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Expert's Corner — finishing

Using a Viscosity Cup

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Using a Viscosity Cup

Finishes vary in viscosity (thickness in liquid form) depending on their type and formulation, and especially in temperature differences. The viscosity is thicker when the finish is cold and thinner when the finish is warm. To measure viscosity dip a viscosity cup into a finish so the cup is full. Then lift the cup out of the finish and begin timing the drainage with a stopwatch. When the stream breaks, indicating that the cup is empty, stop the timer. The number of seconds is the measure of the viscosity. There are many types of viscosity cups. Some are quite expensive....

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Filters for an Air Compressor

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Filters for an Air Compressor

You should be aware that moisture and oil can get into the air line and spray gun from your air compressor and mess up your work. This is one of the disadvantages of using an air compressor instead of a turbine to supply air. There’s no possibility of moisture or oil being transferred from a turbine. To reduce the possibility of moisture getting into the air ine, drain the compressor’s tank on a regular basis. Oil usually enters the system through deteriorated gasket seals, so you shouldn’t have an oil problem unless the compressor is old. To deal with both...

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Spraying Right, Spraying Safe, Where to Use Your HVLP Sprayer

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Now that you’ve bought your spray system, where do you use it? Okay, you’ve made the move and have purchased an HVLP spray finishing system. But before buying did you give much thought to where you were going to use it? From talking with my students, I’ve found that the majority believe that with HVLP, they can spray anywhere. While this might be true, the spray finishing environment must still have some controls. If you do not have a formal spray booth, there are options to create a safe and controlled environment. So what to do? An easy answer is...

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TIP: Fixing a Worn Finish

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TIP: Fixing a Worn Finish

After a good deal of wear or abuse some areas of a finish may wear through exposing the lighter-colored wood.  As long as no stain, glaze or toner is involved, you can usually fix these problems simply by applying more finish on top. The easy test to see if this will work is to apply a little liquid to the wear-throughs with your finger. You could use mineral spirits (paint thinner) on any finish without causing damage, but the most convenient liquid is from your mouth. Wet your finger and wipe the liquid over a small part of the surface,...

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Ebonized Finishes

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Ebonize is a fancy word for “make it black” To be honest, when I read all the concoctions that folks use to achieve a black color onwood, I get a chuckle, it’s amazing. I think the most popular one is using vinegar and 0000 steel wool. The process is to put the steel wool in a jar of vinegar and allow the acid in the vinegar to rust and eat away the steel wool forming a black liquid. My experience with this is that it’s inconsistent. The acid in the vinegar can also alterthe color of the wood and a...

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