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Expert's Corner — bond

TIP: Stripping Veneer

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Stripping veneer is no different than stripping solid wood, with a few exceptions. First, avoid using lye or a stripper that contains water. Because of the thinness of the veneer, these might work through and loosen the glue bond. Solvent-based strippers shouldn’t cause any problem that didn’t already exist. Second, if you sand after stripping, which is usually a good idea to check that you have removed all the finish, do so lightly and with fine sandpaper. Otherwise, you might sand through, and a sand-through is almost impossible to fix. I recommend doing this sanding by hand with just your...

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TIP: Avoiding glue squeeze-out in joints

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TIP: Avoiding glue squeeze-out in joints

The obvious cause of glue squeeze-out in joints is that too much glue has been applied. So the obvious way to avoid the squeeze-out and resulting splotching under a stain or finish is to apply less glue. As shown in the accompanying picture, you can countersink a mortise and a dowel hole to create a reservoir for excess glue to collect. You can also chamfer the ends of tenons and dowels. Most dowels are manufactured with the ends already chamfered.But you don’t want to apply too little glue either or you won’t get a good bond. So here’s a trick...

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TIP: Linseed Oil and Polyurethane

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I’ve heard it suggested that linseed oil (raw or boiled) should be applied to wood floors before applying oil-based polyurethane. Various reasons are given: seal the wood, establish a better bond, or add color. Doing this is risky, however. Raw linseed oil can take months to dry. Boiled linseed oil can take a week or longer deep in the large pores of oak. If you apply polyurethane before the linseed oil is thoroughly dry, the linseed oil and polyurethane will mix right on the wood and create an oil/varnish blend, which will never get hard. It would be like brushing...

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TIP: Finishing Over Waxed Wood

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It can be difficult to get a finish to flow out and stick well to bare wood that has been waxed. Here’s how to proceed. Wash off as much of the wax as possible with mineral spirits (paint thinner). You can use odorless mineral spirits if you want. Keep turning and changing your cloths or paper towels so you are lifting off and removing the wax and not just spreading it around. I’ve seen cases where the wax is so hard that mineral spirits doesn’t dissolve it easily. For these instances, you can try naphtha, acetone or lacquer thinner, and...

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