One of the many fantastic tips I learned from “The Belligerent Finisher” was using common household materials to burnish wooden surfaces. Burnishing compacts the wood and can add a gorgeous texture.
Author John Porritt has several simple tools he uses for this. The coolest one is a chainmail pot scrubber, which is great fun to use. You can find these at any good household/kitchen store. I experimented with several different kinds. Some had bigger rings. Some had very fine rings. I preferred the smallest rings. The fine one I like looks like the one shown here. I bought mine at a local restaurant supply store. Look around, and I’m sure you’ll find one.
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I’ve been using the pot scrubber on my chairs before applying soft wax. I use it mostly on protruding tenons and on the chair’s hands. The burnishing rounds over any hard edges, making them kind to the user’s hands.
The pot scrubber is quite similar to using a polissoir, except that it excels at working on curved and shaped surfaces. The polissoir, on the other hand, is great for large flat surfaces and is tricky to use on edges.
As always, the world of finishing is endlessly surprising.
— Christopher Schwarz
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