Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Archive for the 'finishing techniques' Category

Hand applied sunburst

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Q: How do you recreate the look of the old style hand applied sunburst used on Gibson mandolins from the 1920s and 1930s? A: The somewhat rough look of the inside ring of the sunburst comes from the old style hand applied sunburst as opposed to one that is sprayed on. It’s a moderately difficult [...]

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Gaps away

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Q: My floor looks good but there are some small gaps between the floor boards. It is an oak herringbone floor with a polyurethane finish. What is the absolute best product to use to fill the existing gaps? A: In my opinion, it is trowel filler or pore filler, depending on the size of the [...]

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Pen polish

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Q: I am new to pen turning. Can you recommend some finishes? A: It depends largely on the pen material. Obviously, cast acrylics need no finish and can simply be buffed. Ditto for very hard or resinous woods, like rosewood, ziricote, bocote, cocobolo, lignum vitae, ebony and even boxwood. For other woods, I tend toward [...]

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Crisp masking lines

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Q: How do I achieve a nice crisp symmetrical line when using two different stains? For example I want to stain a light triangle inside a dark rectangle. The stain has bled under the painter’s tape in my tests. A: There are a variety of techniques, but they depend on both the type of stain [...]

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Inked salad bowls

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Q: I want to color walnut sapwood on salad bowls with India ink, then seal it with shellac and salad bowl finish. Would this be safe for food? A: Yep. By the way, I would let the ink dry then go straight to salad bowl finish. In this case, adding shellac would weaken the finish.

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Timbermate as pore filler

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Q: I plan to paint oak cabinets. Someone suggested Bondo for pore filling but I am considering Timbermate instead. Any tips on grain filling with that product? A: For the record, polyester body fillers like Bondo will also work just fine as pore fillers under painted surfaces. As for Timbermate, simply thin it with water [...]

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Drifting along

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Q: How can I produce a driftwood finish, like the one in this picture? I am thinking of using bleach, chemical stains and dye rather than paint or pigment stain. A: I have to say that the photo you sent looks nothing like what I would call driftwood. In fact it looks like roughly prepared [...]

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Lacquer and d-limonene

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Q: I need to know if d-limonene will harm cured nitrocellulose lacquer. I want to use it as a solvent in a 25% mixture with mineral spirits. A: No, d-limonene will not harm lacquer. It is one half of the racemic mixture called dipentene, and for all intents and purposes as far as finishing and [...]

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Monday, September 13th, 2010

Q: We are getting an increasing amount of mineral calcium deposits in rosewood. Do you know of an effective way to remove them, aside from the acids that are currently available? A: No, but to be honest, muriatic acid, which is cheap and easily available, works so well and so quickly with most mineral deposits [...]

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Open pore or filled

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Q: I would like to use the shellac and wax finish we learned during the uke building class on a classical guitar I built, but it’s Indian Rosewood and the pores look a bit open. Do I need filler first? A: The finish you used on your ukulele is a very thin, open pore finish. [...]

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