It’s been a while since I’ve put some things I’ve learned in writing. I like the idea of blogs as a type of woodworking journal. It seems I see a lot of cool tricks and tips in articles and forget them pretty quickly. I just got to the point in my woodworking self-education that I now understand that finishing is really what makes the difference b/w good projects and great projects. I’ve done a ton of experimenting over the last few weeks and had a wide range of results. Here are a few of my conlusions:
Working with Open Pored Wood (namely Walnut):
• There is no need to use grain filler when using a stain that absorbs into the wood. Rather than using the grain filler, I can flood the board with the stain and use wet/dry sandpaper to make a saw dust / stain mixture. Let this soak in and wipe off excess. Grain is filled.
• Wax offers next to no protection compared to Poly. Waxing also requires re-waxing faster than other top coats.
• When use wax, less is best. A cheesecloth “pouch” with a dab of wax distributes it pretty evenly.
• Minwax Polyshades works on top of old stains when refinishing. Takes a coat or two more, but anything to avoid sanding is great in my book.
• Supplies every shop should have on hand: Mineral Spirits, Thinners (laquer, paint, etc. .), B.L.O., Naptha, Turpentine, Tung Oil, and Wood Conditioner to name a few.
• Rubbing finishes almost always provides better results faster vs. brushing.
-- Jeff, South Carolina