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TIP: Test for Good Bond

May 24, 2016 | Expert's Corner | 0 comments

There are a couple of good tests you can perform to see if a finish you are using bonds well to whatever is underneath—oily wood, stain, filler glaze or whatever.

The better test is called the “cross-hatch” test. Using a razor blade or box cutter score the finish (on scrap wood, of course) in a cross-hatch pattern: half-a-dozen cuts about a millimeter apart running in one direction and half-a-dozen cuts in the perpendicular direction.

Then press masking or Scotch tape onto the cut pattern and lift it quickly. If the cuts remain fairly clean, you have a good bond. If the cut lines are jagged, the bond isn’t as good. If some of the tiny squares transfer to the tape, you have a very poor bond.

The picture shows a very poor bond.

The second testing method is quicker but may require some experience to interpret accurately. Take a coin and draw it hard across an inch or two of the finish. Does it merely dent the finish (a good bond), or does it tear up and remove the finish (a poor bond)?