Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for May, 2010

Book smart

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Q: I am new to woodworking and refinishing and am trying my hand at refinishing a bass guitar. I was wondering which book you would recommend that would help me. A: I’d be a fool not to recommend my own, but to be honest, I really do think it is the best one out there. [...]

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Onyx oak

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Q: I want to finish new oak plywood cabinets with onyx painted finish with an artistic sanding through on accent areas but I can’t get a smooth finish look. What do I need to use to get the smooth finish look? A: You need pore filler. Oak is an open pore wood and the pores [...]

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Redwood stands alone

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Q: I am making a redwood raised planter bed using 2×6 material obtained from the local retail supplier. I elected not to use pressure treated wood because we intend on growing vegetables. Since the wood will be in direct contact with the ground, what type of finish would you recommend? A: Generally I don’t suggest [...]

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Flat out no

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Q: I love gel polyurethane but I was wondering if there is some kind of flattener you would recommend that could be used in it to make it flatter than satin. A: No, there is nothing you can add easily, but there are certainly ways to control the sheen. Bear in mind that is a [...]

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Hold on there, finish!

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Q: What finish will stand up to New York winters? Sometimes the windows sweat on the inside and my finish comes off in a year or two. A: Part of that my be your choice of finish, but it may also be the preparation. You must start with clean, sanded wood to get good adhesion, [...]

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Clean pine

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Q: How do I clean the bare wood on new pine windows? A: I suppose that depends on what is on them that you need to clean off. Usually, new items are clean and only need to be sanded. If they are dirty, choose a cleaner based on what is on them. For instance, dried [...]

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Ink or glue, but not the two

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Q: If I use India ink for ebonizing, will that affect the glue up? A: Yep. Any stain will diminish the bonding ability of glue, though some more than others. Dyes are less obstructive than pigments (India ink is a pigment) but the rule is that if you stain before glue up, mask off the [...]

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Sometimes two is worse than one

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Q: Is an oil/polyurethane mixture a good choice for a dining table? A: Oil alone is a fairly poor choice. Oil based polyurethane is an excellent choice. A mixture of the two will fall somewhere between poor and excellent.

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Take it off

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Q: What product can you suggest to remove hempseed oil and beeswax from a table top? A: That depends on how long the hempseed oil was on, and whether or not it was mixed with beeswax or merely applied prior to it. If it was not on long, or if it was mixed with wax, [...]

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Hemp for a “high” shine?

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Q: We used hemp oil and beeswax to finish a new very large dining room table. However, the finish is not durable and water and wine stains are a real problem. We wish to remove and re-sand it and need some advice for refinishing it. Would any other oil such, as walnut oil offer the [...]

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