the finish in by alternately pulling on each end like the old time shoe shine boys did. Turnings can be finished while still on the lathe. Apply and rub in while it is spinning and in a very short time the project is smooth, dry, sealed, and finished.

Glue Joints: When you glue a crack or reattach a broken piece, there is always a dark glue line visible. To make it invisible, after the glue is completely dry, take the point of an "exacto knife" or equivalent and drag that point down the entire length of the crack. This puts a small V groove into the glue. Now make some wood-dust-mud (as we discussed in the "Gouges" section) and smooth that into the groove with your finger as if you were applying grout or caulk. When that dries, lightly sand or steel wool it. Apply some Arrow and the dark line is gone.