Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for February, 2010

Satin rub primer

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Q: I recently attempted to hand rub the polyurethane finish on a mahogany tabletop that I refinished and was disappointed with the result. The top has three coats of oil based satin polyurethane. The finish had a nice even satin sheen but felt like 220 grit paper. I then wet sanded with 600, 1000 and [...]

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There’s the rub

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Q: I find conflicting information as to whether polyurethane can be rubbed. A: Any finish, including polyurethane, can be rubbed provided it is sufficiently cured. As a rule, the longer the finish cures, the harder it gets and the easier it is to rub. Attempting to rub out a finish that is still rubbery is [...]

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Ply your trade

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Q: I would like to make some cheap instruments and use higher grade plywood. What type of filler do you think I should use to fill the plywood edges? Should I use something like Bondo? A: Bondo, which is a brand of polyester filler with added fiber, would be an excellent choice. By the way, [...]

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Name that tune

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Q: I need to put a brand name on my guitars. I’d like to use a stencil or ink stamp under the clear coat. What do you think? A: Either will work, provided you choose the right medium for your stencil or ink stamp. What’s important is to use a paint or ink that is [...]

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The clear solution

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Q: I’m finishing a guitar in Krylon Special Purpose clear Lacquer over Satin Nickel Metallic over gray primer. The clear coat has some orange peel. I’m afraid to wet sand and buff it because I previously sanded through the finish at the edges and had to start over with bare wood. Since the finish looks [...]

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Nibs in wipe on

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Q: I’m trying to finish a secretary project. I’ve done part of it with General Finishing wipe on semi-gloss urethane and I guess I got lucky, because now I can’t get the same results without dust and debris setting in. If you do a semi gloss finish is there a way to erase the nibs [...]

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Do you feel lucky?

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Q: Can I put one coat of oil based polyurethane on some drawers, wait eight hours or so, and then overcoat the oil based polyurethane with several topcoats of waterbased polyurethane? A: Sometimes. That is to say, some waterbased polyurethanes will adhere to some oil based polyurethanes, but not all will do so. I’d let [...]

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We don’t need no stinkin’ scratches

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Q: There’s a method I want to try; waterbased dye, seal, gel stain left dark in corners and wiped to simulate wear, top coat. How can I brush top coat using varnish without screwing up the gel, since varnish needs scratches to hold to? A: No it doesn’t. Just let the gel dry thoroughly so [...]

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Coming up dry

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Q: Can I add dry pigment to lacquer to color it? A: In theory, yes. In practice, it is almost impossible to get pigment powders to disperse uniformly in liquids. When we add them in the industry we use tools specifically designed for forcing pigments to combine with liquids, such as ball mills and high [...]

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Artist oils and lacquer

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Q: I have a lot of tubes of various oil paints on hand. Could I use oil paints as a pigment to add to lacquer? A: If you are talking about concentrated oil colors in paste form in tubes, yes you can mix a small amount into lacquer, but don’t try to add too much. [...]

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