Finishing Wooden Knobs

Most wood knobs are lathe turned from lengths of wood, the grain running through the knobs depth (end grain). A few knobs are machined from boards with the grain running across the knob (face grain). Care must be taken when finishing end grain wood knobs to avoid an uneven blotchy effect. End grain absorbs much more wood finish than face grain and if that finish happens to be a stain the end grain on the front of the knob will appear much darker than the surrounding woodwork. This problem can easily be avoided with a little preparation. Wood knobs will come to you with a fairly smooth machined finish. Before any finish is applied the knobs will require finish sanding with abrasive paper, 220 grit or finer will do. The face of the knob should receive the bulk of your attention, this area is nothing but end grain and will be most visible upon completion. Make sure all sign of concentric machine marks and the little spot in the middle are gone. The knob is now ready for clear finishes but if stains are to be used it will be necessary to seal the knob with a dilute shellac or lacquer coat, we use a topcoat finish mixed 50/50 with thinner. Let this sealer dry completely and sand lightly before the stain is applied.