Put it in the Box

I have a small SUV that I mostly drive around with the back seats down.

And why not? I don’t remember anyone actually riding in them. Besides, if I need to drag the dogs someplace, it’s ready to go. This way, the seats stay in great shape.

But there’s a problem, which hit me in a bad way the other day. When I buy food, it comes loose from the cheap plastic bags and rockets around the back of my car. Really irritating. So when I was out and about, and happened on a stack of decently built wood crates I snagged one.

I do a fair amount of woodwork, and I’m into older finishes. I’ll use lacquer or old school varnish (if I can find it) long before poly finishes. I’ve used the water cleanup polyurethane exactly once and was deeply sorry I did. They just don’t last.

I’m also a fan of leaving wood natural. Wood grain is beautiful. Why cover it in paint?

Paint, by the way, has the same issues. I’m not a fan of latex. Besides, to paint wood properly, it has to be sealed and primed. Lots of work and mess.

I find myself using oil finished more and more. Sure, if it’s a fine end product, you have to sand really well, but you’d have to do that anyhow with nearly any finish.

For this one, I used linseed oil.

Linseed Oil Finish

The crate just needs some protection from water and humidity, as well as dryness. It takes a few minutes to rub it down, and let it dry and can be reapplied whenever. It’s a box to hold crap in my car, not a piece of fine art.

This is art:

Just before stringing

That’s a stratocaster I built. The third guitar where I used a combination of stain and tung oil.

A telecaster build

The telecaster above was my first.

That guitar no longer exists. It was my first, and I screwed it up. It was gorgeous, but built when I didn’t understand scale. So instead of measuring my neck, I simply cut the bridge at 25 1/2″, a standard Fender scale. And it was off. I could never get the intonation right.

I ended up taking off all the cool hardware and electronics and installing them on a telecaster I bought.

But I learned a lot about oil finishes.

Then I played with lacquer.

A rebuilt Carvin lap steel

So when I have a choice, or I care about something, even if it’s a box to put crap in, I go old school.