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Found 78 results

  1. Waterborne finishes have come a long way since first introduced 25 or so years ago. They were pretty awful then, but very good now. Pros: + fast drying - usually, you can sand and re-coat in about an hour + low odor - other fast-drying finishes like lacquer and shellac can have some strong solvent odor while drying. So it works well if you are finishing in a house or baswement + no added color - perfect when you want a non-ambering finish such as one over a white stain (pickled finish) or other non-wood tone color Cons: - less chemical resistance - not quite as resistant to common solvents as some of the other finishes - does not cure well in cold, needs at least 65 degrees or so for several days - lacks amber color that we're used to so some woods can appear washed out, or even bluish, unless a stain or under-coat of shellac applied.
  2. There is not a lot of things to say about wax finishes, so only three things, not three pros and three cons. I am not talking about waxed finishes, but simply using a wax as the one and only finish. Some waxes are light amber, but you can get waxes in a variety of darker colors where the color has been added. Wax is an evaporative finish, meaning with the thinner or solvent evaporates, you are left with the finish. No more chemistry happens. Usually the solvent is mineral spirits, but sometimes, as in the original Briwax, it's something else, in that case tolulol (aka toluene). (So the original Briwax can be a bit too aggressive for new finishes as it's meant more of a restorative wax over a finish, that is, a waxed finish). Waxes are one or more of three types: - Animal (e.g., beeswax) - Vegetable (e.g., carnauba) - Mineral (e.g., paraffin) Three things: + easy to apply - to quote a movie, wax-on, wax-off. Let most of the solvent dry, then buff out. I like to say you want a finish just a few molecules thick, so take off as much as you possibly can, then buff a little more. Wax build-up can attract dirt and not be very attractive. + easy to repair - Just add some more - wax on; wax off - minimal protection - while wax can beautify a wood, it does not do much to protect it from moisture, soiling, etc. It would be appropriate for things that don't get much contact such as art turning, picture frames, etc.
  3. Indedendence Day 2018 is now in the books and all of the dogs are beginning to calm down. Fortunately, our heat wave has broken here in Indiana also. Grandpa Dave, did I pick a good year to install a new HVAC system, or what! It’s been a slow week in the shop. I built and delivered a double sided map case to a friend and it was a labor of love. We decided to make it a desk mount, though. Nothing planned for the shop for me this weekend. How about y’all. What’s on Your Weekend agenda?
  4. Three things about oil finishes and closely related oil-varnish finishes. The latter is simply a blend of (three things) oil (usually linseed) varnish (alkyd, urethane, or phenolic or a mix of these) thinner The proportions vary a lot and these three things mix in any proportion the manufacturer or you want. You can even make your own; most people start with equal amounts of each. When I was a newbie, I even took a commercial Danish Oil and added varnish to it to "beef it up a bit." Oil and oil-vanish blends are probably the most mislabeled or misleading labeled products. For example, when you buy a "Tung Oil Finish" there may be not tung oil at all - it might be an oil-varnish blend, or just a thinned wiping varnish. And what about "teak oil finish," "Danish oil finish," "Val-oil," "Antique Oil," or a "Oil-urethane blend" (that is actually just a thinned wiping varnish? How do you tell what you have? The best way is to put a drop or two on some glass and let it cure. If it's smooth and hard, it's a varnish. If it's soft and wrinkly, it's an oil And if it's smooth and hard in the middle and wrinkly around the edge, it's a blend. The more wrinkly, the higher percent of oil. https://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/finishing/oil-finishes-their-history-and-use Anyway, on with the show: Three things: Pros + easy to apply - simply wipe on, wait a few minutes (more for pure oils, less for oil-varnish blends) wipe off, repeat (a day later). Does not have brush marks, drips, runs, and dust nibs if you wipe excess. + easy to refresh - wipe on, wipe off another coat even years later + soft, "in the wood" finish - does not form a film finish so the texture of the wood is visible and tactile Cons - needs refreshing - over time the finish can dull and look listless. Some say it crystallizes and sloughs off - minimal protection - very little protection from abrasion, water, soiling, and other contaminates - can’t build film - you cannot build a film that you can provide more protection. If you try, you can end up with a soft and sticky surface. On ring-porous woods like oak, you can also get some bleed-back that forms little dry bubble globs if you leave it on too thick. On these woods, you may need to come back every few hours after application and wipe again.
  5. Summer is flying by. Here we are headed into the final weekend in June and we’re looking at Independence Day next week. Shop wise, I started a small job this week. I’m building a double sided glass shadow box for a friend of mine. His dad was a WWII Purple Heart vet and served in the South Pacific. He was carrying a silk AAF map of Japan with him when he was hot in the arm and I’m building a case for the map. BTW, the map still bears the blood stains of his father. Originally we were going to build the case to hang on the wall but with a weight of 24 pounds he opted to make a desk mount. Unfortunately, I failed in convincing him to let me put UV archival glass in it. Too costly he felt. Sigh. Anyway, they’re calling for excessive heat warnings for Indiana so I’m planning not to stray far from the A/C. What’s on your Patriot Woodworker agenda?
  6. Three things about lacquer: Pros (which is why they are often used in production furniture) + Fast drying, even the slow drying "brushable" lacquers dry in 30 minutes or less + Wide variety of sheens available from flatter than dead flat to high gloss (0 - 85+) and hard enough you can adjust sheens easily with abrasives or polishing compounds + Easy to repair because adding more melts into existing Cons - High odor during application - Not quite as resistant as varnish to chemical damage - solvents and white water rings - Can blush in high humidity application
  7. It’s been a light week here at Above and Beyond WoodWorks. I completed a small bookcase that I have up for sale and I’m mentally thinking through a two sided hanging map display that I have been commissioned to build. The enjoyment of the week came yesterday when my daughter brought our 12 year old granddaughter and her cousin over to spend the night. Our daughter is an elementary school art and music teacher and she has a knack for getting dear old dad roped into projects. Usually, I go willingly. She brought over a rolled oats container that was half full of hardened epoxy. Mixed into the epoxy was a random group of colored pencils. We peeled the cardboard off the outside, mounted it to a faceplate and gave her a lesson in turning. Remember that I usually turn out of necessity but this was fUn because we did it together. The bowl had a few air pockets in it but we together. It’ll be a guitar pick holder so a couple holes won’t hurt it. As for the weekend, there’s no shop time. We still have the granddaughter through Saturday and Sunday is worship and the the LOML and I are headed to Indy to a Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan concert. So gang, What’s on Your Weekend Agenda?
  8. Last day of spring here, heat index over 100 and about the 10th day of high temps and humidity. Ready for fall. Three Things about Varnish: Pros + Very protective + Higher chemical & abrasion resistance + Cheap and readily available. Just about any hard goods store, even groceries, will carry some varnish. Cons - Slow to apply & cure - takes days vs. minutes or hours - Not very repairable compared to most other finishes - Can add amber color
  9. A good Friday morning to all of you Patriot Woodworkers. If you've been keeping up on the forums, it has been a very busy week for y'all and it appears that many projects are in the works. This week, my wife and I broke down and bought new phones. My carrier had a BOGO on iPhone 8s so we're now learning the nuances of the new toys. Also this week, I built a small bookcase, just because. Just because I had a half sheet of plywood in the corner and it was more fun to build something with it than move it around. The case is only 24" wide and 48" tall and I'll probably put it up for sale at my next show. Its been fun because I really didn't know what color(if any) to dye or stain it so I made a sample board and threw it out on my Facebook page as a poll. As of now, its either golden oak or red oak stain. The weather here is predicted to be extremely hot and my son and I are going to build an 80' fence on his new property that is now totally houseless. So gang, what's on your agenda for this weekend? Starting a new project, finishing one or simply relaxing?
  10. About Shellac: Three Pros: + barrier for wax, silicone, odor, resins, water vapor. Seals those things in well. + fast drying. Usually dries in 30 minutes, less for spraying + easy to repair. Just add some more and it will melt in. Three Cons: - gloss only, but can be rubbed to lower glosses - susceptible to alkali, water. Being acidic, it does not do well with things like ammonia in Windex. - shelf life limited. Starts to degrade in as little as one year.
  11. Sitting here by the pool in east central Indiana watching the hummingbirds feed. This morning is cool, crisp and damp and the coffee is hot. We finally got some much needed rain last night so all is right with the world. This has been a laid back week with just a little shop time even though my to do list is long. I am retired after all! On Wednesday, Dorothy and I took our two youngest granddaughters to Shipshewana Indiana to attend a large flea market and see the sights. Shipshewana is Amish country filled with shops and amazing food. If you're ever in northern Indiana, it is a great place to spend the day. I did manage to make some progress on a few gun display cases this week and will finish them today. The oak one is sold already and since I was building, I made a cherry and walnut one for stock. The oak case will also have the owner's ID and badges from his lifetime as an arson investigator. On a side note, the pistol laying in the case is the least favorite gun I own. It is a Ruger P95 and shoots fine but it has an odd feel to m y hand. It does make a stellar demo for the case. No big plans for the weekend so far but what's on your Patriot Woodworker agenda for this weekend?
  12. First off, there is a difference between a thinner and a solvent. A solvent dissolves things. A thinner thins things DUH (reduces the solids and alters the viscosity). What makes thins even more confusing is they way they name things. Lacquer thinner both dissolves and thins (because it contains both solvents, co-solvents, and thinners). Paint Thinner thins varnishes, but dissolves waxes. But anyway, (chemistry lesson) 1. Distillates generally of petroleum. Common ones are mineral spirits and naphtha. Less commonly used ones are kerosene, xylene (xylol), toluene (tolulol), benzene (a carcinogen), and benzine, and even turpentine (a distillate of pine sap). These have different evaporation rates, oiliness, and smells. These generally thin (oil-based) varnishes and are in some lacquer thinners. Xylene will soften cured water-borne finishes. Most of these will dissolve waxes, oils, and some adhesives. d-Limonene is a distillate of citrus rinds; it's found in some cleaners/polishes/degreasers/adhesive removers. 2. Alcohols and Ketones. Alcohols include ethanol, methanol, and isopropyl. "Denatured alcohol" is ethanol (grain alcohol - everclear booze) with enough methanol (wood alcohol) added to make it poisonous to drink (and so it does not need to be taxed as booze). Chemically, a ketone is an oxidized alcohol. Common ones are acetone and MEK. Alcohol is a solvent for shellac and alcohols and ketones are often part of lacquer thinners. 3. Glycol Ethers are a large class of chemicals and are in water-borne finishes. Two major classes are ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. They soften and make sticky the large resin molecules. As the glycol ethers evaporate the resin molecules bond together. Cellosolve is a trademark for a glycol ether.
  13. Well gang, we are ushering in a new month as June is upon us. I trust your holiday shortened week has treated you well. As many of you already know, last Sunday was race day for my son and I as we sweltered in the 92 degree heat with 300,000 of my closest friends. One of the many traditions at the Indy 500 during the pre-race ceremonies is the blowing of taps to pay honor to those who gave their lives fighting for this country. Just across the track from us is the infamous "Snake Pit" where 30,000 highly intoxicated people listen to rack music instead of watch the race. Interestingly, during the pre-race festivities all music stopped but there was still lots of crowd noise. However, when taps were blown the entire speedway was stone silent. You could hear absolutely nothing and it was one of those solemn moments I'll never forget. My week has been light as I played lifeguard in our pool for the grand-kids but I did manage to get a good start on three pistol display cases. One cherry, one oak and a walnut. Tomorrow I've volunteered to help my son build a 12 X 16 shed. So, Patriot Woodworkers, what's on your weekend agenda?
  14. Cleaning a varnish brush, three steps. 1. Wipe off excess on a rag or paper towel 2. Use the three-jar (or two-jar) method. * The first jar (labelled III (or II)) contains the previously used mineral spirits / paint thinner. Dip in the brush and slosh it around. Take it out and wipe it off on a rag. * Repeat the process with the remaining jar(s). * Put a lid on the jars and save them for next time. * When the first jar becomes full of crud, pour off any clear on top into the next jar. Then throw the first jar away. Demote jar II to jar III (just add a "I") If you are just using two jars, then I becomes II. 3. Rinse with lacquer thinner. This will remove the oiliness of the mineral spirits. Wrap in original wrapper or a paper bag strip with rubber band and let dry.
  15. Well folks, we have made it through the week and we're staring at the first holiday weekend of the summer of 2018. Memorial Day always conjures up memories for me. I have a picture around here of me when I was about 8 years marching in my Cub Scout uniform toward the cemetery on Memorial Day. We always made the tour of the cemeteries to place flowers on the graves of our relatives and Dorothy and I still do. Back then the Indy 500 was run on Memorial Day, not the Sunday before and I would sit on the front porch listening on a static laced AM radio imagining the action in my mind. Those dreams did come true and I have attended the race many times and have only missed it 3 times since 1964. Twice when I was serving for my favorite uncle (Sam) and last year when my seatmate and son had emergency gall bladder surgery 3 days before the race. This year's race is forecast to be a hot one with the high coming in around 90. Couple that with the track temperature of about 130 degrees, it will be toasty in row EE of turn #3. The picture below is close to where we sit so here's our view. So Patriot Woodworkers, what's on your agenda this Memorial Day weekend? Woodworking, picnic, nothing?
  16. Three techniques for good varnish finish Thin the finish. Most varnishes will flow out better if you thin them a bit. I like to thin the first couple finishes a lot (50:50), then move to 60:40, then 90:10 for subsequent coats. Stir well to bring the flatteners into suspension and regularly during application because they will settle out faster in a thinner finish. I like to pour out the varnish into a separate container so I don't contaminate the can. Brush technique. First, use a good, natural bristle brush. "Condition" it before use by wetting with mineral spirits, then wiping with a clean rag. Dip the brush into the varnish and remove excess on the side of the container. Start the strokes away from edges or you'll get a run on the edge. Work from one end to the other. When the whole surface is covered, wipe the varnish off the brush, hold it nearly vertical and "tip-off" the finish by lightly passing the brush from one end to the other. This fills the dry spots and cuts down the heavy spots. Sand between coats. Let the finish dry at least overnight. Sanding will remove the defects like dust, lint, and bubbles in the slow-drying finish. A good sandpaper is 3M's 216U, sold as "Sandblaster." P400 grit is a good one to use. This will level and remove the defects. A follow up with light gray Scotch-Brite™ Ultra Fine Hand Pad 7448 will provide an even dullness. Remove the dust with a cloth dampened in mineral spirits or naphtha. Steel wool can leave shards that might eventually rust.
  17. This has been a beautiful week in east central Indiana. The trees are fully leafed, the temperature has averaged in the high 70's and most importantly, its racing time in Indiana. I'm a huge Indycar fan and since we live in the mecca of open wheel racing, I have to attend. I've missed only 3 Indy 500's since 1965. Two when I was serving time with my favorite uncle (Sam) in SE Asia and last year. My son and seatmate had emergency gall bladder surgery a couple days before the race last year and we opted to watch it on TV. Just isn't the same. You don't get the smell of the burnt fuel and the lunacy of the Snake Pit drunks. I have 5 tickets so if you ever get the yen to go, let me know. Yesterday, we completed our part of the de-construction of my son's house and we're waiting on a local guy to show up and rip the concrete slab out and take it away. I spent a little time in the shop this week building a pair of cherry veteran's burial flag cases but all in all it has been pretty calm. Patriot Woodworkers, what's on your weekend agenda?
  18. Three things that affect the finished color of a project 1. The wood. You would not expect the same resulting color if you applied the same products to, say, pine, poplar, walnut, maple, cherry, or white oak. Each wood will impart not only its own natural color, but the grain and porosity of the wood can affect how it absorbs the upper layers. I have applied exactly the same stain to ash and red oak, that look very similar in the rough (ring porous woods) and on red oak it comes out a light brown and on ash, a light yellow. 2. The colorant. The dyes and/or pigments in a stain, glaze or toner will obviously impact the resulting color. And it may interact with the underlying wood. For example, if you add a raw umber color, normally a darkish green to a wood like cherry with a lot of natural red, they will neutralize each other and come up with more of a brown result. If you put raw umber on maple, you are going to see more of that greenish color. 3. The finish. All finishes can add (or omit) color. Waterborne finishes and lacquers called "water-white" add virtually no color. These are great if you don't want added color, for example over a pickled finish. On the other hand, they can look like the finish is washed out. Shellac comes in different grades from super blond, blonde, lemon, orange and garnet. Sometimes they are called light amber, amber, natural, or whatever just to confuse us. Varnishes (oil-based) generally have an amber color. Exactly what depends on the mix of which oil and which resin. Soy-alkyd, linseed-urethane, or tung-phenolic are the common combinations and vary from light to dark amber, respectively. So that is why when you are doing test boards on scrap, you need to use the same wood, the same colorant, and the same finish, all the way to completion. Also, the color you get on day one may not the color 10 years down the road. Woods tend to change color - cherry darkens, walnut lightens, and maple ambers. Dyes and pigments tend to fade in light, dyes usually more so. And if you have a colorant with two or more ingredients, one of them might change faster than the others. So an amber might fade to an orange. On one hand you have the woods going one way and perhaps the colorants going the other, each at their own rate.
  19. I'm sure happy that the elections here in Indiana are over for 6 months. I'm the chairman of the local election board and it has been a very long week that started last Thursday. Even with the election process going on, I was able to spend some time with my son tearing down his newly purchased house. Yesterday marked 6 weeks since we started the de-construction process and with any luck the structure will be on the ground next Monday. The pictures below show our progress as of tonight. The roof is off half the house and hopefully it will be totally off by Saturday. Not much shop time this week and none scheduled for the weekend. So, here's the question Patriot Woodworkers, "What's on your weekend agenda?"
  20. Three types of finish (resins) · Evaporative This is a finish where the solvent evaporates and the finish resins dry. Examples of this are shellac, lacquer, and wax (when used a a finish). If you add the solvent back in, it will redissolve the finish. Flexner calls this "spaghetti." Spaghetti pasta comes dry, you add water and cook it and it's soft and flexible, and if you let it dry out, it turns hard again. These finishes are fast drying. · Reactive These finishes cure by reacting chemically. Usually this is by absorbing oxygen and forming polymer chains. Sometimes, there is a thinner that reduces the viscosity and has to evaporate first. Then the chemical reaction starts. Examples of this are oils and oil-based varnishes. Flexner's "Tinkertoys." Adding the thinner back in does not redissolve the cured finish. These finishes are usually slow curing and full curing may take weeks or more. · Coalescent These finishes have large molecules whose edges are softened by a solvent. The example is water-borne finish. Glycol ethers soften the edges. Water is there as a thinner. Water evaporates, then the molecules get close together and the sticky edges bond. Then the glycol ethers evaporate and the finish dries. Flexner's "soccer balls"
  21. Like many states around the U.S., Indiana is right in the middle of its Primary Election cycle. That being said, the primary has impacted yours truly because I'm the chairman of our county election board and my life has been filled with meetings and numerous trips to the courthouse as well as the traveling board trips to homes and nursing homes so that the sick and shut ins can exercise their right to vote. Even with the election board duties, I've had the opportunity to build a small oak bookcase for my office area. This weekend we'll continue deconstruction of my son's newly purchased house. So, fellow woodworkers, what's on your Patriot Woodworker agenda for the weekend?
  22. Most finishing products have only three major components: 1. Resin. This is what remains and becomes the "solids" part of the finish. For shellac or lacquer, this is, well, shellac or lacquer. For an oil, an oil, usually linseed or tung For a waterborne finish, it's mostly acrylic resin. For a wax, it's a wax or combination of animal (beeswax), vegetable (carnuba), or mineral (petroleum paraffin) For a varnish, it's a cooked combination of an oil (linseed, soy, or tung) plus plastic (urethane, alkyd, or phenolic) For a pigment stain, the resin is known as "binder" to hold the pigments in place until a top coat is applied. It can be an oil, varnish, waterborne, or lacquer. 2. Thinner or solvent (or both) For shellac, alcohol solvent For lacquer, it's a soup of solvents, co-solvents and thinners. The mix is determined by economics (costs) and desired speed of evaporation and other properties. Usually, it's mostly a mix of alcohols, ketones, and petroleum distillates. So lacquer "thinner" is both a thinner and a solvent. For an oil, generally none For a waterborne finish, glycol ethers as "softeners" and water as a thinner For a wax, petroleum distillates as a solvent For a varnish, petroleum distillates, this time as a thinner only and not a solvent For a dye stain, the solvent (water or alcohol, usually) dissolves the dye. For a pigment stain, the thinner suspends the pigment particles and makes a wiping or spraying consistency. 3. Colorant Dyes - these are dissolved in the solvent and can be in a dye stain or a toner Pigment - these are suspended in the thinner and can be in a pigment stain, toner, or glaze Tar, yes, some finishes contain a tar, sometimes obfuscated as asphaltum or Gilsonite (tm). This is dissolved in the solvent as is sometimes used in stains or "walnut" danish oils. You can also make your own wiping stain by mixing some (non-fiber) roofing tar with mineral spirits of naphtha https://thefinishingstore.com/blogs/news/asphaltum-a-forgotten-finishing-gem There may be other, minor components such as Flatteners usually silica to reduce the sheen level UV protectors for outdoor finishes Other chemicals, especially in waterborne to enable emulsification, reduce foaming, etc.
  23. Spring has FINALLY arrived in east central Indiana. The yard received its first mowing of the year yesterday and all is right with the world. It has been a busy week here. We continue to deconstruct a house that my son bought. We're on the fourth 40 yard dumpster and making progress. The pic below shows the progress as of last Saturday but now we have the house down to bare studs. Next up for removal is the roof. Monday, we had a new HVAC system installed so the LOML can stay toasty or cool (her choice, not mine). As for shop time, I have been building a small oak bookcase for my office area. The weekend is full with a Lincoln Day dinner and a memorial service on Sunday afternoon. Of course, worship on Sunday morning. So folks, what's on your Patriot Woodworker weekend agenda?
  24. There are three basic ways to apply finish Cloth (wiping) Moderately fast, cheap, suitable for thinner products, little cleanup. Good for oils, oil-varnish blends, thinned varnish, & stains. Control amount by how aggressively you wipe, easy to remove excess material. Brush Slowest, most common, suitable for thicker, slower-drying finishes (like varnish), can be used with care for faster drying finishes (shellac, brushing lacquer, waterborne). Can "manipulate" finishes during open time. Some brush prep & clean up required. Suitable for special effects like glazing. Spray Fastest to apply, needs special equipment (expensive) and area, not suitable for slow drying finishes like varnish, great for fast-drying finishes (shellac, brushing lacquer, waterborne), best for toners, Gun cleanup when done.
  25. Well Patriot Woodworkers it is Friday the 13th. Anyone superstitious folks out there? Personally, Friday the 13th is a "lucky" day for me. I separated the Air Force on Friday, July 13th. This has been a week of construction/destruction. I just finished a utility cabinet for my daughter and we are continuing to de-construct a house that my son bought. Tomorrow, I'm going to an auction to try to snag some wood. We'll see how that goes in the rain. So, what's on your agenda for this spring weekend?

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