I buy filters from a friend who wholesales auto body supplies. I filter my finish each time, into a plastic cup. I throw both the cup and filter away each time. That goes against part of my grain, seeing those pieces in my trash can, but I just finally accept that it is how I get the best outcome that I can, which helps me have enough money to buy food, the cans from which I righteously recycle. (“All my life’s a circle, sunrise and sundown, the moon rolls through the nighttime, till the daylight comes around….”)
I keep the finish in the jar because it’s a bigger target for pouring back the excess. I shake it to mix before straining, often a no-no for solvent based products, but it has no effect on this process. Perhaps the filter forces the bubbles to pop.
I am doing no recipe work on this sequence in an effort to get a reliable protocol for a product off the shelf, and not have mixing variables which could lead to surprises.
I use old Tshirts for rags, starting with a piece about 5×7 inches, the total acreage more important than the dimensions.
The idea is to end up with a pad about the size of two big thumbprints.
The Minwax likes to flatten itself pretty quickly. I try not to over swab. I have developed a disciplined approach whereby I start with the body in a certain orientation and do four surfaces. I’ve never missed a side nor inadvertently double coated a side.
Here’s is how that process went, and it’s the one part where I think there are some variables and I’d love to hear from others who work with a similar product and have a different approach.
For the first 5 coats, I would put the finish on pretty generously, all four sides, and then go back, with a wet pad, and stretch it out and even it. Then I would move to the next one, first coat, back around again, and then go back to the previous one and wipe it down lightly. This was an intuitive thing which seemed to work in that the results were pretty flat. Whether the coat was any more mils than just putting on one good coat and leaving it, I don’t know. And I wish I did!
Prior to the seventh coats I brought each one out and did 600 grit paper on the faces and steel wool on the edges and curved surfaces. This was promising.
A little surprise here: The two colored ones were fine at seven coats but the natural one needed one more.
Don’t know why.
Applying these last few coats is a spirit-filled process. There is no drag on the rag, the stuff is flowing nicely. It is tempting to put too much on. I had to do some self talk to stay in the discipline of how I tracked myself around the body, and then I very carefully checked for missing places (I had had a few up to now).
-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"