Wednesday, 27 November 2013

How to apply Livos - Tips and Tricks

You found the perfect piece of wood and now it's time to apply a finish!

There are hundreds of finishes to select from, and trust me... we have tried many! We can't seem to find anything we like better than Livos so that's why we carry it.

Kunos by Livos is an oil based, environmentally friendly, wipe-on, low-odor German product. It is pretty much fantastic all around. Here is a link to the Livos website if you are interested in more related information.

Here are some "tips and tricks" that we have discovered finishing dozens of different wood species. Every wood can take finish differently so a test piece is always recommended. Now remember, we are not finishing experts by any means. These are just a compilation of tips that have worked from our experience as well as helpful tricks passed on from our customers.

Recommended Materials:
- sand paper in grits up to 400
- lint free cloths (an old lint free t-shirt will do the trick also)

- coffee maker
- lamp

Step 1:
Make a coffee

Step 2:
Grab those leftover coffee grounds and put them in a dish to dry them out. (only applicable for woods with voids such as natural edge lumber, spalted woods etc. For that type of project, read this post before continuing.

Step 3:
Sand, sand, sand. Proper lighting is key. Imperfections will not be visible until the finish is applied so take the time to sand properly. Generally speaking, sand no higher than 400.

A helpful way to view sanding marks is to move your lamp to create a cross light.

Step 4:
Make sure you did a good job on step 3.

Step 5:
Mix contents properly with a stick. Wipe on a generous first coat of Livos using your lint free cloth. After 15 minutes, use a new cloth and wipe/buff off all the excess oil. Wipe until the cloth
is dry and no shiny spots remain on the wood. You may have to use more than one cloth. Let sit to dry for 24hrs.

Some people prefer using a brush, particularly for natural edge woods or woods that have density variations.

Step 6: 
Apply a coat of Livos. After 15 minutes, grab a clean cloth and buff the finish into the wood. Ensure all excess oil has been wiped off.

Repeat steps 5 & 6 a minimum of one more time... the more coats, the glossier the effect.

For tabletops and projects that need extra durability, we recommend 4 coats.

Important: Livos recommend the following: KUNOS 243 and 244 oils take approximately 30 days to dry thoroughly. Maximum endurance is reached after 4 weeks. Please take the necessary precautions during this time.

As with any oil product, make sure to use caution with your rags. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

10 gifts you can make for $25 or less

Christmas is just around the corner. Crazy isn't it? I refuse to start my shopping until December but for those that are more organized and are starting now....

Here are a few ideas for gifts you can make, costing you less than you think!

1) Turn a bowl! There are hundreds of turning blanks to choose from and almost all of them are $25 or less.

2) Make a serving tray! Who doesn't love a unique conversation piece to display their over priced cheese on. Just teasing...  We have 24" shorts available in many species. You can pick two and laminate them together for an artistic touch. We even have a great special on Purpleheart shorts... trust me, the price is right! Want to make it a bit more personal? Drop it off when you are done and we can laser engrave someones name on it!

3) Did someone on your gift list just get married? Yes? Terrific. Here's an idea: secretly talk to their spouse and get a nice photograph from their wedding day. Print it. Make a frame! Sentimental gift-getters always give the best hugs :-)

4) Make a pen/pencil set. Easy! Can make it for under $10 and they will never know. Sneaky, sneaky!

5) Make a Christmas ornament. Turn/carve something unique that your loved one can display year after year. (or only display when they have you over!) Kidding.... I've never done that.

6) What girl do you know that doesn't own jewelry? If you really like the person, make them a jewellery box! (I've been waiting 6 years for my dad/Bernie to make me one) OR make a jewelry stand. A quick google search will give you lots of inspiration for shapes and species.

7) Make a pepper mill! Explore our section of spindle blanks/table legs at the back of our store for the perfect piece of wood. Hardware is also available from 4" to 18" long. Or if you are like me and hate pepper, make a salt shaker!

8) Chop chop! Yup, a cutting board is beautiful and practical. The options are endless when it comes to making one... shapes, sizes, wood species etc. Guaranteed to be unique!

Maple Burl Live Edge

9) No time to make anything? Wrapping paper will cover nicely to camouflage a board/block of wood. And you will be the greatest gift-giver because their present is the biggest under the tree!

10) If you are reading this blog post and thinking "hmm, what about a present for myself? I would love for my spouse to get me a gift certificate!" No problem. You give them the hint, we'll provide the gift certificate. Available in any denomination, in-store or over the phone.

Hope you feel inspired to start your shopping a little early this year... see you at the shop!

The "K" in KJP