Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for July, 2010

Cleanup in aisle two

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Q: I’m using a water based urethane acrylic lacquer. Can I leave the stuff it in the spray gun (HVLP) in between coats, or do I have to clean the gun every time? A: Most waterbased finish clog gun tips sooner than you would expect, and cleaning the gun can be very troublesome if the [...]

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Odds of even

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Q: I built a small table from reclaimed mahogany. There is a lot of variance in the colour and grain pattern. I want to stain this so to even out the colour. What do you recommend? A: Most pigmented stains work very well on mahogany to even coloration, in large part because they take full [...]

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Don’t fence me in

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Q: I have an older privacy fence made of staggered treated pine; the kind you buy in sections at Home Depot. Over the years the fence has grayed and I want to clean and stain it. My plan is to use deck cleaner and some light pressure washing to clean. Afterwards, I want to stain [...]

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Punky oak

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Q: I am making French doors out of red oak. I got to the sanding stage and I noticed pithy type areas, pithy veins. I sanded them but I was wondering if you had run into this and if so how you handled it? A: Certain types of red oak, including one we used to [...]

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Misguided advice?

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Q: I am finishing some beech and used Zinsser SealCoat in a 50-50 mix with denatured alcohol. After light sanding I applied tung oil but the result was some serious blotching. I’m planning on using shellac as a finish. A: Zinsser SealCoat is pure, dewaxed shellac, already reduced to exactly the right consistency. That implies [...]

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Do it right or do it over

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Q: I built a box of marine plywood to attach to the underside of the roof allowing a column to be mounted. After three coats of acrylic latex paint, the majority of the box is a nice white. However, there is a zig zag in the side of the box which either won’t accept paint [...]

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Color me opaque

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Q: I want to tint clear nitrocellulose lacquer to produce a solid, opaque color. What types of colorants can I use? A: The ideal choice is called lacquer paste; essentially lacquer with a dense amount of pigment cut into it. You can find it in a wide range of colors at the same industrial supplier [...]

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Gel varnish, still hiding

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Q: I have used the gel varnish that was sold at Rockler for a number of years with outstanding results. Since Rockler no longer carries it and there appears to be a company change taking place I am wondering if there is another brand of gel varnish you recommend. A: That particular gel polyurethane was [...]

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India ink for ebony

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Q: I’m planning to ebonize a project using India ink. Is there anything I should know before I tackle this, such as warnings about curing times or lap marks? A: Use waterbased India ink as opposed to oil based, and treat it as you would any stain; flood it on liberally, then wipe it all [...]

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Monday, July 5th, 2010

Q: What kind of filter should I use for outgoing air on my spray booth? A: You’ll want one that will catch and hold whatever is heading toward the fan, and that changes depending on what you will be spraying. In most cases a good quality furnace filter, which removes dry particulate, is enough for [...]

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