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Expert's Corner — finishing

We Are All Reluctant Finishers

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While I am a professional finisher, I am a hobbyist woodworker. That mix makes me a wood snob. I love working with wood in any capacity. Because my head and hands are in finishing all week long, I tend to do as little of it as possible in my personal life, but I still love messing around with wood in most any form. This passion took root for me in 1995 when I had the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time and meeting what would turn out to be my mentor in the world...

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When to Clean Your Spray Gun

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When to Clean Your Spray Gun

Here’s a frequently asked question. Do you really need to clean your spray gun every  single time you use it? Do you  need to clean it when you go to lunch? What if you are  putting it away for a week? Which coatings mean clean “right  away?” Here’s the scoop:  always clean your gun immediately if you are spraying a quick set up coating such as a  two  part urethane or epoxy paint. Clean it even if you are going to lunch. If you are  using a pigmented coating and are  finished with that color, clean the spray gun. If...

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TIP: Finish color differences

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TIP: Finish color differences

Finishes differ in the amount of color they add to wood. Though you may not notice much of a difference if you are applying the finish over a stain, there is a significant difference when no stain or other coloring steps are used. In the accompanying picture, you can see the differences clearly. On the far left is paste wax. It adds almost no coloring to the walnut. Next is water-based finish, which also doesn’t add color, but it does darken the wood a little because of the penetration. In the middle is nitrocellulose lacquer, which adds a slight yellowing...

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Fine Finish Spraying: Not a High Pressure Situation

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Sprayer selection for finishing projects is really a simple matter, which has only become complicated by the fantasy of having one type of tool technology that can do it all. This dream doesn’t just apply to sprayers, but all tool types in general. Everyone wants to find the one tool that can “do it all”. It’s a nice thought, but really doesn’t coincide with the realities of finishing. Because I deal mostly in the realm of professional paint contracting, I see a lot of cases where people try to drag that dream into existence by misusing that archaic weapon of...

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Solving a Sticky Problem: Tools and Tricks to Deal with Glue Squeezeout

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If you’ve never had the experience of applying the first coat of finish to a project and having some of the finish fail to “take” because glue has sealed the wood grain underneath, go read something else.  What follows is intended for the vast majority of woodworkers who have encountered this problem. Most often this glue is leftover “squeezeout” (glue squeezed out of joints when they were clamped during assembly).  Unless you’re Norm Abrams (who never has squeezeout, but he never has dust in his shop either; doubtless the result of some Faustian bargain), squeezeout is an inevitable consequence of...

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