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Wood Finishing

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  • Wood Finishing

    OK, O wish and noble craftsmen (not gender specific). I have completed cutting the 5 pieces of wood for a simple night stand made of cherry. I want to put a very nice finish on it. A very nice finish. Should I use water or oil soluble polyurethane? Should I sand between coats? Should I take up bowling? I plan to put on 5 or 6 coats of what ever you say. I want to finish the wood before glueing it together is this right? Or should I glue it together first? I have been hand sanding this little devil for a week. The pieces feel like glass. I sure don't want to screw it up now. Lead me to the promise land.
    If a butterfly didn\'t have wings, they\'d call it a butterwalk.

  • #2
    I would say finishing before assembly isn't the best of ideas. If you get any finish where glue is supposed to go, it won't stick---also, what do you do about joints were they don't fit exactly right, when you take the clamps off? It's OK to do this for something where post-assembly access is difficult---for example--rolltop desk cubbies.

    As to the finer parts of finishing, I'd at least look through some woodworking magazines, which seem to have basic articles on finishing---or, if you really want to learn--get Jeff Jewitt's book on finishing.

    There are all sorts of finish alternatives---it just depends on what you want for a look. With the nightstand you're building---is it conceiveable that a glass of water or coffee cup could be placed on it? If so, I'd go with the oil-based polyurethane, since it stands up well to wet spots, without causing marks---if this isn't anticipated, there's a wide range of finishes available.

    Just a couple of suggestions----first, if you're planning on staining the cherry, get some advice from those familiar with this, as cherry can be a little blotchy---personally, I think the natural look cherry gets with a day or two in the sunlight, is beautiful.

    If you've never used poly' before, let me suggest thinning it 50/50 with naptha or buying what is called a wiping poly----it's much easier to apply and won't leave brush marks---just keep adding coats until you get the gloss you want. I sand, with 220 grit every two coats.


    • #3
      Slipri. Deffinetly assemble before finishing. Use a wipe on poly and "sand" with 0000 steel wool between coats.
      info for all: --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."


      • #4
        Whatever product or method you use, you should practice on some scrap pieces until you get the results you want. Better to mess up some scraps than something you've already put so much time and work in to.
        "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06


        • #5
          As usual you guys always have the right answers. Thanks a ton. [img]smile.gif[/img] I'm really grateful that you guys take time out of your busy schedules to reply. Thanks again
          If a butterfly didn\'t have wings, they\'d call it a butterwalk.