I almost have all the wood made for the speedster project. I started to finish/age some of the wood today. I have experimented with lots of different techniques, and finally decided on "burning" the soft grain out of the wood. Since I wanted the wood to have a little age look to it, removing the soft grain helps with that look. It goes real fast, has "no" drying time, does not rub off or scratch easily, and is cheap. I first burn the wood with the torch till it appears to have all the soft grain removed. It takes a pretty good burning to achieve the look I wanted. I would suggest trying this on some scrap wood till you figure out the "look" you want if trying this. I then take a soft wire brush or toothbrush and clean all the carbon and burnt soot from the wood. I have some brass brushes I use. It just takes a little brushing and blow it off with an air hose to get it clean. I will then give each piece a good soaking in quik-poly to seal the wood. Thinned spar varnish would be another good sealing option. This may work for some of the doodlebug, or tractor conversions that want to keep the "old look". And as the old saying goes, "any color you want as long as its black"
Burning the soft grain out.
After burning, before wire brushing
Cleaned and installed, waiting for Quick-Poly I ordered to arrive, so I can finish it. I will seal each board individually before assembly, to protect the wood in case I get caught out in a hurricane.
I like it.
In the picture above, the two short pieces on each side and the first cross piece(that form the seat frame) are sealed in quick-poly. It does not change the look of the wood much, just gives it a little shine. Ill probably still do a little more aging to the wood, but since none of it shows as the seat and floor mat covers it all, Ill probably just let it "age" on its own... If using quik-poly for the first time. I sugesst to experiment with it first. You have about 2 minutes (or less) for it to be liquid. Then it "kicks" and hardens almost instantly. You have to apply it "sloppy fast" "move fast" "clean it up fast" and "have all your ducks in a row" but it is a great product...
Looks awesome Donnie good job!
You can slow the cure time by placing the mixed components on a piece of ice. It gives you a bit more working time. Also, like Bondo, make small batches or you'll waste what doesn't get used in time. I believe you can also use a bit less hardener to retard cure time.
That looks pretty good. For as hard as you go at it, I am surprised the edges don't become more rounded off. I think I like the darker aged look, vs. the sun bleached look.
BTW, what kind of wood did you use?
Chad, I have been using white oak and red oak. Jerry, Thanks for mentioning small batches, as it will set up on you just like the Bondo you mentioned if you do not move fast. The other thing to help slow it down is keep it in a shallow dish, and spread out. The cooler you can have the room is also some help. I use a thin plastic dish pan to do the parts like I have here. I just pour the mixed quick-poly in the pan and use a foam brush to "smear" it all over the piece of wood Im working on. By having the end of the piece of wood sitting in the bottom of the pan the end grain is soaking up the quick-poly very well. I turn the piece over and over all the time as I "smear and keep wet" the piece Im working on. I go as long as I dare to, to let the quick-poly soak in as deep as I can get it to. Then take a rag and wipe clean. The quick-poly in the pan and on the foam brush will usually start to harden about 30 to 45 seconds before the stuff on the wood starts to harden. I wear disposable gloves, and throw the foam brush away on each use. What I love about the quick-poly is how far it soaks into the wood. I have cut a piece of white oak treated with the quick-poly and you could see the liquid had soaked in about 1/16 of an inch everywhere and almost 1/8 inch in some places and end grain. I also use it to seal the ends of my transmission bands. But just barely touch the ends of the bands to the liquid. It soaks in quick. I usually try to get it to seal the first 1/4 inch of the band. Even if it went 1/2 inch deep it is a soft type of material and I see no problem arising from it running on the drums at the ends ...