Saturday, May 9, 2015

Maori Hei Matau Gets a Finish

After completing the carving of the Maori Hei Matau or Fish Hook I spent time carefully sanding it with progressively finer sand paper, then with 000 steel wool. 

 As you can see this wood is dense enough give a nice glow even without a finish applied. We wouldn't want it to get unintentional staining, so I will give it a few coats of Tung Oil. Tung Oil adds a little color to any wood you apply it too, this can enhance or detract from the natural colors. In this case I want it to darken the wood and add it's golden tones. This should help it look closer to the Koa wood. When applying it to the wood the first coat is the most important one. It is the layer that penetrates deepest. To make sure it goes as deeply as it can I warm it up and then soak the wood in it overnight. I place it in a sealable bag and press all the air out so it doesn't dry. The next morning I then let it dry 15 to 20 minutes before buffing it all off.

Let it dry overnight before applying subsequent coats. Every coat now will help fill the in surface and add to the final luster.

 With three coats I achieved the desired effect. It's now ready for the lashing.


  1. Your pieces show a great love of the wood, Well done.